Jennie Huettel, PetSafe Village Manager and City Dog Park Liaison

The city's starting construction on the Downtown Dog Park. Is it more than just putting up a fence?

We'll actually have a large dog area and a small dog area, and a courtyard in the middle. We're looking to put in benches, doggie water fountains, and a walking trail in the perimeter of the park, which is around 29,000 square feet. That's all we can do for step one. We are looking for donations to put in things like agility equipment later. They started the sidewalk this week; next week they're going to break ground. We're hoping it's open by the end of the year.

How much will it cost?

PetSafe Village donated $100,000, and then it looks like we're gonna spend about $162,000, which includes $62,000 from the city—part of that's an environmental grant.

Do you have dogs who will get to go?

I have three dogs. Rowdee is an 8-year-old Rottweiler Mix, Ellie Mae, she's a 2-year-old beagle mix. Rowdee loves to chase the balls and the Frisbee, and Ellie Mae loves to chase Rowdee. Hops, we have no idea how old he is—probably seven, he's a little terrier. Hops isn't a dog-friendly dog, so he probably won't go to the park. We already go to the off-leash park at Victor Ashe all the time. We have a Yahoo group and it's really like family over there.

Are the challenges going to be the same?

They're both user-managed parks, where up-to-date vaccines are required. The challenge is when owners won't make sure their dogs behave—or when they won't clean up the poop. PetSafe won't have anyone monitoring, but we will still be involved in planning and fund-raising.

But if someone has a problem, they'd report to Joe Walsh at city Parks and Recreation?

Yep, good old Joe.

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