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Would a Dog Park Truly Benefit Eagle Rock?

On Tuesday, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council will discuss the issue of a dog park and an ‘animal liaison’ with the City.

Whether or not Eagle Rock needs a dog park is an issue that crops up in community discussions from time to time.

The most recent discussion on Patch was back in January, when we polled our readers on the issue and received exactly 100 votes—85 in favor or a dog park and 15 against the idea. (Click here to see that story and the poll results.)

On Tuesday, the will discuss—and possibly take some action on—the perennial question of a dog park at its monthly board meeting at 7 p.m. in Eagle Rock City Hall.

On a related note, the ERNC will also discuss the possibility of appointing one of its board members to liaise with the city’s Department of Animal Welfare (DAW). The issue stems from a request made to the ERNC, at its most recent meeting on April 3, by a volunteer at the Reserve Animal Control Officer (RACO) program.

“Every community has an animal control issue to some extent or the other,” the volunteer, Paul Darrigo, told Patch recently. The so-called “DAW Animal Liaison” would help generate a variety of activities in the community—such as periodic adoption days—aimed at reducing the population of lost pets in Eagle Rock.

“We do have a 47-percent euthanasia rate in the city, so if the animal liaison can help with any activities that lower the rate, that would be a great service,” Darrigo said, adding that the concerned person could be anyone from the community, and not necessarily an ERNC board member.

The only qualification for such a person, besides an obvious commitment to the cause of animals, would be that he or she be “self-sustaining,” that is, a self-starter, Darrigo said, adding that he would do his best to help the volunteer as well.

The search for a DAW Animal Liaison in Eagle Rock, we think, is the perfect opportunity to revisit the dog park issue. It’s probably also a good time to ask readers whether they think a community dog park will likely have some sort of positive impact on what appears to be a chronic problem of lost pets—especially dogs—in Eagle Rock.

After all, a community spot reserved exclusively for dogs would probably encourage many more dog owners to bring their pets to the space, thereby offering them two things vital to their existence: exercise and socialization with other dogs (while their owners enjoy each other’s company and indulge in all sorts of networking activities not just limited to animals).

It hardly needs to be pointed out that the better exercised and adequately socialized dogs are, the less likely they are to wander away from their homes and end up as a sad statistic in animal shelters’ euthanasia charts—or, as Darrigo told the ERNC early this month, bait for other dogs in dog fights.

That’s right. According to Darrigo, a lot of dogs don’t really get “lost”—they’re stolen by unscrupulous people and used as bait in illegal dog fights.

So: Besides being an invaluable resource for canines and their masters, do you think a community dog park might also help reduce the number of lost dogs potentially headed for euthanasia? Share your views in the Comments box below.

John Goldfarb April 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM
If you visit the Silver Lake dog park, you know it's a "happy place" for dogs and their guardians that contributes significantly to the overall quality of life of people living in that neighborhood. Dedicating a portion of a public park in Eagle Rock to dogs and their guardians would be an acknowledgement of the important role of companion animals to people living in the city, and I believe such a place would attract responsible, caring people to our neighborhood.
Sarah April 30, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I am a huge supporter of a dog park in Eagle Rock!
Tracy King April 30, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Absolutely! A dog park would be a benefit to everyone, especially to dogs and their companions. It's a wonderful place to educate pet owners about resources to make both their dogs' and their own lives safer and happier.
Jose Burgos April 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Me & my partner just bought our first home here in lovely ER. We are a bit surprised that it does not have a dog park. Moving from west hollywood, where there are several really nice dog parks, it would be a great place for dog families and people to congregate; more importantly, a place were dogs can play and run. One thing we have noticed about ER is the incredible number of masterless, unclaimed wandering dogs on the streets. Does animal control not do anything about it?? We are huge supporters of this park and hope to see it happen one day soon.
Timothy April 30, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Yes to a dog park! It would be a huge benefit to the community.
Ajay Singh (Editor) April 30, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Thanks to all our readers—John, Sarah, Tracy, José, Timothy, so far—for their support of a dog park. If any—or all—of you can spare about an hour tomorrow, May 1, to attend the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council meeting, that would push your desire for a dog park in the community that much closer to reality. Tuesday, 7 p.m., Eagle Rock City Hall (upper level), corner of Maywood Avenue and Colorado. (There should be sufficient parking in the lot behind the building. Alternatively, free street parking is available near Eagle Rock Library and St. Dominic's Church.)
K Ivan April 30, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I love going to the Silverlake Dog park, I was just there yesterday. I am in support of a dog park in Eagle Rock. I hope it would be just as peaceful and friendly as the Silverlake park.
Marcel April 30, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Having moved here from Europe, I was disappointed when I found out how restricted I was as a dog owner. You can't let your dog of the leash anywhere, except for a few dog parks that are far and few between. No dogs at restaurants, stores or hotels (very common in most European countries), not even at the beach. I guess the phrase "Land of the Free" doesn't apply much to dogs and their owners. So do I support a dog park in ER? Hell yeah!
Leanna Lin Fong April 30, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Yes and all of the above comments sound great! I definitely support a dog-friendly + people-friendly dog park in Eagle Rock!
Julie Walmsley April 30, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I would love to see a dog park in Eagle Rock! I absolutely support it. That said, I think it would be a destination for people who already take proper care of their dogs, not a solution for strays lost by neglectful owners. I just don't think that someone who doesn't properly care for/license/microchip their pet will take the initiative to drive to the dog park. Improperly cared for dogs also probably aren't dog-social (maybe not even human-social) enough for the dog park anyways.
Alex April 30, 2012 at 07:19 PM
A dog park in our hood would be wonderful for all of us Eagle Rockers and our 4-legged companions. If situated in the back area of Yosemite Park, it may also cut down on the loitering and under-age drinking that occurs in that area, and create a more social neighborhood space, ultimately benefiting everyone.
Alice M. April 30, 2012 at 07:34 PM
It's important for people to know that the neighborhood council will have very limited say in whether a portion of a park in ER becomes a dedicated off-leash facility, even if the City had the money to convert (or it could be donated). I read on Patch earlier where this idea was thrown out by the advisory board for the park years ago, and if that group still functions, they may do the same again. The City's Parks dept. and it's commission are not known to be "neighborhood council" friendly at all, and If there was no support in the past from the rec center's advisory board there, that's where the people who now want the dog park will need to focus their attention. City Parks dept. will ignore the ERNC completely, if the advisory board (a group of citizens that that the dept. itself actually names - they're not elected like an NC board), votes the opposite. In many area parks, these boards are made up almost exclusively by the people who have children who use the parks for sporting events, and they have a tendency to adopt a "parks are for people (only)" attitude. They are also closely "advised" by the dept. employees themselves - and can sometimes just become rubber stamps for the City's own plans - otherwise they end up losing their seats. This has repeated itself all over the City in recent decades.
Alice L. Hartwell April 30, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Absolutely! A dog park would be a wonderful addition to Eagle Rock. Right now I drive over to Orange Grove and Sierra Madre, in Pasadena, so for one thing, it would save gas! Dog parks are great places to meet people and socialize dogs. I hope an Eagle Rock dog park becomes a reality SOON!
Mark April 30, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Yes! I'd be in favor of a dog park here in ER.
Lynda April 30, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Arcadia has a wonderful dog park...a social gathering place for the dogs as well as their owners. It would be great to have a dog park in Eagle Rock...would save me both time and gas money.
Ursula Brown April 30, 2012 at 09:47 PM
The closest dog park to E.R. is Hermon Dog Park (across Ave. 60 bridge, other side of Pasadena Fwy). A few years ago we petitioned for a dog park in Eagle Rock and no suitable space was found. Please check requirements on the City web site and go from there. I would love to see a dog park in Eagle Rock.
Mark Charles April 30, 2012 at 10:50 PM
First off, thank you Ajay and the Patch team for helping to keep the community informed and up to date with the goings on in Eagle Rock. I'll be sure to attend tonight. A dog park, and an Off-Leash one at that, in Eagle Rock would be a great addition to the community. We have traveled far and wide with our miniature pinscher, Mr Pickles, and visited may off leash parks. Dogs are happier, owners are happier, and it creates another point of social connection in the community. I often see folks at the Eagle Rock Recreation Center with their dogs, which is a terrific place for a stroll. However, of late, a few of them take their dogs off leash, and are not mindful of the poop they leave behind. I do my best to let them know that there are terrific off-leash options available in Pasadena and Hermon, but a re-direct to a closer dog park would likely result in less poop in the park. Has the Land Use Committee been consulted with regards to prospective locations? I would love to know their thoughts on the matter.
Ajay Singh (Editor) April 30, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Thanks, Mark—I think the ERNC discussion is in its very preliminary stages. We'll find out more tomorrow night.
Susan R May 01, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I am very much in support of a dog park. And, the location you mentioned is a perfect location too.
mark May 01, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I could support this. I think the Yosemite park already has a parking problem though. How about the ER Rec Center park?
Michael Larsen May 01, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing everybody tonight and pleased to see so many people are excited about the dog park idea. The bottom line is that it will take a lot of work by those who want to see it happen. When I asked about the possibility at Yosemite, I received these criteria which needed to be met before the the idea would even be considered by the Rec&Parks Board of Commissioners: 1) Council Office/Community Support: Since dog parks must be established by ordinance, following approval by the RAP Board of Commissioners, the proposing group would need to obtain and demonstrate Council Office and community support beforehand. 2) Funding: The Proposing Group would need to demonstrate the availability of sufficient funding for development and future sustainability. 3) Design: The proposers would need to prepare and submit a preliminary design plan for RAP review and comment; which will then be presented to the Board for conceptual approval. 4) Environmental Clearance: Potential environmental impacts must be identified with all required clearances processed. 5) Sustainability: RAP will need to review a sustainability plan (including funding) for future maintenance and repair. This project will not move forward without a group of dedicated volunteers to are willing to answer these 5 questions and do a lot more. I'm sure there are Eagle Rockers who will rise to the occasion!
Eileen May 03, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I may be a little late in responding but yes, I (and my 2 beagles) would love to see a dog park somewhere in Eagle Rock. I would be a great community asset.

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