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Dog park for Vicksburg a great idea for so many reasons

The news that Leadership Vicksburg is applying for grant funds to develop a dog park in Vicksburg is a good thing for all in our community.

Leadership Vicksburg is a program sponsored by the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce to give our community’s up and coming leaders a deeper understanding of the workings of Vicksburg and Warren County, including its rich history and critical issues.

The group sets out to work on a project each year for the betterment of the community, and this year’s group seeks to develop a dog park. That’s something our community definitely needs.

The Leadership Vicksburg group is applying for a $20,000 grant from PetSafe, which is a company that manufactures electronic pet safety devices. PetSafe is giving out a total of $275,000 in grants for dog parks nationwide.

We need a dog park. More than a third of the households in our country own one or more dogs. However, many homes, particularly in the city, do not have ample room for dogs to run.

Having a protected, off-leash area for dogs to safely run about is good for our pets and good for pet owners, too. Letting dogs run in a protected area is safer for owners than walking their dogs on busy city streets or county highways.

And dog parks provide a great place for like-minded dog owners and lovers to socialize.

As one Leadership Vicksburg member pointed out, a dog park would provide a safe place for tourists who travel with their dogs to exercise them.

The group is proposing to locate the dog park on a 1-acre site near the Vicksburg Municipal Airport and the community garden. It would be surrounded by a 6-foot fence and would provide separate areas for large and small dogs. A spokesman for the group said rules would be posted and owners would be expected to follow guidelines for using the park.

Nothing is sadder than seeing a dog chained to a tree in someone’s yard.

They are our best friends. Let’s build them a park.