Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Watertown resident pushes for dog park

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Watertown resident pushes for dog park
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After five years of trying to convince city officials to allow the city of Watertown to have a dog park, S.G. Gates is going back in front of the council to try again. YNN's Carmella Mataloni has more on the efforts to bring a dog park to Watertown.

WATERTOWN, N.Y.--For the past five years, S.G. Gates has been trying to convince city officials to open a dog park in Watertown. Each year he comes forward with project ideas, but they always seem to be rejected. Numerous signed petitions and even a two hundred thousand dollar anonymous donation have failed to win the council's approval. Gates is attempting the project one last time at this upcoming council meeting. He's asking the community for help.

"We need a lot of people in the room this Monday night to show them, hey, there are a lot of people who want this. Otherwise it's not going to happen,” said Gates.

Through his research, Gates has even found an ideal location for the dog park here at Thompson Park. He says that it’s a great area where families go to have a nice day, and since a dog is part of the family. They should be allowed to come too. He believes that the new dog law has taken away many options dog owners used to have, and that dogs need to be properly socialized.

"If they haven't had those times when they are around a few people, when it happens, you know, they get nervous. You don't want that. You don't want a future of dogs that are going to attack. That's what people do, they socialize their dogs and we don't have those opportunities now,” said Gates.

In order to spread the word, Gates put these bright pink flyers up all over town and in local businesses. The Watertown PETCO is among those businesses which displayed a pile of flyers in front of each register for all customers to see.

Residents in the area who have seen these flyers say adding a dog park would be a good addition to the community.

Joshua Wheaton of Watertown said, "maybe just an area for people to communicate in a safer place instead of having them walk around downtown ... Having a designated area for the dogs and people to socialize."

With a new puppy at home, Raphael Brown of Fort Drum says that having a dedicated park gives dogs the advantage to run around and play in a spacious area.

"I think it's fantastic. Anyplace where you could get your dog to run around and get all that energy out is awesome,” said Brown.

But the proposal still has to make it through the city council. It will get one more shot Monday night.

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