Denverites love their dogs. They dress them. Dine with them. Even spare their precious paws by pedaling them around town. Consider the dog owner we recently spotted in Washington Park pulling three canines in a cart behind his bike—and one in the basket in front.
The fact that this town has gone to the dogs isn’t lost on city planners, who have a “Denver Dogs Master Plan,” reports a recent article in the Denverite.
Denver Parks and Recreation estimates the city has 158,000 dogs, split among 99,000 households. “That’s more dogs than kids,” reports the news publication, as there were only 140,000 children in the city, according to the last U.S. Census.
To accommodate them, Denver boasts 13 off-leash dog parks, mostly in the northern part of the city. Officials hope to eventually “put each household within a 10-minute walk of a public park,” notes Denverite. Currently, “the city considers a dog park close if it is within a 2.5-mile drive or a .75-mile walk of a given home.”
“Moving forward, a big part [of the planning] is to identify those areas where we do have gaps in the system,” Kathleen LéVeque, assistant director of parks planning, told the publication. LéVeque added that the next dog park will be situated in the south part of the city.
Alas, not all citizens are happy to subsidize dog parks, particularly those that don’t have dogs themselves. Many don’t appreciate the noise. And let’s face it, there’s also a whole lot of poop that comes from these pups. In fact, one of the things Parks and Rec has studied is the route dog waste takes when it’s thrown away.
But that’s a tail, er tale, we’ll happily leave for another time.