TWIN FALLS • Imagine a world that stretches in every direction, where you’re free to play with those you love and run alongside exciting new friends.
For Twin Falls dogs, such a place has been relegated to the leg-pumping dreams that owners watch with amusement. But one will become reality — at least temporarily — if a proposal to test the idea of an off-leash dog park finds favor with the Twin Falls City Council during its meeting today.
City Parks and Recreation officials hope to turn two gated fields at the Frontier Field softball complex into a place for untethered dogs to run, at least until mid-March, when the fields will be converted back for softball use. The idea is to see how the temporary sites are received as a step toward creating a permanent off-leash dog park in the city.
Previous efforts to create such an area at Teton Park and the Oregon Trail Youth Complex were nixed due to neighborhood concerns. But this time around, the city has heard from only four residents on the matter — all opposed to the idea.
Neighbors expressed concerns about sanitation and an ongoing problem of dog owners allowing their pets to run free on the nearby College of Southern Idaho fitness trail. But the fields, according to a city report, were chosen in part because they’re completely fenced and already used by owners training their dogs.
If approved, the temporary site will include a host of rules for owners to follow, and sign-in sheets will be placed at each field to gauge their use. An online survey that received 272 responses showed that nearly 75 percent of respondents said they’d use an off-leash dog park.
The city already has one doggie bag dispenser at the ready to help deal with the byproduct of all the off-leash fun, and would ready another if the proposal passes. Council members are expected to vote today on the location, rules, and a city ordinance that would allow dogs to be unleashed in designated areas.