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Proposed dog park approved

by Larry Chowning

The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors and the county school board have approved a request from a group of local dog lovers to establish a dog park near the county animal shelter behind the former Rappahannock Central Elementary School site at Cooks Corner.

Supervisors agreed to the park on the condition the group, “Dog Friends,” pays for the cost of the fencing.

Dog Friends spokesperson Mary Wakefield Buxton said there are many dog lovers in Middlesex County and thought the group could raise the approximate $13,000 it will cost to buy and install the fence.

Donations collected by Dog Friends go into the county-operated “Friends for Life” fund that was set up to help the animals at the Middlesex Animal Facility (shelter).

The “Dog Friends Dog Park” will be used by volunteers who will walk animal shelter dogs in one section of the park, and by the general public to walk their pets in another section of the park. “They need to be outside and getting exercise,” said Buxton, referring to the shelter dogs.

Buxton compared the proposed park to a newly-installed dog park in Kilmarnock. However, the fencing will be six feet high rather than four feet as it is at Kilmarnock. “We need to have the fence high enough that our dogs can’t jump over it,” she said.

Supervisor Jack Miller asked who was going to clean the park.

Buxton said there is a plan to have a canister with plastic bags so dog owners and volunteers can pick up and dispose of the dog “poop.”

Miller made the motion to approve the new dog park and it was unanimously approved by the board.

In a related matter, the Middlesex County School Board voted Monday to allow the county to use a portion of school land for the dog park. “It is not land that we will ever use,” said school superintendent Dr. Thomas Taylor.

Buxton also announced that there will be a Christmas “Blessing of Our Homeless Dogs” at the Middlesex Animal Facility at Cooks Corner on Saturday, December 14, at 1 p.m. and invited supervisors to attend. The public also is invited to attend the blessing and to bring their dogs as long as the dogs are on leashes.

posted 12.11.2013

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