Tails will soon be wagging when the P.E.I. Humane Society re-opens its dog park at the end of June.
The dog park has been closed for the past year to make way for a new addition at the back of the shelter with a bright and spacious community room and extra offices.
Jennifer Harkness, development manager at the P.E.I. Humane Society, says the fence was taken down and then rebuilt in the middle of winter, but they couldn’t open the dog park for a number of reasons.
“The area around the fence was quite muddy, and because it was the middle of winter, we were not able to re-seed it and it was too expensive to landscape,” explained Harkness. “At the same time, the fence was shifting dramatically because of the constant temperature changes.”
She adds there were places in the fence that small dogs could escape, so they opted to keep the park closed.
“Our first priority is to make it safe,” said Harkness.
She says the weather this spring made it hard to do those necessary repairs, but now that everything is drying up, they are able to do the finishing touches on the dog park.
Harkness said the muddy area has been re-seeded and a fence company is coming in sometime next week to fix the alignment of the fence as well as to move the gate to a different location.
She says the new gate location will ensure there is not as much direct contact with the dogs at the P.E.I. Humane Society that might be reactive when they see other dogs coming to the dog park.
Harkness said there will also be a new gravel pathway to the gate to ensure dog owners can still enter the park even when it is muddy outside.
“I think this is pretty important so that in the future we don’t have to continue to close as much because of that reason.”
Harkness said the goal is to have the dog park re-open on June 23, in conjunction with a fundraising event at the shelter that day.
“We have told the company that the dog park has to be open by then, so fingers crossed.”
Harkness said she feels it’s important for all communities to have dog parks and would like to see more within the city limits, especially in the downtown core, so dogs have a safe place to socialize and exercise.
Pet owners can use the dog park at the P.E.I. Humane Society for free, but donations are encouraged to help with operation costs, which add up to $4,000 a year.
“It is a very large park and that's why I think people like it so much, especially for dogs that like to run far and circle the park, it’s safe for owners and I think that is why they miss it.”