With a snip of the scissors – and a couple of barks – Princeton officials cut the ribbon on the Princeton Community Dog Park at Community Park South.
Dogs and their owners outside the gates, patiently waited for Mayor Mark Freda and the Princeton Council to officially open the town’s first dog park Feb. 5.
Princeton Council President Mia Sacks told the dogs and their owners that she was sorry that it had taken so long to create the dog park, but “better later than never.”
Sacks thanked the town’s staff, including the Department of Public Works, and others who worked behind the scenes to create the dog park.
“In a time of political divisiveness, a dog park is something that can bring people together. The Princeton Council was unified in support of this new addition,” Sacks said.
“Let’s get started,” Sacks said, as the gates to the fenced-in dog park were opened.
Free of their leashes, big dogs and small dogs rushed through the gates and onto the baseball field-turned-dog park. They chased each other gleefully as their owners watched them play.
Several dog owners said they were thrilled to have a dog park in Princeton. Some said they had resorted to taking their dogs to the dog park at Rosedale Park, off Federal City Road in Hopewell Township. The dog park is currently closed for renovations, leaving them nowhere to go.
Joann Marshall, who lives in the Littlebrook neighborhood, said she took her dog to the Rosedale Park dog park. After it closed for renovations, she took her dog to the Rocky Top Dog Park in South Brunswick Township.
“Princeton has needed a dog park for a long time. It’s nice to be able to meet other ‘dog people,'” Marshall said of the Community Park Dog Park.
Princeton Councilwoman Michelle Pirone Lambros praised Sacks, who led the charge for a municipal dog park. Sacks “worked tirelessly” to turn the dream of a dog park into reality, she said.
Princeton Councilman David Cohen pointed out that the dog park is not limited to dogs and their owners. People who like dogs but who cannot own a dog can still come to the dog park and enjoy them, he said.
“I am definitely a ‘dog person.’ I might even come here myself,” said Cohen, who enjoys dogs but does not own one.
The Princeton Community Dog Park, which is open from dawn to dusk, comes with a few rules.
Puppies younger than four months and female dogs that are in heat are prohibited from the park. Dogs that are aggressive toward other dogs and people also are banned.
Dogs must be licensed through the township and the license number must be displayed on the collar or harness. They must also be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations.
The dog owner must pick up the dog waste.
Chew toys are prohibited, but fetch toys and small treats are allowed. There is a maximum of three dogs per adult user. Dogs must not be left unattended in the dog park.