Pet owners who would like a “bone-shaped” license tag for their dogs might have the opportunity to purchase one from the city and help fund a dog park in Ottawa at the same time, Wynndee Lee, the city’s director of planning and codes administration, told commissioners Monday at their study session.
City staff has been working with a group of community members who would like to establish a dog park in Ottawa, Lee said.
The group, which recently had its first meeting, has not identified a site for the dog park as of yet, but the park’s boosters are working in partnership with Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, 3173 K-68, Ottawa, Lee said.
Prairie Paws is considering putting in its own dog park, Lee said.
A dog park — a large, fenced enclosure where dogs can run loose without leashes — was among the top vote-getters of what Ottawans would like to see in new park and recreational offerings, according to a 2008 study commissioned by the city. Pros Consulting, which surveyed 400 residents as part of that study, found that Freedom Park, at Third and Poplar streets in Ottawa, might be a good location for a dog park.
While the current dog park boosters have not identified a proposed location, Lee said, they have suggested a fundraiser in which pet owners could get a “bone-shaped” license tag if they make a donation to the dog park when they license their pets for 2013. The city’s dog licenses are renewed at the beginning of each calendar year. The city licenses about 750 dogs annually, city staff estimated Monday. Lee suggested a possible donation of an extra $5 to get the bone-shaped license, rather than the conventional small, round-shaped tag.
The city’s current license fee for neutered/spayed dogs is $5 and $15 for canines that have not been neutered or spayed.
“Suppose 500 people make donations,” she said. “That’s $2,500 annually [based on a $5 donation per tag]. How much does a dog park cost?”
Lee said Prairie Paws representatives had estimated the fencing and other costs associated with starting a dog park could total $20,000 to $25,000 — depending on the size of the park.
“Obviously, this fundraiser wouldn’t pay for the dog park, but it would provide an annual revenue stream [for maintenance and other costs],” Lee said.
Commissioners agreed to discuss the proposed dog park fundraiser at their 7 p.m. Nov. 7 meeting at City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa.
Lee said the group of “dog park boosters” could serve the same function as the city’s playground task force, which meets on a regular basis. The dog park group’s co-chairs are Dawn Rush and Kim Geist.