By Jason KUROSU and
The first ever Los Angeles County dog park will have its “leash-cutting” ceremony on Friday at 11 a.m. Located at the west end of the Crescenta Valley Park parking lot at 3901 Dunsmore Ave. in La Crescenta, the dog park is the culmination of several years of petitioning and planning by both CV DOGS (Community Volunteers for Dogs Off-Leash Gathering and Socializing) and the office of Supervisor Michael D. Antonvich. The result is 1.5 acres of gated-off land where dogs can roam without the hindrance of leashes.
In addition to the expansive open space, the park also features double doors that only open inward to keep dogs from easily running out, water faucets, doggie bags and accommodations for dog owners such as benches with shade coverings.
The path to the dog park was not easy, especially since this was the first for L.A. County. CV DOGS started with a few dog owners who traditionally met at Two Strike Park and allowed their dogs to meet and greet without a leash. That led to a complaint, but instead of letting dogs lie, so to speak, the group of pet parents decided to do something about it.
“We went to the Crescenta Valley Town Council and asked, ‘What do we do?’” said John Klose, president and one of the founding members of CV DOGS.
Then-CVTC president Grace Andrus told the group to get signatures, contact officials and get organized. And they did.
CV DOGS could be seen at Montrose’s Harvest Market and the La Cañada Farmers’ Market handing out information and gathering support.
“I think people finally felt there was something for dog owners,” Klose said.
In less than a year, they had collected 3,000 signatures from supporters.
“We got a lot of support, not to say there weren’t naysayers,” he added.
There were some who didn’t like the location or the design or that there was a dog park at all, but the majority of the response was positive.
The group then contacted Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s office. The group did population studies and worked with designers. Because this was all new to the county, several rules and regulations had to be looked at and worked with.
“Anotonvich’s office was very supportive,” Klose said.
He added he thought that the supervisor supported them in part because they were willing to do a lot of the legwork themselves.
“We did site visits and site populations,” he added. “If we hadn’t been proactive and just waited, it would not have been done.”
One of the first visits the group made was to Pasadena where a group had just gotten its dog park established after 14 years. Looking back over the five-and-a-half years it took CV DOGS to get the park in place does not seem long.
The park has been open and available on weekends for the past month, but this official grand opening will provide incentives for curious dog owners, such as the attendance of several animal care centers, low cost vaccinations and dog photographers. Pet adoption clinics and rescue organizations will also be present for those looking for new pets.
“We are so very excited about the opening,” said Kaye Michelson, special assistant L.A. County Dept. of Parks and Recreation. “I hope dog owners will take advantage of the vaccinations and all that will be offered.”
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, whose office funded the construction and design of the park, will be present at the ceremony.