SUPPORT USE OF OAKWOOD PARK BY INCLUDING LIMITED/ SUPERVISED DOG SOCIALIZATION CLASSES!

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PLEASE HELP SUPPORT THE USE OF OAKWOOD PARK BY ALL VENICE FAMILIES AND INCLUDE SAFE, SUPERVISED DOG TRAINING / SOCIALIZATION CLASSES DURING LIMITED HOURS.

Oakwood Park is truly a culturally rich park, with a large open green space used by Venice’s diverse residents. Yet, the park is often empty and rented out to organizations that charge fees for soccer, adult kickball, etc.

Last year, a pilot program was created at the request of local residents who live near the park, to allow for limited, daily periods for unleashed dog training and socializing when the park was not in use by anyone including children, so no activities were displaced. In fact, dog owners each paid a $100 fee to the park, which helped cover the cost for underprivileged neighborhood children to participate in park activities.

Despite rumors, there was never a desire to turn Oakwood into a dog park! The classes were from 7 – 9 am with a trial after work session in the works as well. The classes benefited local dog owners including families and especially seniors who live close enough to the park that they can walk there safely. Neighbors met each other while they trained and socialized their dogs and this has helped build a more connected community in Venice.

Soccer and kick ball groups that rent the park and damage the grass, often comprised of non-Venice residents, pay fees to the park for maintenance. Dog Classes cause no more wear and tear than soccer or kickball and also pay fees to help cover park maintenance.

Sometimes dog owners who were not in the classes have had unleashed dogs at the Park. To help address this in the future; onsite supervisor(s) will be at every class to make sure rules are obeyed, poop is picked up, vaccinations and licenses are up to date and other dog owners are made aware of the classes, etc. Signage will declare when off leash classes are being held.

Dogs are part of our families and bring joy to all of us including our children who often accompany dog-owning parents to the classes. Despite statements to the contrary, vaccinated owned dogs that are allowed in dog classes, do not pose a threat to children’s or anyone’s health.  The New York Times reports:  “Strays, not owned dogs, may shed eggs of worms, contaminating parks…” 1/16/18 New York Times.

Dog classes add a lot of happiness to Venice residents and our community without taking anything away. Classes bring extra funds to the park and underprivileged local kids. Leaving the park empty when it can benefit our residents makes no sense. Don’t buy into fear and misinformation being circulated regarding dogs and the classes. We are asking that you please sign this petition and support supervised limited hours for dog training classes and socialization at Oakwood Park.