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Wake Forest Dog Park Opens; Vets Warn of Risks

Posted July 19, 2007

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— Dog parks are popping up all across the area. The latest opened Thursday in Wake Forest, but some animal experts say the parks might put pets in danger.

The park provides a place for dog owners to let their pets run free, legally, without a leash.

“Cooper just absolutely loves it,” said owner Beth Anne Gavin. “He already knows when we’re coming. He’s got the word ‘park’ down.”

But some animal experts worry dog parks might be putting pets at risk.

“They don’t have to have their animals up to date on vaccines. The animal doesn’t have to be well-behaved, because there is no one there to regulate it,” said Dr. Sandra Grant, a veterinarian.

She warned that animals that are not vaccinated could carry serious diseases like rabies and the Parvo virus.

Just this week, Wake County sent out an advisory due to a busier than normal Parvo virus season. There is no cure for the highly contagious disease.

While the rules at Wake Forest’s dog park say that all pets must be vaccinated, the owners aren’t required to offer any proof. Only the dog parks in Durham and Cary require owners to register and pay a fee.

Wake Forest’s dog park has been unofficially open for a few weeks, but so far, there have been no reports of problems.

“Dog owners are very good at policing themselves and obeying rules,” said Susan Simpson, Wake Forest’s Parks and Rec director. “So we felt like if there was a problem then they would call us, and we would take whatever steps we needed to. But right now, we think this is the way to go.”

47 Comments

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  • SpunkyGrits The One and Only Jul 21, 2007

    ClareS...just FYI: there are a lot of responsible pet owners in NC and I'm just as sure that irresponsible pet owners everywhere. Take a look at the show on Animal Planet where the animal cops go out in various towns. All of my animals are up to date on shots and are not allowed to roam at will.

    sallysmom...I disagree. I have seen too many stories on the news re: pit bulls and other notably "viscious" breeds who were noted by the family to be "very loving" and then suddenly mauled or killed one of the family members for no reason. I know that the animal's treatment by the owner accounts for some of the animals attitude, but the rest is in the genes.

  • pom mom Jul 21, 2007

    i am for justice...i read your profile and #1 you are not "cool" #2 i guess it is your young age that makes you so intolerant. the longer you are here on earth the more you realize you are only a speck on its face. #3 my dog is only 12lbs but will lay down his life for me...yes i know that for a fact. when i was young and dumb my opinions were much like yours. I'm glad i finally grew up. now i know how stupid i sounded.

    from a reformed dog "disliker"

  • iamforjustice Jul 20, 2007

    yogi bear--people dont need dogs when they blind. 99 percent of the time seeing eye dogs end up getting the blind person killed and sometimes attacks them. They most reportedly become blood thirsty. So I will not want a mut looking after me.

  • iamforjustice Jul 20, 2007

    People take care of animals better than their own family and friends. I think that is sad. The Bible says you cannot get into heaven if you love animals. Enough said.

  • Gandalf Jul 20, 2007

    "....I have only known a few people in my lifetime that did not like animals and all but one where mean, nasty hateful people."

    Whats Michael Vick got to do with this?

  • Joy4u2 Jul 20, 2007

    wow park hasn't been open for only 2 weeks and look at the complanits just can't do anything good without ppl griping about it,if you don't like dogs, stay away, if you do then great have fun all, I'm a animal lover 2 dogs 1 black lab 1 part german sherpard all up to date on there meds and shots. 2 cats 1 adopted from pet smart 5 years ago 1 from ohio a bobtail both indoor we have a screen in pourch so they get to set out and see birds and things too. and our dogs have a half acer of land and a grarage and heat for the winter, eletric fence to keep other animals out, they don't touch itbecause they know its there.

  • Belle1925 Jul 20, 2007

    Iamforjustice....I have only known a few people in my lifetime that did not like animals and all but one where mean, nasty hateful people. Perhaps, you should see a therapist for your issues.

  • RIP- Yogi Bear Jul 20, 2007

    iamforjustice- If you ever become blind or have some other form of disibility that requires assistance from a canine i sure hope you change your attitude. Also- people spread more disease and are more disgusting in my opinion(yes i said opinion) that dogs. there's my 2 cents worth

  • Akitalover Jul 20, 2007

    Our dog is an Akita, and we have used the WF dog park and enjoy going there. Our Akita is very well behaved around dogs and children. He goes to doggie day care and has been socialized with other animals and children. It is ashamed that I have to give a speech to people when they see him. He looks fierce, but is a big loverboy. Dogs in the media are given a bad rap due to thier breed. We have to pay extra for our homeowners insurance becuase our baby is listed as an agressive breed.

  • DarnYouu Jul 20, 2007

    Voice of Reason 23: thank you for your concern

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