October 27, 2020
By: Dwayne Page
Smithville’s new Central Bark Dog Park will open next week.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting is set for Friday, November 6 at 1:30 p.m. Randy Boyd of the Boyd Foundation is expected to be there. The Boyd Foundation last year awarded a $25,000 grant to the City of Smithville for the development of the park which is located near the DeKalb Animal Coalition Shelter on Transfer Station Road behind Tenneco Automotive.
The Dog Park, now completed, is enclosed with a chain link fence where dog owners can bring their pets for a stroll. The park, which can accommodate both smaller and larger dogs, will have water stations, agility equipment, and park benches.
Megan Moore, Director of the Animal Shelter, addressed the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen during a special meeting Thursday night at city hall to request that the city designate Emmaly Bennett, DeKalb Animal Shelter employee, to be the manager of the dog park. Bennett would serve in a dual role still working as a city employee at the shelter with the added responsibility of the dog park.
In her written proposal, Moore outlined the benefits of having a dog park manager: Increase safety and compliance of animals and people; reduce the risks of dogs being left unattended; and reduce the number of calls and stress to city officials by providing a contact for dog park related matters.
Moore said a dog park manager would be responsible for: checking rabies tags or certificates, upkeep of sanitation stations; landscape management, locking and unlocking entry, enforcing dog park rules, providing a non-emergency contact for citizens to report issues or suggestions, working with law enforcement if any issues arise, overseeing any future maintenance to the fence or equipment, and checking the park multiple times during normal business hours.
No action has yet been taken on the request.