Rules adopted for new dog park

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Farmville Town Council has adopted rules for the new Erica Geary Memorial Dog Park located at the intersection of First and North Virginia streets in Farmville.

According to Town Manager Gerald Spates, the rules give “police a little bit more leeway” with enforcement.

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If someone chooses to not follow the rules, police could explain that they’re policies the town council has adopted, Spates said.

“I look at the rules to say, if it’s something that we need to change later on, at least we have a start,” said Ward D Council Member Donald Hunter.

At Large Council Member Thomas Pairet said that the biggest rule in place is that the owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs while using the park.

The park will be divided in two sections, including an area for small dogs and an area for large dogs, according to Pairet.

No aggressive dogs will be allowed at the park and all owners must clean up after their dogs and properly dispose of any waste, said Pairet.

The rules for the park stipulate that all dogs must be four months or older to be in the park, no children under the age of seven will be allowed in the off-leash area and all handlers must be at least 16 years old, according to Pairet.

There is a maximum of three dogs per handler.

“I hope that people will use [the park] and enjoy it,” he said.

Pairet said that Farmville is one of the the few smaller communities that offers a dog park.

The park is based on the model of Lynchburg’s dog park, and Spates said that the rules are very similar to that park.

No official opening date for the park has been set. “We’re headed that way hard,” Pairet said.

He said the town was attempting to coordinate a grand opening in light of final details that need to be worked out, such as coordinating a time with Dr. Mark French of the Ridge Animal Hospital.

The park is named in memory of Geary, a former veterinarian at Ridge Animal Hospital, who died in a vehicle accident several months ago.

The park recently saw installation of fencing.

A total project cost for the park has not been determined.