Dogs like Ridge, above, can now use the open Dog Park located on US 127 near Van Wert Propane. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Davis)
Dogs like Ridge, above, can now use the open Dog Park located on US 127 near Van Wert Propane. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Davis)

VAN WERT – Van Wert’s Dog Park is officially open. Owners can bring their dogs to the park and let them safely run and play inside the enclosed areas.

In preparation for the opening, the trees were trimmed, and the grass is growing. Temporary signage has been posted stating the basic rules for usage.

Because the city will close the shelter house and turn off the water in mid to late October, there is no running water in the park at this time, so owners will have to supply their own water. Water will be available next spring inside the park. Doggy bag stations and bags have been installed, and trash receptacles are placed nearby.

In the spring of 2018, the committee will host a work day to refurbish the shelter house and surrounding area. Anyone who is interested in helping is welcome to attend. A formal dedication day will be held once the work is completed.

Further donations are needed to complete the park. Benches, formal signage, and agility equipment still need to be purchased. Donations can be sent to The Dog Park/ Van Wert County Foundation, 138 E. Main Street, Van Wert, Ohio, 45891.

The idea for a local dog park had been floating around Van Wert for years. A small group of people formed a committee to examine the feasibility of creating a park. Once they determined there was serious interest, they formulated a plan for raising the money. What resulted is a dog park built from the donations of local citizens and businesses. The existence of this park demonstrates what can be accomplished when people work together.