It is a safe bet that if you go to a popular city park, you will see dogs there. What some residents are unaware of is that a dog off it's leash is illegal in city parks. Failure to observe the restraint law could cost you up to $500 in fines. Currently, Change.org has a local petition circling to build an off-leash dog park. It has more than 800 signatures.
Lubbock Parks and Recreation director Bridget Faulkenberry said the lack of dog park(s) has been a grievance for years. She said they have, however, spoken to city council on the matter.
"No, there are no dog parks in Lubbock," Faulkenberry reaffirmed. "I think there is a need for a dog park in Lubbock. We have actually requested funding for a dog park this budget session.
A dog park is going to need fencing, of course, and gates and we have requested some seating and shaded areas along with water stations for dogs and humans." She told FOX34 the department requested $204,000. Faulkenberry said if funding goes through, Clapp Park near 41st Street and Avenue U is a viable option.
"We do need a place where we can socialize our dogs as well as socialize with other people," a local down owner explained.
"I want her to be socialized and I think it's important to have a healthy dog be socialized and be around other dogs," another dog owner added.
Locals we spoke with said a park like the Tech Terrace park near 26th Street and Flint Avenue are popular because of the open space. They agree that a fenced-in area would be safer for everyone.
"You need a feasible location that no one's driving 15-20 minutes to go to it," founder of Pets First Lubbock Adam Pinon said. "If it's not a controlled environment, like a fenced-in area, you're going to run into problems like animals running into the street. There are a bunch of kids out here so that is a concern."
Dog owners said it is important they let their pups fun freely and legally. It is against the law to have your dogs off-leash in a city park.
"It's the leisure of letting your dog run free but in a secluded area that they can't get out and cause problems to the neighborhood," Pinon said. "It would help curb some obedience problems you may have with your pet. Someone that doesn't have a very polite dog, you're going to run into that out here. You would run into that at the dog park but it's our responsibility, as pet owners, to help monitor that ourselves if we do want a dog park. A person like yourself that owns animals, you have to kind of go in at your own risk knowing the temperament of your dog."
City council is currently working on the budget.
To see the petition, click this link