Place for Fido?

By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

NAPLES — Dog lovers unite and take a walk.

What dog owner doesn’t like the idea of having a local dog park, where people can bring their dogs to socialize and exercise in a fenced-off environment?

The idea (of a dog park in Naples) is still in its puppy stage, according to Animal Control Officer Bobby Silcott.

On Thursday, May 19, 6:30 p.m., a site walk of the proposed dog park property will be offered.

The town property being eyed is located off State Park Road, on the right-hand side approximately one-half mile from Route 114. The parcel, which is on Springer Road, was formerly used as the town’s transfer site.

Currently, a handful of residents have been involved in the beginning phases of creating a dog park; and most of those people serve on the Naples Town Properties Committee, a group which looks at best uses for public property.

Although there aren’t any concrete details behind the plan, Silcott said the site walk will likely assist in the brainstorming process.

“Once you get a dozen minds together, and you all start thinking, lights start going on,” he said.

The dog-park concept won’t likely take shape “until people get out there and walk the site and get their head together on it,” Silcott said.

One idea that has been tossed around is erecting fences for two dog parks to cater to both large breed and small breed dogs. So, while the Labrador breeds are chasing the canine with the “trophy” in its mouth, the Pomeranians could enjoy an eye-to-eye view with similar sized pooches.

“We will need fencing. We haven’t really approached any businesses about it,” Silcott said, adding the dog area would require chain link fence. “We would want to get at least five-feet (high fencing) for large dogs, and about four-feet (high fencing) for small dogs.”

According to Silcott, reaching out to business owners in the community and fund raising would be tasks for the future.

For now, anyone who is interested in getting in on the ground level, and helping with the proposed dog park is welcome to join the site walk, Silcott said.

“The more, the merrier,” he said. “I think we really need a dog park around here.”

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