By Felipe Rodriguez
Dog parks are a great addition to any community and the benefits of bringing one to the East Los Angeles community will create better interactions among its residents and their pets.
With only a handful of dog parks located in specific areas of Los Angeles, many of these parks are out of reach for people without adequate transportation.
According to the Los Angeles County of Animal Services, there are more than 400,000 dogs within the county and it continues to grow.
The constant increase in dog population should be acknowledged with positivity and the inclusion of more dog parks in East Los Angeles will be a great answer to the scarcity in dog friendly areas.
This change will create stronger communities and will help dog owners strengthen their bonds with their beloved pets.
East L.A is one of many areas in L.A that still does not have a designated dog park for the community.
With the nearest dog park to located about five miles away near downtown, people without a car and space at home find it hard to exercise their dog without having to make a long physical commute to downtown.
Along with the housing issue public transportation does not allow any sort of animal on public transportation with an exception to service dogs and even attempting it can potentially get anyone fined of $100 or more.
With public transportation making it difficult for commuting to a dog park, the only areas dog owners in this community have to turn to are local parks.
However, local parks have their own restrictions with what dog owners are allowed to do with their pet. Some local parks in East Los Angeles including Belvedere and Obregon follow strict dog guidelines that punish people with tickets even on the first offense for having their dogs off leashes.
As stated on the L.A county website, code 17.04.410 says “A person may bring and maintain, in any park exclusive of golf courses, a dog or cat if such dog or cat is kept on a leash or chain and under full control of its owner or custodian, or upon written permission of the director when required for authorized park programs.”
Restrictions like this put a damper on allowing pets to roam around and get their daily exercise, which is a necessity for all dogs. Even though these two parks have plenty of space to include a dog park, the idea of creating one is nowhere in sight.
A recent study by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers on the benefits of dog parks shows that dog parks provide a great place to educate, socialize and exercise with all dogs.
Although a discussion for a dog park in East Los Angeles will take quite sometime, people can submit a community suggestion on empowerla.org.