What is Friends of Canandaigua Canine Campus (CCC) and what role does the group play in this project?

CCC, a growing volunteer group founded by Canandaigua resident Nancy McCarthy in 2013, is comprised of over 400 dog lovers who live in or near Canandaigua. Our mission is to help establish and support a membership dog park in the City of Canandaigua where dogs may safely play and exercise. We are fund raising to build a dog park and have provided well-researched input into its design, safety and implementation.

What are the benefits of a dog park?

Dog parks benefit people, their dogs and communities. A pleasurable outing to a dog park strengthens bonds between owners and their pets but also encourages human connections establishing camaraderie between pet lovers of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. When residents and neighbors feel connected, it makes the community, as a whole, a better place to live, work and play. Dogs that experience sufficient off-leash exercise and socialization opportunities are happier, healthier canine citizens outside the dog park, too.

CCC has estimated that approximately half of Canandaigua city residences have a dog. In Ontario County, Geneva opened a membership dog park in Summer 2016 while Monroe County already has four. Dog parks are the fastest growing urban park category nationwide according to The Trust for Public Land’s 2015 City Park Facts report. The number of off-leash dog parks in 2017 grew 7% last year and is up 30% over the past five years. People love dog parks!

Why does the park need to be located in the City of Canandaigua? 

For the city to own, manage and maintain the park, it needs to be located within the city or built on city-owned property.

When will the dog park be built?

The city purchased a parcel on Buffalo Street in 2017. The ability to build the park in 2018 is dependent upon funding.

What is the funding plan?

The dog park build costs will be a collaborative effort between CCC and the city (and, potentially, grants). Our business plan outlines CCC’s fundraising initiatives. Ongoing maintenance costs would be offset by the membership fees.

What is a membership dog park?

This is a standard dog park model that assures the health and safety of the animals and provides an income stream to maintain the park. Users typically register their dogs in advance, pay a modest annual fee and are required to provide copies of their dog license and immunization records. We recommend that park users use a keycard of fob to access the park. CCC will only support a membership dog park model for our community.

Can dog owners who are not city residents use the park, too?

About 70% of the dog park supporters live in the city. Those who live in the town or nearby communities can use the park but probably at a slightly higher annual fee.

What about visitors using the dog park?

That is a possibility but visitors would still need to register their dogs and pay the associated membership fee.

Is it true that dog parks are noisy and things can get out of control?

Dog parks are generally peaceful because happy, well-exercised dogs tend not to bark excessively (they chase, sniff and wrestle but rarely communicate by barking) while frustrated, bored, territorial dogs do bark. Dogs with consistent opportunities to exercise and socialize off-leash are usually better canine citizens in and outside of a dog park.

Responsible pet owners won’t compromise the safety and well-being of their dogs. A membership park ideally helps to educate dog owners on dog park etiquette, canine body language and rules upon registration. If problems do arise occasionally, the city can address these issues by communicating directly with the registered dog park members.

Can any type of dog use a dog park?

Dog parks are great for most dogs but not all. Frail or elderly, young puppies, aggressive or excessively shy canines are not good candidates for group play. And while a completely fenced in play yard adds a safety net for “wanderers,” all dogs using a dog park should be well trained and under voice control (come to the owner when called). This makes the experience safe and enjoyable for everyone.

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