Thursday, June 14, the Town Council will consider again the proposal for an off-leash recreational facility for Payson residents and their canine family members. This is a win-win idea for the town and for the dog owners. Cost for the facility and volunteer labor will be handled by "PAWS in the Park" a volunteer group of Payson residents organized to assist town park staff in creating and maintaining the facility on an on-going basis.
About 2000 dogs are licensed in the town of Payson. This is an indication of responsible pet owners who take care of their animals' health needs and shots, and licensing requirements. An off-leash area will provide a social meeting ground and legal exercise area for everyone in Payson who owns a licensed dog. All that PAWS asks is the ground area in Rumsey Park PAWS is planning to raise funds and take care of fencing, equipment and amenities.
We have used an off-leash facility in Tucson for our dog. It was clean and is very popular for people who have animals that need to run and get outside. It is good exercise for the dog and its owner.
Off-leash facilities are a growing trend within park systems. Payson would not be breaking new ground, and can join other Arizona cities in responding to the needs of its population; i.e., Prescott, Flagstaff, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Tucson, Fountain Hills and Havasu City.
An off-leash facility would be an attraction for tourists and travelers with pets. It would encourage longer stays.
Please call the council members and urge them to support the facility and attend the meeting June 14 to show your support for the facility.
Dick Krugh, Payson