Park for man’s best friends


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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30 Responses to Park for man’s best friends

  1. Wayne Deja October 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    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 dog.And the law states,in such an event,if you precieve it as a threat, you legally can do whatever you feel nessessary to stop it.Which could be a big problem for the unleashed dog,even if all he wants to do is lick and sniff.And as far as the dog park goes,it does have to be watched and enforced by something.In Oregon,there was a news story about a couple stupid teen-agers that would take their aggressive dog to a dog park for one reason,and that was to see their dog fight other dogs and cause problems for people.

  2. k September 30, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    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 one will miss you and your unleashed dog. Responsible dog owners and people without dogs are tired of your attitude and actions…next time you are out with your unleashed dog understand that 99.9% of the people you walk by are silently swearing at you….enjoy that reality.

    • hisierragal October 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

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

      • k October 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

        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 the owner is near by. It’s unsettling since we do not know how the dog will react and we don’t want dogs jumping up on us to say “hello!” I really do not want to be “forced” to meet a dog – it doesn’t matter whether I like dogs or not. I also don’t like walking in dog poop or trying to avoid it during a hike on the trail. So it’s not about disliking dogs, its about some dog owners not having their dogs on leashes or right at their side at all times while on the trails. Everyone should be able to enjoy a nice walk around Horseshoe without dealing with free roaming dogs and up unitl now the dog owners that let their dogs run free have been holding the area hostage from those of us that want to enjoy that public area too with dogs on leashes or without dogs. I am just giving voice to what most repsonsible dog owners and non-dog owners are feeling. And no I do not currently own a dog – where I live does not allow dogs.

  3. Dog Dude September 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    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.

  4. Charles James September 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    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 regulations as to who the responsible party is for dog bites- and it is not the City or operators of the dog parks.

    Even so I suspect that local officials are looking closely at the liability issue and their obligations to safety of the general public, which is to be expected. Fortunately there are many dogs parks already established in the state and the liability issue has not proven to be one that prevents their operation. Almost hard to believe isn’t?!

  5. John Barton September 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    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 is a great idea in concept, I just hope the city has done its homework.

    • Wayne Deja September 29, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      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 of the injured dog…or the injured person will be s#^% out of luck.

  6. Amazed in Bishop September 28, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    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 rattlesnake vaccine, and was taken to the vet within 30 minutes, this large golden got very, very sick (for several days). It was very scary to say the least. I for one will be taking all four of my four legged friends to the dog park when it opens.

  7. Fred Richter September 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    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 had to strike a dog with it, but I came close a time or two. I even had a thought of striking an owner with it once, but as Issac Asimov said “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

  8. esfotoguy September 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

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

  9. Doglover September 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    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 or running at kids ect. I think there should be bigger fines for those that make the reasonable people look bad by not cleaning up after there dogs.
    Dog park are a great way to enjoy your dogs. Most people when surrounded by people who pick up after there dogs will do the same. It’s just a good habit! Way to go Bishop I’ll be there!

  10. Charles James September 26, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    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 the great outdoors because they spend little time in it. And too many irresponsible pet owners are sadly unfamiliar with the concept of picking up after their pet. Personally, I don’t go anywhere without my small K-mart pooper-scooper bags tucked in my back pocket, with extras in the car!

    It is wise to remember that not all dogs do well around others, whether people or other dogs. In the end, a dog is a dog- and the worst place to find yourself is between two or more of them fighting. Socialization at an early age is the best remedy to lessen the chances but there are never any guarantees, because in the end, a dog is still a dog no matter how much you love it or think of it as your baby! As the Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan observes, “There is no such thing as a problem breed. However, there is no shortage of ‘problem owners’….” But is always the dog that pays the price when something goes wrong, isn’t it?

    Far too many pet owners hardly ever take their dog for long walks or for that matter, even out of the back yard. So why have a dog if that’s the case? For protection? Isn’t that the argument for the Second Amendment, not for dogs?

    The City of Los Angeles has had successful dog parks for many years, as have other communities, so there is some experience to drawn upon for the one here. Congratulations to the City of Bishop for its progressive thinking. While many local residents will appreciate the dog park, it is every bit as important to our visitors that travel to this area with their pets as well.

    Now if we could only get our County to be as progressive in its thinking at its parks.

    • Bob Loblaw September 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

      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 see why this is a necessity with so much wild or at least undeveloped land in such close proximity, even directly east of the park. Seems like a waste of park space to me, but I suppose if people use it, then it really isn’t. And if the City won’t be responsible for building it, I suppose there’s no harm in trying it out.

    • esfotoguy September 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

      the place in the forest that i take my 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 trails and roads that are off limits to motorcycles……all those illegal tracks surround where my dog poops….Im more offended by some slob breathing his smoke breath in my face, Im more offended by outa towners who come up here for 1 wk a year and leave all the trash on the said trailheads, campsights,streets, and feed bears ect. ……..btw after the deed is done…I bury it with a lil dirt even though it is biodegradeable

  11. Wayne Deja September 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    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 seperate a big,mean dog ripping apart some friendly little lap dog.

  12. LR September 25, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Love this, wish Mammoth had the same.

    • k September 26, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      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 less than 5 feet tall (read children) your dog is a GIANT! and no matter how friendly, your dog scares the you know what out of kids – esp when it is running at them full speed to say “hi” with it’s wet, dirty fur flying! Not to mention scaring us parents when we see your dog running full speed at our children. Makes a nice “relaxed walk” a nightmare! We all have a right to use the trail around Horseshoe and just as it is “dog friendly” it is also “kid and family friendly” b/c of its flat nature…so please do not insist that people with kids walk else where as we are not breaking a leash law by walking there. (or maybe there is no leash law up there?). Additionally, the amount of dog poop on the trail and on the beach is unreal….we seriously have to watch where we walk – asking ourselves all the while, is it a pine cone or dog poop? – great way to take a relaxing walk, huh?. I feel sorry for the tourists who unknowingly let their kids play at the beach and go in the water…I just know that the kids will have diarrhea the next day. Enough… keep your dogs on a lease and pick up their poop – even in the Horseshoe “Dog Park”….maybe the Shady Rest officer who gives tons of tickets there will be reassigned to a Horseshoe Lake patrol! I would vote for a real Mammoth Dog Park somewhere within the town boundaries so that the dog owners have their own space to let their dogs play…and pls include a dog pond too for those cute dogs that like to get wet!

      • Ken Warner September 27, 2011 at 9:26 am #

        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

        But SHARP is not a give away to the big developers so it has low priority with our city government.

      • Grrrr! September 27, 2011 at 9:26 am #

        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 will complain….in the winter, they all go down to the geothermal plant and it,too, becomes a mess with frozen dog poop on the roads….You can teach old dogs new tricks – you just can’t teach their owners to be responsible. If you give them nothing to complain about, there won’t be any backlash.

      • esfotoguy September 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

        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 September 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

          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 coming his way,you will be responsible for medical bills,vet bills,etc.No matter where you are ,the owner of a pet is responsible for anything harmful his pet causes,unless it’s on your own property.And a father,or pet owner won’t be liable for anything he feels he has to do to prevent an attack from an unleashed dog. or even he precieves it as an attack…I know that because of a personal experience when I once had to defend my pet from a charging angry,unleashed German Shepard in Oregon..on Forest Service land..

        • Fred Richter September 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

          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 roads. A blanket statement that “forest service” does not have a leash law in very inaccurate!

          Leash laws are codified courtesy. Any dog that is around in other people should be leashed. People, especially those with small children, appreciate dogs being on leashes. The behavior of an individual dog is unknown when a person does not know the owner and causes people to be uneasy. Dogs frequently harass wildlife in areas away from people. An owner often does not know everywhere an unleashed dog has been and does not know what mess it has left. My observation is that many dog owners in the Mammoth area have an attitude problem and don’t think of others when taking out their dogs. I’ve lived in and worked in four states in towns much smaller than Mammoth. I have to say that dog owners here have the worst attitude.

          In public areas a leashed dog is a liked dog!

          • esfotoguy September 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

            I was talking bout the actual 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 you ever take your small child to a dog park. I really doubt it… missed my point……all of the above lakes i mentioned do not have a “dog problem”….Its funny, my dog loves little kids……UNTIL HE GETS POKED IN THE EYES….so please control yer kids as you approach me and my LEASHED dog.

        • Wildman September 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

          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 September 28, 2011 at 9:47 am #

            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 owners who frequent trails like these, the dogs are not controlled, I’ve been tripped, jumped on, growled at,splattered with mud, etc. I try to be a good sport cause I like animals, but its getting ridiculous.
            While I’m at it, the Bishop canal is the same way. When I’ve been threatened by dogs, the owner’s generally don’t apologize, they act like its my fault for being there.
            Not to mention the piles of poop that none of these people clean up. I can honestly say that in over 25 years I have never seen a dog owner in this area clean up after their mutt.
            I have neighbors who walk their unleashed dogs down the street and let them come in my yard and poop and chase my cats while they conveniently look the other way, just like Reverend Lovejoy.
            Wow, this really turned into a rant on my part, I guess it really must bug me.

        • k September 28, 2011 at 12:21 am #

          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 myopic views regarding their perceived “rights” regarding “no” leash laws at Horseshoe, the safety (mostly lack thereof) of others and their lack of helpfulness in cleaning up after their dog… you understand what I am getting at Mr. E…guy? And do you understand that I am not alone in my displeasure with some Horseshoe Dog Park users? Please be a grown-up and do the right thing by those who love that trail as much as you….again, those without dogs are not making your dog walking experience a nightmare…we all can share the trail IF dogs are on leashes and owners clean up their dog’s poop…

    • Ken Warner September 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

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

  13. rodney September 24, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    HOORAY!!! its about time!!

  14. CL September 24, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    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!


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