Thursday, September 23, 2004
That's Just Wrong: Dog Park Problems
Starting tonight, every thursday at 10, Seven News is going to profile different problems in our neighbordhoods. This evening, we focus our attention on a dog park in Aventura. If you ask residents there, you could say they have a few pet peeves about the place. According to them, the way the park was designed...Well, it was "Just Wrong."
(WSVN) -- Michele Kolodner likes to bring her white Schnauzer, Bacci, to Aventura's new dog park every afternoon.
She, like many Aventura residents, lives in a highrise and has no yard of her own.
So when the city opened veteran's park this past Summer, Michelle and her fellow dog owners couldn't have been happier.
Aventura resident Michele Kolodner: "You know there is a large population of dog owners here in aventura."
But what started out as puppy love has turned into canine conniption. Drainage problems, lack of shade and dogs on the loose... Have some parkgoers saying that's just wrong.
Michele Kolodner: "In a matter of a second, the dogs can go and zip through the fence."
While some small dogs wind up here in the parking lot, pet owners are afraid others could end up being hit by a car on the main road.
And for dogs that do stay in the park, keeping them from getting sick is whole other issue.
Michele Kolodner: "If the dogs drink the water, which some of them do, they get sick."
That's what happened to Michelle Coulter's dog, Dutchess... And she has the vet bills to prove it.
The culprit - a poor drainage system.
When it rains, mud collects and the dogs wind up eating the mud.
Michelle Coulter: "She got sick, started vomiting and diarrea."
Seven news took these concerns to Aventura city leaders and found out improvements are being made.
According to a memo, a dozen major changes are underway including newly planted shade trees, separate drinking fountains for dogs and their owners, and new fencing surrounding the entire park.
Aventura Mayor Jeffrey Perlow: "The park is only open less than two months and we've made over twelve changes to the park already."
Mayor Jeffrey Perlow says the city's also figured out the drainage problem is a result of a contractor error.
Jeffrey Perlow: "It was designed initially not to have a drainage problem, unfortunately if a contractor doesn't follow the plans, this is what happens."
Michele and her neighbors are happy with the changes. They know just because this place is for the dogs doesn't mean it has to be "for the dogs."
Michele Kolodner: "I do appreciate what they have done, and will be even more appreciative when they make this a doggy park of the city of excellence, as aventura is known."
The drainage problem is scheduled to be complete in eight working days. Now that's fast service.
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