Opening of dog park is delayed

  • Follow Metro

Plans to let the dogs out in Augusta's Botanical Gardens on Sunday afternoons will be delayed a few weeks while city officials lay down the law on dog park rules.

Jerry Brigham: Official was concerned about health risks that can come with giving dogs free rein inside the park.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Jerry Brigham: Official was concerned about health risks that can come with giving dogs free rein inside the park.

An Augusta Commission committee approved the first reading of an amendment to the county code Monday that will require the owners or handlers of dogs who visit the park to sign a waiver agreeing to abide by 26 dog park rules.

Anyone who violates them could be kicked out and charged with a misdemeanor.

The full Augusta Commission also must approve the first reading at the March 4 meeting and the second reading at the March 18 meeting.

Currently, the law requires all dogs in parks and any other public place in Richmond County to be on leashes. The amended law will allow them to romp freely, along with the general public, inside the gates of the Botanical Gardens from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

City Recreation Director Tom Beck said dog parks are popular across the country and he has had a "tremendous" number of requests for the city to create one.

Committee Chairman Jerry Brigham asked whether there were health risks associated with having dogs in the park. Mr. Beck said that owners would be required to clean up after their pets and that the park would have two pet stations.

"I would not think there were any more health risks at the Botanical Gardens than at other parks," Mr. Beck said.

Richmond County Animal Control Director Diane Downs said any animal that showed aggression would be removed by the owner.

At Mr. Brigham's request, Mike Allison, environmental engineer with the Richmond County Health Department, spoke about health risks associated with dogs, the main ones being rabies and worms.

Dogs must have current rabies vaccinations and wear tags. Handlers must be at least 18 years old, and anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

All breeds of dogs will be allowed in the park.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver urged the committee to approve the dog park.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (21) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
HillGuy
8
Points
HillGuy 02/26/08 - 02:03 am
0
0
Cities all over the country

Cities all over the country have dog parks.. why does Brigham act like this is the first time this has ever been done anywhere? This is the problem with Augusta.. it's like in some kind of vacuum.. Come on guys.. why not consult leaders in other cities with dog parks to see how they work successfully? Alexandria and Arlington, VA have several popular dog parks. Call them and see how its done properly.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 02/26/08 - 05:32 am
0
0
Dogie doo, dogie don't. Sign

Dogie doo, dogie don't. Sign a paper for dogie doo. The first mass fight will lead to a dogie don't. A dog park will expose city people to some new experiences. Sounds good to me. Personally, I'll be sure not to visit the gardens until Tuesday.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 02/26/08 - 07:39 am
0
0
One rule is the owner must

One rule is the owner must pick up the dogs POOP *UGH*

getalife
4
Points
getalife 02/26/08 - 08:48 am
0
0
Sunday afternoons would have

Sunday afternoons would have been a great day for families to be in the park, not dogs. For those that have to work on Saturday and through the week there is no time for them. Dogs roaming free may not last long after a few of the larger dogs attack smaller ones or some child. If the dogs are roaming free, how will you know which dog, did which pile of poop? Also, who will be in the park to make sure all people and dogs follow the rules, the dog police??

pointstoponder
621
Points
pointstoponder 02/26/08 - 08:58 am
0
0
The dog owners will need to

The dog owners will need to police each other or this will be a short lived experiment. A few irresponsible owners can ruin it for the rest.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 02/26/08 - 09:02 am
0
0
My thoughts exactly GETALIFE.

My thoughts exactly GETALIFE. Will they hire someone to monitor the park to make sure owner clean up after their pets and what happens if a dog isn't current with their rabie vacination or will they check every dog as they come into the park to make sure they are wearing a tag? I understand the concept of having a place where your pet can romp and play but I also see a potential for trouble. If my small dog gets attacked by a larger dog can I sue the city for not protection my pet. What happens if a family with a small child is at the park and a child is attacked by a dog, what recourse does the parents have. I know it's been done in other citys, I just hope it's researched throughly for any potential problems down the road.

GeorgiaGirl
0
Points
GeorgiaGirl 02/26/08 - 09:11 am
0
0
GETALIFE - you are right on

GETALIFE - you are right on target. Maybe HILLGUY can now understand Comm. Brigham's concern. JB has shown to be one of the most level-headed commissioners and he's just covering all the bases. I would like to see a dog park but I have a hard time understanding why they would use the Botanical Gardens after all the fuss and ruckus over shutting it down several months back. Why didn't they use Pendleton - nothing good is going on there right now.....

ruhappy
0
Points
ruhappy 02/26/08 - 09:31 am
0
0
Lets raise our sale tax so we

Lets raise our sale tax so we can have a doggiee park that people will not go to. I'm thinking about getting a pit bull.

weekapaug05
0
Points
weekapaug05 02/26/08 - 10:22 am
0
0
There's plenty of good stuff

There's plenty of good stuff going on at Pendleton GeorgiaGirl. Everytime I go out there to throw, I see families having picnics/bbq's, folks playing tennis, walking their dogs, kids playing on the playgrounds, folks feeding the ducks, I saw some young adults playing crochet there this weekend, and folks like myself enjoying a fun disc golf course. Also, a lot of folks who have trained dogs will let them off the leash there and no one seems to mind as long as you have control of your dog. So GAGirl there's plenty of good stuff going on at PK. Dog parks are designed to be a place where dogs can interact and it's important that the people that choose to use the park have dogs that are trained and that the owner has control of.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 02/26/08 - 10:47 am
0
0
What if you do not want to

What if you do not want to "romp"with dogs? Is this the whole park or just a FENCED in designated area? Are pit bulls allowed? And you know damn well the city is not going to have someone there checking the animals for their up to date tags.....sounds like a lawsuit in the making.

betteraugusta
0
Points
betteraugusta 02/26/08 - 11:33 am
0
0
The dog park in Piedmont Park

The dog park in Piedmont Park in Atlanta is one of the busiest + most enjoyed parks during the weekends. Cities around the nation have dog parks, and they have well established rules in place, posted clearly on the entrance signs. Is it gated? Of course. There's even a smaller gated area inside the big gated area for those that have smaller dogs + don't want to risk their smaller dogs being attacked by bigger dogs. The people that come are great, and you better believe they're making sure they clean up after their dogs and they're constantly looking after them to make sure they behave. Everyone that enters the park does so by their own risk, and is responsible for their dog. People are quick to point out dogs causing trouble, and they'll make them get out, and fast. Not the city, because it's not their responsibility, I'm talking about the dog owners who take responsibility for and ownership of the park. They understand the value of the park, and do what it takes to keep the park open.
A dog park is a great idea, and I've been wishing for one in Augusta for quite awhile.
Check out http://www.piedmontpark.org/do/dogpark.html for more information, as well as the rules of the park.

WHATDIDIDO
0
Points
WHATDIDIDO 02/26/08 - 01:14 pm
0
0
You cannot get most people to

You cannot get most people to follow the rules of Playland at the Augusta Mall. Yet you expect them to police little Fluffy at the Gardens. Yeah right.

ruhappy
0
Points
ruhappy 02/26/08 - 01:36 pm
0
0
betteraugusta, why should I

betteraugusta, why should I have to pay for your doggiee park. There talking about raising our sales tax, I say lets cut the cost of projects we do not need. If you want a doggiee park at a certain time you should have to pay admission.

betteraugusta
0
Points
betteraugusta 02/26/08 - 02:07 pm
0
0
If I was the only person in

If I was the only person in Augusta wanting something like this, it wouldn't be happening. Deke is doing a great job at progressing the city, and little things, like this, can be part of it all. What do the people of Augusta lose from spending time outside on a sunny afternoon with our friends - four-legged ones included?

Most likely, there's an alternative for your tax dollar complaint. If enough people are interested in this, funds could possibly come from another source, and a volunteer committee can be formed to help keep the park running smoothly.

It's just too bad some people don't see how progression and changes really can and will help Augusta to become a better place for us all.

Farful
7
Points
Farful 02/26/08 - 02:43 pm
0
0
go Jerry

go Jerry

ruhappy
0
Points
ruhappy 02/26/08 - 03:03 pm
0
0
betteraugusta, I'm not

betteraugusta, I'm not against the doggiee park. I'm against sending tax payers money on projects that we can do without. Have you read the paper today about raising our sale tax because the Augusta Commission has said we need the money.

heres14u
1
Points
heres14u 02/26/08 - 04:03 pm
0
0
What about folks like me? I

What about folks like me? I don't have children, nor do I want any, but I'm forced to pay taxes in support of school systems and whatever else may be involved. It's the same thing. We all are having to pay for something we don't have a vested interest in. A doggie park is a great idea, and much needed for the area, especially for those of us who choose to have a 4 legged child instead of a 2 legged one! ha

HillGuy
8
Points
HillGuy 02/26/08 - 07:46 pm
0
0
I actually agree that

I actually agree that Pendleton King Park would be a better location.. so Why didn't Brigham simply mention that instead of bringing up all of these ridiculous concerns over health issues? Just say this is not the ideal location so let's consider a better one. Btw.. here's the website for Arlington, VA's dogparks.. maybe Augusta can get some ideas.
http://www.arlingtondogs.org/parks_shirlington.shtml

HillGuy
8
Points
HillGuy 02/26/08 - 07:53 pm
0
0
I am so sick and tired of

I am so sick and tired of this Augusta Attitude. This is why this city has been stuck in neutral for 30 years. Augustans are way too quick to tear any great idea apart without doing any research on it first. And this attittude that "since I won't use it, why should my taxes pay for it." how selfish. These amenities improve the community and make it a more desirable place to live. That is something that benefits everyone, regardless of whether you use a dogpark or not. Plus many of these parks are maintained by volunteers, not the government.

Kevin T.
0
Points
Kevin T. 02/26/08 - 11:29 pm
0
0
I enjoy reading the AC, but

I enjoy reading the AC, but it's things like this that make me happy I moved to a city that allows the community to grow and become united on all levels.
We have a dog park here in Atlanta, big dogs, little dogs, big poop and little poop not to mention big and small crowds.
I hope the Augusta community can at leat make something as simple as a 4 hour dog park workout somehow.

OHIOGirl
0
Points
OHIOGirl 02/29/08 - 09:43 am
0
0
I heartily agree with Hillguy

I heartily agree with Hillguy and hereandnow!! Augusta's small minded attitude and lack of community activities, especially in the downtown area, is a huge part of the reason my fiance and I are looking forward to moving in a couple months! We have two dogs and have been hoping for a dog park for quite some time. As other readers mentioned, many other cities have very successful dog parks! Piedmont park is a great example. Columbus, Ohio where I'm from, has at least three dog parks and they have all been huge successes! If Augusta lawmakers could get their heads out of the sand, Augusta could become a great place to live, instead of being sadly referred to as "Disgusta"!

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs