Dog Park

A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I visited the, Taipei Yingfeng Dog Exercising Park, for the first time. We were excited by the prospect of visiting a safe environment where our dogs could get some exercise and we would not have to worry about them running off or being put in danger from vehicles. To put it mildly, we were sorely disappointed. … 2003309280 is the link to the article written at the time the park opened, just seven months ago. After our recent visit there, I feel inclined to compare the “perks” listed in the article to what our experience actually was.

First and foremost, the article boasts that the park is a safe place for dogs to roam, run, and play freely. Is this not the purpose of a dog park? Our first impression upon approaching the park was all of the gaping holes in the fencing surrounding the park. Perhaps at one point it was a secure area, but now there are holes every 10 feet (3 meters) or so big enough for humans to walk through, let alone dogs! Granted, due to the positioning of the park, the dogs are not in any imminent danger (of cars…) if they run out, but if your dog listens as well as mine does when she is hot on the trail of…anything, you can not be sure your pooch will stay in the designated area.

Secondly, the article makes mention of an area for dogs over 9 kg and one for smaller dogs. This was a terrific idea, and it was true at the time of the grand opening. But it is not the case anymore. Due to tears in the fence between the two areas, dogs of any size are free to roam in both areas. We saw a husky playing very roughly with a Maltese Poodle. Thankfully there were no injuries, but neither the Maltese nor her owner looked even remotely comfortable.

Let me ask you a question. When you think of the weather in Taiwan, what comes to mind? For me, one of the first adjectives is HOT. Sure, there is winter, but a majority of the climate is hot and humid, right? My friend and I were quite started that there was not a tree to be seen or any shade at all for that matter at, Taipei Yingfeng Dog Exercising Park. It doesn’t matter how much water you bring along, most dogs (and humans) will fry in an open field with the sun beating down on an average day.

I will say that I was extremely impressed by most of the dog owners. Almost everyone watched their dogs carefully (with a couple of exceptions), cleaned up after them, and made sure they were playing nicely with other dogs if they were permitted to run free.

The idea for this park was an excellent one, and I think I can speak for most dog owners when I say that the idea is most appreciated. I just hope that if they build another one, they will build it to last, rather than just looking good for the opening ceremony.

I am done with my rant now (thanks for staying with me!). So does anyone have any ideas of ways we can see some positive changes to the park?

I apologize for the poor picture quality, but here are a few shots taken that day.

I made some inquiries about the Dog Park. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Taipei Municipal Institute for Animal Health (TMIAH). Here is their web site and a contact person and his phone number - Mr. Lu, section chief, at 8789-7129 (in Chinese please). According to APA (Animal Protection Association of the Republic of China) they might even welcome volunteers offering to fix the fencing around the park, and they paying for the material. Might be worth the effort.

Well, let’s get some volunteers together and get the newspapers in and fix the fence.

vw, can you speak to the TMIAh and see if this would be feasible?