#City & Town Planning
The Mayor of Middletown and the Middletown Township Committee
United States of America

The goal of this petition is to support the construction of an enclosed, off-leash dog park in Kunkel Park at Highland Avenue and Brevent Avenue in Leonardo. This park would be a designated area where residents and their well-behaved canine citizens can exercise and have fun in a clean, safe environment.

We want to create a beautiful, well-maintained space open to all dog lovers and friends who will be willing to uphold the park’s rules and restrictions. This park will be designed to satisfy the needs of dog-owners and non-dog owners alike. We aim for this park to be a community project, supported in large part by volunteer dog advocates and maintained in partnership with the Township of Middletown. The only dog park in Middletown is in Lincroft, a 20+ minute drive for residents in the Bayshore area in Middletown.

In many cities, dog parks are very common. You can view the list of dog parks in each city and state by visiting this website: www.doggoes.com . However, there are no public dog parks anywhere within a 20 minute drive of the Bayshore towns of Navesink, Leonardo and Belford. The large number and success of dog parks all over the country demonstrate that when a group of concerned and responsible dog owners work together for a leash-free dog park, not only can this concept work but it can thrive and enrich the community.

Research shows that property values near dog parks increases, sometimes significantly. For example, in one San Francisco neighborhood, property values rose approximately 900% within five years of the construction of a dog park (and that’s not a type-o!) Consider this: parks increase the livability of a city and provide for a better sense of community. The more parks a city has, and the more variety of parks a city has, the higher its property values tend to be. Moreover, research shows a great reduction in crime in neighborhoods with dog parks. Who would want to commit a crime with fifteen dogs and their owners watching? (source: www.clevelanddogparks.com ) The crime rate went up significantly in Kunkel Park after residents were ticketed for having their dogs off leash and no longer visited the park with their pets.

Therefore, we are asking the Township of Middletown to allow the construction of a dog park for the following reasons:
- There is not a current public dog park in our area to accommodate safe, off-leash dog activities.
- Such a park would allow families with dogs to spend more quality time with their pets.
-Having such a park located in currently unused portion of Kunkel Park would promote better use of this land area and deter crime through higher foot-traffic and citizen surveillance.
- This park would increase opportunities for residents to interact with their neighbors and help create a sense of community.
- Many dogs need exercise above and beyond human limitations; furthermore, many dog owners have small yards or do not have a yard where their dogs can spend time outside, and leashes greatly limit the dog’s space and pace.
- Socializing dogs is very beneficial to the community, since it makes them less skittish and can mitigate aggressive behavior when meeting other dogs and people.
- Regular exercise is great for any dog's longevity and weight control, and the overall effect of regular exercise makes most dogs calmer and better behaved.
-There are many elderly and/or disabled people in the area that cannot that cannot travel across the township to exercise their pets that would benefit from a park nearby.

Please help us create a dedicated space that allows our residents to exercise their canine family members and themselves as well as benefit the community as a whole!

We, the undersigned, are citizens voicing our support for the creation of an off-leash, fenced-in dog park to be created in Kunkel Park in Leonardo or in the Bayshore section of Middletown.

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The Petition to Create an Enclosed Off-Leash Dog Park in Kunkel Park Middletown petition to The Mayor of Middletown and the Middletown Township Committee was written by Karen Antone and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.