July 23, 2014

Elyria
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Pooch lovers pursue new place for pals to play

AVON LAKE — Some local pooch owners are hoping they won’t have to beg for donations when it comes to giving their pets a new state-of-the-art place to play.The members of Park 4 Paws, a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a dog park for their pets, recently opened a temporary park in Avon Lake — the county’s first — but are hoping to find a more permanent solution.

“The new park wouldn’t be open until next year,” Park 4 Paws president Pam Barrett said. “We’ve got the land from the city, and it’s all cleared. Now we just need the money to make it happen.”

TOM MAHL / CHRONICLE
Snoopy visited the Avon Lake Dog Park on Saturday morning with owners Bob and Debbie Lewis of North Ridgeville.

The temporary park, behind the city’s service garage off state Route 83, has limited parking and problematic drainage issues, according to Barrett.

“It’s a mud pit in there after it rains,” she said.

The site of the new park, near Weiss Field, will alleviate the parking and drainage problems while allowing the group to make some upgrades.

Although they only have a little more than $150 in the bank, that doesn’t mean they’re not dreaming big.

An artificial turf surface found in top-notch parks in places such as Los Angeles is just one of the first-class amenities making the group drool, and the possibility of creating two parks — one for large dogs and one for small ones — may receive serious consideration if there were the bankroll to back it up.

To help fund the endeavor, the group is seeking donations and has set up an account under Park 4 Paws at First Federal of Lakewood bank.

Alex Nichols, Avon Lake Parks and Recreation director, said the recreation commission is reviewing a li