Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 17, 2013

A place to play fetch

Lack of funds stand in way of dog park


“This is the second group to try to raise the money to build it,” said Nader, who has been on the job for 30 years. “The first group petered out.”

He said that when a dog park was initially proposed, town officials weren’t in favor of it.

“The town wasn’t looking to do it until 10 or 15 years ago,” he said. “Then I got support from the town. But then the town ran into money problems and a dog park was not high on the priority list.”

But he said he thinks it’s a worthwhile venture and he is hopeful this group is successful.

“People will go to the dog park to socialize their dogs,” he said.

Plus, he won’t have to give them a ticket for letting their dogs run off-leash.

Currently, there is no place in town, except for private property, where people can let their dogs run off-leash.

Anyone caught walking their dog without a leash can be fined $25 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. If the dog is unlicensed, it’s another $25 to $50 fine.

Nader said he believes most people in town license their dogs, which costs $12 to $15. The town raised $36,032 in dog license fees in 2012.

But he said he gets complaints “all the time” about people letting their dogs walk off-leash. He said what often happens is that someone walking a local trail will get harassed by a dog or their dog will end up getting attacked by another dog that is off-leash.

Zdunczyk said she’s afraid to let her dog off-leash for fear it might run off and get hit by a car.

“We need to do something,” she said.

Chris Palermo, a dog trainer from Blue Dog Academy on Lupine Road in Andover, said there are lots of places to walk dogs, but “no fenced area to let them romp and play.”

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