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Perry Hall Dog Owners Begging for Dog Park

A group planning meeting is scheduled for July 25.

A local movement is gaining support on Facebook, and county and state officials are taking notice.

The Perry Hall Dog Park Facebook group, boasting more than 100 members, is dedicated to getting a dog park built in the Perry Hall area. Interested residents have held an old-fashioned face-to-face meeting, too, and lobbied Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, who joined the Facebook group. Marks has agreed to help arrange a meeting between the group's leaders and recreation and parks officials. 

The group's second planning meeting is scheduled for July 25.

State Delegate Eric Bromwell posted on Facebook that he would provide "as much support on the state level as possible" and included a picture of his Plott hound rescue dog. Residents even entered a national contest to win a dog park—an effort that was not successful.

The movement started in April when Patch pet columnist wrote a . After commenters asked if a dog park could be located in Perry Hall, she started the Facebook page.

"It was sort of a way to gather people who wanted this," Zaluzney said. "I wrote , saying maybe we should have one in Perry Hall and that really got a response. We went from 8 [members on Facebook] to 40 in a few days."

Not only does a dog park benefit dogs, she pointed out, but having one in the community increases home sale prices and becomes a selling point.

"It increases the quality of living," she said.

One of the group's leaders is Jason Danaher, who lives in Dundalk and brings his German shorthaired pointer for walks at .

He said the loosely organized group would be willing to help fundraise for the dog park, but they want it to be a county-owned and operated park. Zaluzney says she would like to see the county provide the basic park, and dog owners could fundraise for increased amenities.

Baltimore County operates a dog park in Reisterstown.

“We’re really pushing for Honeygo,” Danaher said. “To me that’s a convenient spot with access to I-95 and I-695.” He also believes it has enough parking.

But Barry F. Williams, the county director of recreation and parks, is not convinced Honeygo has adequate parking.

“We’ve been looking at that—I saw how crowded it can be, particularly with parking,” Williams said.

He said the county is also looking at Joppa Trail Park, Forge View and Gough parks. “I had not thought about Mount Vista,” he said when asked if it would be a possibility, and then mused that it, too, might be.

Williams used to own Dobermans, but no longer owns dogs due to scheduling constraints. He said he is sympathetic to dog owners, but the economy is challenging for local governments.

“There’s not an awful lot of money,” he said. “The dog park is not that expensive. It’s the parking. We have to be real thoughtful about the planning.”

"I think the big hurdle is funding toward it,” Danaher said. “I think it’s something that is going to get accomplished.”

"I'd like to see when a county is planning a park, they include a dog park," Zaluzney said, adding that dog owners are taxpayers, too.

“We’d be willing to work with folks,” Williams said. “Their interests and concerns are not going unheeded.”

Editor Emily Kimball contributed to this report.

Laura Sturla Franke July 29, 2011 at 01:20 PM
BTW....many of the people that bring their dogs to the fields at Honeygo STAY in the fields and do not even use the track. The people who use the field are mostly responsible people who pick up after their pets. I have seen the track and been disgusted by dog poop left by irresponsible owners. The "field folks" are aware of the importance of picking up after their dogs...the track walkers with pets...apparently not so much. I can say with a great deal of confidence that there are generally two different "dog" groups at the park. In addition, as stated in an earlier response to a comment made about the feces in the park..."responsible" use of this area is a widespread necessity...I have spent HOURS picking up trash, and especially dangerous GLASS along the marked trails in the woods so no one (adult, child, or dog) slices open a foot or hand. This is about "mutual respect:" and tolerance, and working as a team together to make a park that can be used by MANY different groups of people in a responsible manner. Just my not-so-humble opinion. --Laura F. (and Maple!)
Laura Sturla Franke July 29, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Wow!!! HYPOCRISY is alive and well IN PERRY HALL. One athletic field for children to play sports at Honeygo Park cost tax payers approximately $1.5 MILLION!!! And some people are arguing against the cost of putting a fence around a field??? Are you kidding me?? I have lived in the area my entire life and I have watched day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, as another ball field is dug, another building is erected, another playground is installed, all for families with children. I have paid my taxes just like everyone else....and yet I have remained quietly waiting in frustration and sadness for a simple fence surrounding a field for safety purposes for dog owners and their pets. The lopsided use of tax money is disheartening to say the least. Seriously folks, if you are gonna pick a fight...don't be hypocrites...at least "PLAY FAIR." --Laura F. (and Maple!)
S von August 25, 2011 at 07:05 PM
I have been a dog owner for over 15 years. My current dogs are a German Shepherd and A Border Collie. I am not against having a dog park but my concern is how do you know if another persons dog is aggressive toward your dog or you? I watch the Dog Whisperer all the time and it takes strong leadership to keep a balance with a pack of dogs all together in one place. Most people do not have that kind of control over thier dogs. How are you going to prevent an attack or dog fight? How are you going to regulate whether or not the dogs entering there are up to date on all thier shots? Unless you have someone there to supervise all the time, I do not see how any of these things could be prevented. Just wanting your dog to be able to socialize with other dogs does not mean that they will all get along with each other. You will have to rely on the owner being responsible and knowledgible about dog behavior. You can have several dogs in there at a time that could be dominant and challenge each other and breed has nothing to do with it. What I would like to see more is a public Swimming pool where kids can go in the Summer for a dailey fee and go swimming. I go to Cordorus State Park in Hanover Pa and it is wonderful. Kids need something to do around here in the summer the private swim clubs charge too many fees that parents cannot afford. The pool could provide jobs for teens for the summer. Skate Park is a great idea too. I love dogs but let's put children first.
Jason Danaher August 25, 2011 at 07:19 PM
as for the gentleman who is worried about dog aggressiveness. Dogs just need to be watched by the owners and know there dog. What i noticed is when i went on a regular basis to ma & pa we never had a problem the dogs got to know each other. also you need to watch your dog, hair going up, long stares (not play staring). things you can bring to stop a problem. water bottle or air horn
Tammy Zaluzney August 25, 2011 at 07:33 PM
I would Mr. Danaher's comments and would encourage anyone concerned about introducing a dog to a dog park to read my article about this exact topic right here in the Perry Hall Patch with particular attention paid to the PDF file DOG PARK 101 in the media gallery. http://perryhall.patch.com/articles/the-dog-park-a-modern-day-playground

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