One local group that is trying to establish a dog park in Surry County is in need of land, donations and volunteers.
Angelia Hall, who is heading up the group, said the idea for a dog park in Surry County started off with just a couple of people who wanted to see one in this area. She said now, the closest dog parks are about 45 minutes from Mount Airy.
The group has started out meeting the second Tuesday of every month at Sheetz, but now, it is looking to find a bigger meeting place. The members have a Facebook page where a meeting site will be posted in the future. They also have established an electronic petition on that site.
During the Autumn Leaves Festival and the Dobson Fall Fest, the group will be handing out fliers to drum up support for the cause.
“We need land. We can’t do a whole lot without land. We can’t hold fundraisers until we get the land. We are hoping someone will donate some land to the cause,” said Hall.
Hall, who has a Maltese dog, said she just became passionate about the idea and would like to see it come to fruition. She said having a dog park would even help tourism in that people research where they are staying to make sure it is a dog-friendly area.
Once the land for the park is secured, Hall said, the group can move forward with getting the proper permits, build a fence that will surround the area, put in benches and trash cans to complete the park. She said the group also wants to see the area used to help dog owners with training and other dog-related topics.
Hall said having a dog park is a valuable benefit to the community in what it gives to the dogs and their owners.
“It gives them (dogs) the space and freedom to run off-leash with other members of their species, all while being safely supervised. In order for dogs to be healthy and well socialized, they need off-leash time to exercise and play with other dogs. A well-exercised dog is happy, healthy, quiet dog and a better neighbor,” said Hall.
She said for many people, particularly the elderly, singles and those with disabilities, dogs really are their only companions.
“If they (dog owners) can go to a dog park, it gives them a reason to get dressed, go out, socialize, play with their dog and strengthen that bond between them and their community. Dog parks provide the elderly and disabled owners with an accessible place to exercise their companions,” said Hall.
She said dog parks promote physical fitness and improve the mental state of dog owners.
“A leash-free space in a community may also make the local animal control’s job a little easier,” said Hall.
To get involved with creating a dog park in Surry County, check out the group’s Facebook page called Surry County Dog Park, or call Angelia Hall at 755-4830.
Contact Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.