Purchase photos

Hays Dog Park will open Saturday

1/26/2014

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

If you build it, they will come.

In this case, "they" will be dogs of all sizes when the Hays Dog Park opens Saturday at sunrise.

Friends of the Hays Dog Park raised enough money for the park to open, and although city staff still will have some work to do this summer, the park can be used in the meantime, said city of Hays Parks Director Jeff Boyle.

City workers will be putting on the final touches this week, which include installing a sign displaying park rules, adding picnic tables, and improving the road and parking lot.

Smaller dogs will use the 1.5-acre area, and larger dogs will be in a larger, 5-acre area.

The dog park is located near Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex. Boyle said a grand opening will be planned at a later date.

Until then, dogs are free to roam.

Dog owners who own both large and small pets are asked to be responsible in how they use the park, Boyle said.

"If you are a pet owner, and you have a large dog and small dog, you know what these dogs can and cannot be subjected to," Boyle said. "We're going to leave that door open; a lot of people have a big dog and small dog.

"Instead of making (owners) separate them, (and) the dog owner running between two pens, if that dog owner can maintain control of both of the dogs in one area, then we're going to go ahead and allow that."

Boyle said the dog park is a good addition to the city.

"I think it's something that any good city would have," he said. "I think the ultimate outcome is, you get happier dogs.

"When you let them get out and run off some of their energy, it might help alleviate some of the 'I'm bored; I'm in the back yard; I'm going to start barking.' "

Boyle has two dogs of his own -- a large border collie and a small Jack Russell terrier/beagle mix.

"I will tell you I will not bring my small dog into the bigger dog site, because I know my dog," Boyle said with a laugh.

"So, that's not going to happen."

Boyle was unsure when he would be able to have his dogs out at the park.

"I've got to find some time," he said. "I don't know when I'm going to have time to get my dogs out there."