November 3, 2021

Resident Notes Reasons Why Princeton Should Have a Dog Park

To the Editor:

For 20-some years, Princeton dog owners — literally thousands of us — have been asking for a dog park.

Why not?

Will a dog park be noisy? No, you’d be surprised to see how peacefully a dog will play once allowed to “talk” to its neighbors and meet up with friends.

Unsanitary? Not an issue. A dog park has doggie bags. You’ll be impressed with how nicely we keep it. And if an occasional owner doesn’t think to scoop up, another will — a dog park is a community thing.

Unsafe? A dog park encourages safety. It’s organized to help with behavior training and communication among owners. The result is better neighbors for all.

Fact: There may be more Princeton dogs than Princeton schoolchildren. The 2020 Census counted 5,641 Princeton children under 18. Before COVID-19, 3,500 dog-owning households were registered. Adding the unregistered, and families with two pups or more, Princeton’s canine population may be 7,000.

Now pet adoptions are up for people left alone because their children, COVID cautious, can’t visit. More folks are walking a canine companion, getting out for exercise —surely healthier and less lonely than staying shut in. And a dog park encourages people to license their dogs — for rabies shots, spay/neuter services, and more.

Rocky Hill, Pennington, West Windsor, Bucks County — all offer a dog park for their families. Only Princeton doesn’t. If our parks are meant for all residents, there are an awful lot of families being ignored.

Mary Clurman
Harris Road