LETTERS: Voice support for dog park

Jennifer Vogal, Dayton
   I am writing to voice my support for a dog park in South Brunswick.
   This is a project that is close to my heart as my son had for several years been trying to build a dog park at Woodlot Park as a proposal for his Eagle Scout project. Initially, the idea was met favorably by the township with the work being completed by the Scouts and the cost shared between donations obtained by my son and the township. Unfortunately, there were a few strong vocal opponents who felt that the township should not spend a penny on a dog park and it did not move beyond the planning stage.
   My son tried a second time to find a way for the township to support the project and this time, rather than budgeting money toward the park, the proposed money could come from the Green Acres fund. This was again vocally opposed by some residents and once more the project did not go forth.
   I recently learned that the township was considering purchasing the Rocky Top dog park to run at a substantially lower cost to the township residents. Once again, the dissent is being vocalized.
   It is time that our voices be heard and we remind the rest of the residents in this town that we, too, deserve a say.
   I have lived, owned a home and paid taxes in this town for 12 years. My son attended its schools and we have spent time at its many parks through sport, recreation and leisure activities. However, one thing that we have not been able to do is bring our dog to a dog park because, unfortunately, we do not have a free or affordable dog park in South Brunswick.
   We have had to drive to others towns and use their dog parks, as nearly all neighboring towns have them. Now, why is it that a township as large as ours doesn’t?
   I read Jean Dvorak’s letter in the Post acknowledging that other towns have dog parks and the owners “seem quite happy.” Well of course they are. Those parks are nice. However, I would be happy to not have to spend 30 minutes more in the car and waste gas and be just as happy in my own town.
   And yes, as I mentioned above, other options have been proposed and just as readily shot down, including a free dog park at existing land within the township.
   Frank Chrinko’s letter seems to paint the township officials as crooks who are gambling our money away. Gambling our money by using it to provide a service to dog owners in the township? A portion of the taxes that I pay each year to this township are earmarked for expenses that I will never benefit from. However, I support the use of my tax dollars for expenses that I feel will be of benefit to a portion of the community, especially when that portion of the community has been slighted for so many years.
   Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to take your dogs to a local park and enjoy the day with other dog owners in town? Over the years, I have met many people and pets and had enjoyable conversations with owners in neighboring towns. I wish that I could do the same in my own community.
   I feel very strongly that if we, as animal loving, pet owners in this town do not unite and make our voices heard, the subject will once again be quashed.
   Please write to the township officials and let them know that you support a dog park in South Brunswick. I can guarantee you that if you don’t, then it will never happen now or in the future.
Jennifer Vogel