Pet owners concerned with dangerous conditions at a Tucson dog park

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 8:58 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson is known as a dog-friendly city, but pet owners are concerned about the dangerous conditions at the dog park at Jacobs Park. One Tucson resident has been taking action against the park’s poor state for the last two years and nothing has changed.

“It’s sad, it’s real sad. And if you know how often and how many different places I’ve gone to complain about this and to have nothing done. That’s real heartbreaking,” David Densmore said.

He saw the park when it was new and he says that it was one of the nicest in town, but the last few years, he’s seen it decline.

The dog park at Jacob’s Park was once a beautiful place, but now holes like these have caused several injuries to dogs and their owners.

Densmore said his dog, “actually hurt his leg and limped around for about a week because he was running and stepped in a gopher hole and tripped.”

But Densmore said that’s only the beginning of the issues and the park is due for a makeover in more ways than one. In addition to the gopher holes creating treacherous ground to walk on, there’s also stickers all around the park that get stuck on the dogs, and unkempt grass. Even the park’s sign has nearly rusted through.

Densmore said he spoke with several city leaders about the park over the years. I took his concerns to Tucson Parks and Recreation. Parks and Rec Director Lara Hamwey has been in the position for four months and she said she only recently heard about the issue.

”I believe this is really more of a situation where there was a lack of awareness due to staff changes, and certainly it’s something we can assess and figure out what is going to be the right fit,” Hamwey said.

She tells me gopher removal can be difficult and they are looking for the most humane way to deal with the situation.

“We’re going to be working with a pest control company to figure out what’s the best method for us to move forward that is also mindful of the high number of dogs that are there,” she said.

Hamwey said she has plans to visit the park Saturday, April 24, 2021.

Hamwey also said Jacob’s Park itself is slated for improvements through Proposition 407, but there is currently no timeline for when those improvements are set to begin.

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