Park for man’s best friends

dogpark

Dog park supporters work on project.

The dog days of summer are almost behind us but the dream of having an off-leash dog park in Bishop is getting closer to becoming a reality. The City of Bishop Dog Park Committee was formed after a series of public meetings were held to discuss the new master plan for the Bishop City Park. For a number of years now residents of Inyo County have discussed the feasibility of a fenced off- leash site as part of the city park.  When the city gave the approval to use one and one half acres of park land, in the north east corner of the park, a group of energetic dog park supporters joined the existing committee and planning and fund raising began in earnest.

To date the committee, through fund raising activities and private donors, are close to achieving phase one of the project. The area will be completely fenced with dog safe chain link, providing both a large and small dog area.  The committee has also discussed ongoing improvements that may include sod, more shade trees, and permanent canine agility equipment. Phase one would begin with a large dog area completely fenced with an appropriate access gate. Water, signs, and waste disposal will also need to be included in this first phase before the dogs are able to run and play off leash.

But why a city dog park when we live in an area with so much open space to walk and run our canine companions? Here are several good reasons why a city dog park makes sense:

Meeting the Needs of Seniors and the Disabled. There are many people in the community who have dogs as companions but are unable to give them adequate exercise. Off leash dog parks can provide socialization and a place for their dogs to run, play, and work off some energy. Many owners experience a myriad of behavior problems with their dogs that come with a canine that is under exercised and has not been socialized properly to people or other dogs. Community dog parks may help solve some of these issues.

Socializing Young Dogs. One of the most common behavior problems seen in dogs today is dog aggression due to under-socialization at a young age. Dogs learn dog language by interacting and playing with other dogs. However, in our modern society many dogs live very solitary lives. Consequently when they do have a chance to meet other dogs, especially if they are on a leash, they may act fearful or aggressive. A dog park provides a place for dog owners to let their dogs romp off- leash and gives young dogs a place to learn much needed dog-dog communication.

Meeting the Needs Visitors. Dog lover or not, the reality is more and more people are traveling with their pets. Bishop is a natural stop over for many people traveling with their dogs and many local hotels are dog friendly. People from out of town or out of state are not familiar with the area and may not be aware of safe places to walk their dogs. But dog savvy travelers know how to find every dog park on the route they will be traveling. It has been difficult for tourists, especially in summer, to find a place for a quick romp with their dog that offers safety, water and shade in the downtown core.  Most are unaware that dogs are not allowed inside the park. An area in the park just for them would have a positive impact on many of the visitors who pass through each year.

The City of Bishop is committed to working with the public and appointed officials to ensure parks are a benefit to everyone. The dog park will not only enhance the value of Bishop as a tourist stop but it will provide recreational and educational services for the needs of its citizens, both human and canine. If you would like to help sponsor , donate or volunteer to make the Bishop City Dog Park a reality please visit our booth at the Friday’s Farmers Market or contact Nancy Hardy at 760-920-0006.

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Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
10 years ago

hisierragal…..I have a dog,and I’m a big dog lover,but I agree with k….irresponsible dog owners with unleashed dogs can be a problem…for people,other dogs,AND the unleashed dog themselves.Lots of people see it as a threat if some big,or even mid-size dog comes running at them or their child… or their… Read more »

k
k
10 years ago

myopic dog owner: why would you take your dog to a place full of people that dislike your unleashed dog and you for allowing your dog to run full speed at people that don’t want to meet it….go to that big place with all the trees and no people… no… Read more »

hisierragal
hisierragal
10 years ago
Reply to  k

K, do you own a dog? if not, do you dislike dogs?

k
k
10 years ago
Reply to  hisierragal

I love dogs!!!! Almost everyone loves dogs – they are great! But that fact is what makes this topic so very difficult for people to address. People that walk without dogs just do not want unknown dogs running up to them esp. without the owner in sight or even if… Read more »

Dog Dude
Dog Dude
11 years ago

The dog park is a great idea for those who have high-energy dogs that are not trained to (or are untrainable coughcoughBeaglescoughcough) stick-around when off leash. Having a dedicated area that is fenced in will be great for such dogs.

Charles James
Charles James
11 years ago

John, You might be surprised at just how limited the liability exposure to the City is for a dog park. The responsibility and liability is on the owner of the dog, including in public places such as a dog park. The State of California has some very strict laws and… Read more »

John Barton
John Barton
11 years ago

I am very intersted in seeing how the dog park works out. The liability to the city will be huge when dogs get in a brawl and owners trying to separate them get injured or a child gets mauled by that adorable and “friendly” pit bull. I think the park… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
11 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

John Barton….There won’t be liability to the city if a dog attacks another dog(vet bills),or if a person gets attacked or injured breaking up a dog fight.The sure to come soon lawsuits will be directed at the owner of the bad dog,providing there are witnesses willing to testify.If not,the owner… Read more »

Amazed in Bishop
Amazed in Bishop
11 years ago

The Bishop dog park is a fabulous idea! Yes, one could make the argument that with so much open land, why should we need a dog park? I can see that point, but recently a friend’s dog encountered a rattle snake and was bit. Even though it had received the… Read more »

Fred Richter
Fred Richter
11 years ago

I should mention that I have owned 4 dogs in my life, three boxers and a female Cocker spaniel. The little cocker was frequently attacked by large dogs, enough so that I carried an old adjustable length cross country ski pole to defend her. Much to my relief, I never… Read more »

esfotoguy
esfotoguy
11 years ago

Mammoth won’t put in a dog park until they can figure a way to get ‘revenues’ from it.

Doglover
Doglover
11 years ago

Those of us who are responsible are trying to set a good example by picking up our own dogs poop. It is so simple just get some bags and take responsibility for your dog. Train, train, train and you will have a good dog that respects others by not jumping… Read more »

Charles James
Charles James
11 years ago

Next to successful house-training, this is a great idea. An argument often made locally against dog parks is that the Eastern Sierra is just one big dog park…and some people seem to think it is! However, the sad truth is that there are many pet owners who do not respect… Read more »

Bob Loblaw
Bob Loblaw
11 years ago
Reply to  Charles James

I agree with most of your points Charles, and much of them are well said. However, the same people who don’t pick up after their dog when it is happily leaving landmines on your front lawn are also not going to bother at a dog park. I still fail to… Read more »

esfotoguy
esfotoguy
11 years ago
Reply to  Charles James

the place in the forest that i take my dog.to run around you will probably never see or visit…its just to hard to find…..and guess what…..he poops there and his poop is the only poop there because nobody goes there….personally Im much more offended by the ILLEGAL use of the… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
11 years ago

Having a dog park is a good thing….but it can bring along problems too.If someone has an aggressive pet,towards people,or other dogs,a good idea to keep them on a leash untill you see how it acts,and re-acts to free running pets wanting to visit and sniff….Nothing worse than trying to… Read more »

LR
LR
11 years ago

Love this, wish Mammoth had the same.

k
k
11 years ago
Reply to  LR

Mammoth actually does….it’s call Horseshoe Lake. I love dogs but am really tired of the dogs running “free” up there and the owners claiming again and again that their dog is “nice”, “friendly”, “won’t hurt you”, etc. Well I have to tell all those Horseshoe Dog Park folks….when you are… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
11 years ago
Reply to  k

There is supposed to be a “dog park” — translation: place where dogs go to the bathroom — out by the tank farm South of town on Sherwin Creek Rd. It’s part of the SHARP plan — see http://www.mltpa.org/projects/archived_projects/sherwins/SHARPTTC/ But SHARP is not a give away to the big developers… Read more »

Grrrr!
Grrrr!
11 years ago
Reply to  k

Which is why I quit going there – It seems like I am the only one who picks up my dogs poop! I have seen so many locals at Mammoth Creek that NEVER pick up after their pets….Just like Shady Rest, there will be a huge backlash and dog owners… Read more »

esfotoguy
esfotoguy
11 years ago
Reply to  k

Horsehoe Lake is forest service…..just as a back country is forest service, there are no leash laws. If your afraid to take the kids there then go to Lake Mary,TJ,Barret,June,Convict,Grant,Crowley Laural, Maimie, Upper and Lower twin…..understand what Im getting at?.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
11 years ago
Reply to  esfotoguy

Maybe no leash laws on Forest Service land(which I don’t know to be true or not),but if you have a dog off leash,and it attacks or harms another dog…or a child,if the owner of the said dog or child doesn’t handle the problem his own way when he sees it… Read more »

Fred Richter
Fred Richter
11 years ago
Reply to  esfotoguy

There are leash laws on National Forest land. Every campground, picnic area, interpretive site, geological site, visitor centers, public contact station, trailhead, parking lot or area, vista and any other site developed for recreation are areas where a leash is required. Developed recreation site does not include most trails and… Read more »

esfotoguy
esfotoguy
11 years ago
Reply to  Fred Richter

I was talking bout the actual forest.you know,,,,,,that big swath of trees that surrounds Mammoth and that whole area between Mammoth and June.and the area west of the mountain….If you had a kid why would you go into an area full of dogs that you didnt know the temperments of…..would… Read more »

Wildman
Wildman
11 years ago
Reply to  esfotoguy

There are requirements that dogs be on leashes in National Forests and Parks. All of the places you listed have leashed dog requirements. Bottom line is always dog owners who just don’t care make it miserable for others.

Incognito
Incognito
11 years ago
Reply to  Wildman

Check your facts, I called the Forest Service a few years ago, specifically to complain about unleashed dogs in Rock Creek and Coldwater trailhead, and was told that dogs “have to be under the owner’s control”, which does not mean leashed. I am pretty disgusted with about 60% of dog… Read more »

k
k
11 years ago
Reply to  esfotoguy

perhaps you should consider taking your own hint…seems like you know of many other places to take your leash-less dog….please go there….I am not afraid to walk at Horseshoe….just profoundly disappointed that dog owners (some, not all), continue to act like children when it comes to their selfishness, self-centeredness and… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
11 years ago
Reply to  LR

The whole town is a dog park — watch your step!!!

rodney
rodney
11 years ago

HOORAY!!! its about time!!

CL
CL
11 years ago

Oh I’m so jealous I wish we could get something going like this in Mammoth. Congrats Bishop, I bet it’s going to be a great thing for residents down there. Hopefully everyone cares for it and respects it!