New off-leash park examined

Amy Smith takes her shih tzu named Buttercup to the Three Mile Bend off-leash dog park regularly for walks.

Amy Smith takes her shih tzu named Buttercup to the Three Mile Bend off-leash dog park regularly for walks.

“It’s the only place I can take her that is off leash,” Smith said. Often by the end of the stroll, Buttercup winds up in Smith’s arms.

Smith welcomes a new off-leash dog park for the city, especially in the city’s south side, because it’s where she lives.

“It gives us more options to mix it up a bit,” Smith said.

Others will have a chance to give their opinions on the new off-leash dog park planned for the city’s south side during two open houses planned at Three Mile Bend. One will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the other is set for Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The new park will be located on the city’s old landfill site on 19th Street and 40th Avenue, east of Westerner Park. The approximately 35-acre park will feature an agility park, trails and an amphitheatre.

The $400,000 park will have perimeter fencing, picnic areas, pet waste bag receptacles and rain shelters.

Dave Matthews, planning and technical services supervisor with the City of Red Deer, said at the moment Three Mile Bend is the only off-leash dog park in the city and it’s pretty busy.

There were 5,825 dog licences sold this year in the city, but Matthews said there are an unknown number of other unlicensed dogs.

He said the new site will be convenient for people on the south side, where a lot of new residential development has taken place, and it will provide a different kind of park, with things like the agility equipment.

The park won’t be completed until the spring, but the site will be open to the public starting this fall. It will eventually link up with the trail systems so people will be able to walk from their homes to the park.

Kari Holmberg and Tara Dauttikari, both dog care attendants at 4 Paws Dog Daycare, were walking a variety of dogs at Three Mile Bend: golden retrievers, a yellow lab, a Staffordshire bull terrier, German shepherds, a corgi mix and a Pyrenese. The two women are also dog trainers and use Three Mile Bend to teach dogs.

Holmberg said she would like to see rules posted at the old and new dog park.

“There should be better control of the park for poop pick-up and aggressive dog issues,” she said. Holmberg would also like to see some type of water feature at the new off-leash dog park.

Dauttikari said she would like the city to consider having a fenced in area for people who are training their dogs so that there aren’t as many distractions.

Dauttikari lives in Innisfail and she said having a park on the south side of the city will appeal to people from communities south of Red Deer.

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