Dog park fills with warmer days

Three years after the city of Jamestown dedicated its first dog park, some people who use it say it has made a world of difference for themselves and their pets.

Lynn Theron and her chow chow and Siberian husky mix, Blaze, enjoy an afternoon at Pepper’s Dog Park. Tom LaVenture The Sun

Three years after the city of Jamestown dedicated its first dog park, some people who use it say it has made a world of difference for themselves and their pets.

Pepper's Dog Park is at 1002 2nd Ave. SE in Jamestown. It is roughly two blocks behind the Goodwill Industries building after turning off U.S. Highway 52 onto Riverside Drive.

"I love the dog park," said Josh Meade, who tries to bring Boon to the park each afternoon. It turns out the park has a therapeutic effect for his 4-year-old hound dog.

"Boon was a rescued dog," Meade said. "He was terrified of everything and he wouldn't even sit still. He was spooked and would just pace the apartment until he fell asleep. All I did was bring him here and he socialized with the other dogs and he was great."

Meade said he got Boon as a 3-year-old adult from the James River Humane Society and no one really expected his nervous habits to change. He was an abandoned dog who may have been abused or neglected.


"By that age if they have all these problems they may have reached a point where they are just too spooked to change," Meade said. "But he loves running around this park with the other dogs."

Lynn Theron said she enjoys bringing her daughter's dog, Blaze, to the park as a way to let him run. It helps burn some energy so that he is calmer for leash walks.

"I think it's great because we don't have a yard at home," Theron said. "I know that he really wants to run sometimes and can't really do that when I take him for walks."

Blaze is a chowsky, or a chow chow and Siberian husky mix. Theron picked him up as a rescue dog around eight years ago from the Humane Society.

The dog is friendly but does not socialize much with the other dogs, but Theron said the park is a positive place for Blaze, and he enjoys running with other dogs and looks forward to coming to the park.

The alternative is to let Blaze swim in the Jamestown Reservoir but he comes out smelly and it takes a long time to shampoo and dry all of the hair, Theron said.

"He knows we might make a few stops, but if he's in the car he knows we will be coming to the park," Theron said.

Pepper's Dog Park is a 2-acre fenced area on a 17-acre property that was donated by Reuben and Clarice Liechty. It has two fenced areas for large and small dogs and is open from dawn to dusk.


Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department Director Doug Hogan said the city is maintaining the park but is not monitoring use from day to day. The city is keeping tabs on phone and email for complaints and feedback on how to improve the facility.

"We don't think there are major issues," Hogan said. "We don't monitor but we do maintenance and that type of stuff. We are monitoring to see if people are picking up after their dogs, but it appears that they are basically policing themselves."

The city has a domesticated animal ordinance that applies for park properties, Hogan added. Owners are required to collect animal solid waste and deposit it in the refuse container or remove it from the park. There are plastic glove dispensers and bins at the dog park.

Dogs must also be licensed to be present on park district's property. Regulations are posted at the entrance and violations could result in a fines of $50. to $100.

"As far as I know there have been no fines," Hogan said. "As for dogs and dogs, and dogs and people there have not been any problems, and the park has been open for a couple of years."

There are no current plans for the remaining 15 acres, Hogan said. However, they eventually want to develop the remaining land.

It may not become a traditional park with play equipment, but it could be something with a sidewalk or windy hard surface path where people could walk their dogs throughout the 17 acres, Hogan said.

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