Mt Laurel opens park for dogs

Dog lovers in Mt Laurel now have a puppy playground appropriate for dogs and humans alike.

The new dog park, located at the corner of Kessler Avenue and Abbott Square, opened Jan. 15.

Resident Ted Kluz got the idea for a dog park a year ago, after some of his neighbors suggested it as a way to improve the town. However, he didn’t understand exactly what a dog park was until, on a trip to Kansas City, Mo., he and his wife visited one.

Kluz said the dog park in Kansas City was 150 feet by 500 feet, and was split into two different sections, one for big dogs and one for smaller dogs.

Immediately, Kluz knew Mt Laurel was the perfect place for a dog park.

“We know our neighbors. Our houses are very close together. We’re very environmentally friendly people, the kind who have lots of cats and dogs,” he said. “A dog running around in a 9-by-12 yard is not good.”

Since Mt Laurel is still owned by EBSCO Industries, Kluz went to speak with EBSCO President Jim Stephens, who gave permission for the dog park and donated the land.

“We could never have afforded a piece of property,” Kluz said. “Property in Mt Laurel is at least $150,000 apiece.”

Kluz and his neighbors raised more than $7,000 to put in a fence and get the property ready for the dog park.

The park, which is divided into two sections, is 100 feet by 300 feet. The section for smaller dogs is 100 feet by 50 feet, and the rest of the park is for big dogs.

Kluz said his goal for the park is to encourage owners and pets to get more exercise.

“Dogs need exercise. We have an obesity problem with dogs in this country too,” he said.

The park is open from dawn until dusk each day. Use of the park is free, but is intended for Mt Laurel residents.