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New Park Proposal is for the Dogs

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RALEIGH — A proposal in Raleigh may bring new meaning to the phrase 'Who let the dogs out!" The city is considering creating the Triangle's first park designed for our four-legged friends.

Beth Rieg loves to let her dog Sophie run with other dogs, saying it is the best exercise Sophie can get.

"When she plays with other dogs and is allowed to run around loose, she gets a lot more exercise for the time spent playing than if I walk her," says Rieg.

Right now, Sophie and her friends have no legal place in the Triangle to run without a leash. That is why a push is on to create a park just for them.

"It just allows the dogs a place where they can run and socialize with each other. It allows the dog owners a place to socialize, so it really fosters a sense of community," says Bill Hornsby, founder of People for Unleashed Dog Parks (PUP).

Hornsby wants thecity of Raleighto turn a gravel parking lot into the Triangle's first dog park. The lot is used a few times a year for overflow parking for the Athens Drive High School stadium.

"What we think should be done is design the park with some gates in it where you can come in and still use it for parking when you need to," says Hornsby.

TheRaleigh City Councilhas agreed to look at the idea. Members want to make sure the city does not bite off more than it can chew with liability and costs.

"To fence an area that large is going to be expensive. I don't have the numbers yet from staff, but we're talking several thousand dollars easily," says council member Benson Kirkman.

Kirkman says the city may ask PUP to kick in for the price of the fence.

A dog park is already in the master plan for northeast Raleigh, but that could be years away. Similar parks are being considered in Morrisville and Holly Springs.

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Laurie Clowers, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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