A small part of Schertz is going to the dogs — and that’s good.
The Schertz Dog Park is slated to have a soft opening in April and a grand opening in May.
That should cause a lot of tail-wagging among the canine crowd.
Located on Community Circle, the dog park is the newest city amenity along the road that runs behind the Hal Baldwin Municipal Complex.
The other amenities are the Schertz Ball Park, the Skate Park and Animal Adoption Center.
City planners took advantage of an already standing fence along the back of the Schertz Fire Rescue facility and then added new and recycled fencing from the soccer complex. The park will have two entrances with a series of gates for getting into and out of two areas specifically for small dogs.
The main area for large and medium size pooches has more space for running around and exploring.
Both the main area and the two spaces for small dogs have green benches and red fire hydrants (non-functioning) that present a welcome and fun attraction for two-legged and four-legged visitors.
There are no signs banning cats, but it is pretty much understood that bow wows trump meows in this place.
City planners looked at several locations along Community Circle, including next to the Animal Adoption Center, before deciding on the location nearer to the Schertz Ball Park.
Schertz Executive Director Brian James said that location makes a lot of sense because it offers parking in two places — near the ballpark on one side and near the skate park on the other.
“We plan to have two handicap-accessible parking places right in front of the entrance gate on the ballpark side,” he said.
James said the Schertz Dog Park also will have trash cans and water fountains for dogs and people (a regular water fountain spout for people standing and a lower spout for dogs) and gravel trails for owners to use as they move about the nearly half-acre park.
“The dog park is a nice addition to the other amenities along Community Circle and the nearby Baldwin Municipal Complex. The location also has some trees that will provide shade for visitors,” James said.
The City of Schertz was able to save money on the project by using the existing fence behind the Schertz Fire Rescue area and some recycled fence removed from the Schertz Soccer Complex on Maske Road before it went through a $4 million upgrade. City crews were able to do a good part of the work including installing the fence, benches and fake fire hydrants.
Lisa Connolly, president of Homes for Pets, is very excited about the dog park.
“The much anticipated doggie playground is coming to fruition this spring! There are reasons for a dog’s human to welcome this into our city,” she said. Those reasons and some advice for pet owners includes:
- Dogs can socially interact with other humans and dogs in a secure setting, when they may be lone dogs at home.
- Physical off leash exercise can help curb destructive behavior at home, while stimulating mental activity.
- Dog people can meet other dog people. Right off the bat, you have something in common!
- Potential adopters can learn from more experienced humans that are owned by dogs, as to what works and has not worked in training, as well as choosing a new family member from a rescue group or shelter.
- A positive environment can be created through a common interest of those at the park. Typically bicycles, skateboards, and so on are not allowed in dog parks, so will not be a distraction or potential hazard.
- Make sure your pets are up to date on their vaccinations before visiting the Schertz Dog Park or any other dog park.
- Most people know their pet. If you are aware that your dog does not necessarily do well with large or small dogs, or male dogs, or men, or people in uniform, and so on, the dog park scenario may not be the best choice for your canine.
- If you choose to take your pooch to the park and are not certain how the dog may do, keeping the pet leashed is probably best at first. Even once the animal is free of the leash, be watchful of its contact with other dogs, until you see how your pet and the other tail-waggers react to each other.
- Lastly, there is one thing man (and woman’s) best friend just cannot manage by themselves, so if you take advantage of the park, please remember rule # 1, which is pick up # 2!