When the Laramie City Council began working on amending the ordinances governing animals, they realized very quickly that if there was going to be a leash law in the city, then dog friendly areas would need to be added. Based on recommendations from an AD HOC Committee, the Parks, Tree, and Recreation Advisory Board became responsible for advising the Council of where these areas and times allowed for dogs to be off leash should be. They have recommended four parks to have dog friendly areas, and those recommendations are now open for public comment.

The Advisory Board has recommended the following parks be designated as dog friendly areas on a pilot program basis:

  • Optimist Park (new dog park) from dusk to dawn
  • North side of Depot Park from dawn to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to dusk (during Daylight saving time hours will be dawn to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to dusk)
  • South side of LaPrele Park from dawn to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to dusk (during DST from dawn to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to dusk)
  • LaBonte Park from dawn to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to dusk (during DST from dawn to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to dusk)

"Areas that are effected by being designated as off leash or dog friendly will be signed for the edification of park users and citizens," reports Parks Manager Mike Zook. "Also new metal doggy bag dispensers will be installed in these areas with additional signage to inform dog owners of regulations and fines associated with not cleaning up after an animal."

With the exception of the dog park at Optimist Park, Zook says the dog friendly areas won't differ much from other areas within the parks. All will be patrolled by Animal Control to ensure compliance by dog owners.

Phase 1 of the redevelopment of Optimist Park will involve the construction of a fenced in, off leash dog park to be constructed in the spring of 2012. It will consist of  a large dog and a small dog area with separation by fencing. According to Zook, it will be located within the current established turf area of Optimist Park along the north side of the park parallel to the Caragana hedge on the northern parameter of the park off of Garfield Street.

The 45 day public comment/notice period will conclude on February 29, 2012. The Council is expected to vote on the dog friendly areas at their April 3rd meeting. To comment on the proposed dog friendly park areas, contact one of the below staff.

  • Mike Zook, Parks Manager
    PO Box C
    Laramie, WY  82073
  • Paul Harrison, Parks & Recreation Director
    PO Box C
    Laramie, WY  82073
  • Mel Owen, Administrative Assistant
    PO Box C
    Laramie, WY  82073

For more on the recommended dog friendly area, listen below to Mike Zook's interview on Laramie Live.

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