Winter Dog Park Preventing Dog Rescues
COLUMBIA - City fire officials said Thursday the availability of a special winter dog park at Twin Lakes has cut down on animal rescues in the winter season. Officials started the park last year knowing snowy weather doesn't stop dog owners from bringing their dogs out for exercise. The area was fenced off for dogs during winter of 2009 and has been a hit among dog owners since then.
The Columbia Parks and Recreation department teamed up with the Columbia Fire Department to create a new dog park. The departments decided to do this after the fire department was dispatched nine times in 2009 to rescue dogs that had fallen through the ice. Steve Sapp with the Columbia Fire Department said this is "a dramatic improvement over the past couple years."
The dog park was created as a safe place for people to bring their dogs. The area was fenced off to keep dogs from wandering onto the ice. "Part of the park was fenced off so dogs can run free, and so far it has been very successful," said Sapp.
Dog owners are pleased with this as well. "I wholeheartedly applaud their decision not to have the full lake open through the winter because the first thing my dog did when we were here Friday night was go straight into the water and give himself a nice mud bath", says Marta Ferguson, dog owner and Columbia resident.