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A Tale of Two Dog Parks

Patch checked out what works at dog parks in Decatur and Clarkston, which some people have used since Red Dog Park in the city of Stone Mountain closed.

Some pet owners who used to bring their dogs to the city of Stone Mountain's have specifically mentioned two others that seem to work: in Decatur and the Clarkston Dog Park in the city of Clarkston.

The Stone Mountain city council voted to close the controversial Red Dog Park in December. Nearby residents complained of problems such as noise, parking and people arriving during off-hours. There is a , but the council recently voted to keep the space closed while .

Patch checked out the Clarkston and Adair dog parks (here is a list of other metro Atlanta dog parks) and talked to visitors and city officials about what makes the spaces work:

Adair Dog Park

Address: 716 W. Trinity Place

Size: About one acre.

Parking: On the street.

What's around it: Neighbors include residences, including as well as and Swanton House.

This dog park is part of Adair Park and is one of three dog parks in the city of Decatur (the others are at , and Oakhurst).

According to the city of Decatur's web site, its dog parks are “resident only/permit required” facilities as of May 2006, but some pet owners from outside the city limits have visited with no problems. The city says permits are available to City of Decatur residents at the Decatur Recreation Center and Glenlake Tennis Center.

Several regular, dedicated visitors help maintain the park by doing various tasks such as spreading mulch; Patch spotted one pet owner, who had dogs of her own, cleaning up after someone else's dog.

Recent park visitors told Patch there is a lot of community policing there, and most pet owners are mindful of any tension among the dogs. Some people will put their dogs in "time out" if they misbehave. They knew of one complaint about the park from a nearby resident who was ill.

"I try to be as nice as I can and as helpful as I can, and not cause any trouble," said Rene Iverson, who brings her dog Blondie to the park. 

Cheryl Burnette, assistant director of active living in the city of Decatur, said there have been "one or two complaints" about the dog park.

She said it is important to "keep the lines of communication open."

Adair Dog Park is just under ten miles from Red Dog Park.

Clarkston Dog Park

Address: Clarkston Dog Park is situated within Milam Park, 3867 Norman Rd., Clarkston.

Size: about a half-acre according a 2008 article in Atlanta Journal-Constitution about its grand opening.

Parking: At the park.

What's around it: Several residences on one side; the playground is close to one side of the enclosed dog park.

Clarkston Dog Park is open sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. Milam Park has amenities such as a pool, ball playing fields, and a playground.

Capt. T. Brown of the City of Clarkston Police Department told Patch he didn't know of any 911 calls about problems such as noise at the park, or other complaints.

"It poses no problems for us," Brown said.

The only dog-related issues he said he's heard are when pet owners have their dogs off-leash outside of the dog park, he said.

Brown said with summer approaching, he anticipates more people and their pets flocking to the dog park. It was quiet the morning Patch visited. There is a Clarkston Dog Park Facebook community that exchanges information about lost and found dogs, rescue groups and other pet-related information.

Brown said during the summer months, there is usually a police officer that works in the Milam Park area.

Clarkston Dog Park is about five miles away from Red Dog Park.

Jack Sartain March 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Two points: Why is the City Council spending so much time on this issue when there are so many other needs the city has; and, the park is on what appears to be an appropriate spot - seems one small element is spoiling the fun and convenience of the pets and other citizens of the city who used the park. Seems so silly! I wonder what the REAL beef is.
laurie barbara March 16, 2012 at 02:08 PM
dog park etiquette! http://www.webvet.com/main/2008/05/06/dog-park-etiquette-play-nice
Aleksandra Hoagland March 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
@Jack... On March 3rd myself and a couple of other dog park patrons met with a city council person. We went over some rules and regulations. We also talked about opening the dog park up with temporary hours (4 pm to 7 pm) and to re-evaluate in a couple of months to possibly expanding the hours out. Would you believe that still was NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The city has already spent at least $20,000 for the dog park at its present location. Now they want to spend more monies to open up a dog park at another location. In addition, they will have to spend more monies to restore the present land location back to it original state. This does not make economic sense...I am like you..What is really going on?????
Mazy April 19, 2013 at 08:01 PM
When will this re open, what do we have to do , my pets and I enjoyed the park daily, we met others that did as well we all had a great time, plus a so called historic, tourist town should have a place for pets. what is the problem with this small town, they seem to hold theirselves back from soo much...

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