Alabaster dog park named one of the best in America

A German shepherd named Caliber enjoys an afternoon on the doggy splash pad at Alabaster’s Beneful Dream Dog Park with his new friend John Blacknall Jr. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

A German shepherd named Caliber enjoys an afternoon on the doggy splash pad at Alabaster’s Beneful Dream Dog Park with his new friend John Blacknall Jr. (Reporter Photo/Keith McCoy)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – A national website has named Alabaster’s Beneful Dream Dog Park in Veterans Park as one of the top 10 dog parks in the nation, praising its plentiful offerings to local canines.

Americantowns Media’s website Bestdogparks.info recently released its list of the top 10 dog parks in America, and Alabaster’s came in at No 5. The Beneful Dream Dog Park was one of only three southern dog parks to make the list, along with the Dog Wood Park in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park in Houston.

“Dog parks give puppies a chance to get off the leash, hang with other canines, exercise and have some fun in a different and stimulating environment,” read the list. “Dog parks are especially great for dogs that live in an urban environment where they may not get as many opportunities to run freely or to socialize with other pups.

“Currently, there are around 1,200 (dog parks) nationwide, and the number keeps growing: The amount of park space designated for dogs is the fastest growing part of the park sector nationally,” the website read. “Still, these 10 in particular get a big ‘paws up.’”

The $500,000 Beneful Dream Dog Park opened in Alabaster’s Veterans Park in the summer of 2012, and includes carpeted synthetic turf, separate off-leash play areas for small and large dogs, splash pads, agility course elements, a miniature football field, a walking course and more.

Beneful chose Alabaster for the park after then-Shelby County Humane Society director Jenny Wilson, an Alabaster native, entered her dog, Honey Belle, into the 2011 Dream Dog Park contest.

Other parks making Americantowns Media’s list were the Pilgrim Bark Park in Provincetown, Mass., the Tompkins Square Dog Run in New York City, the Freedom Barks Dog Park in Medford, N.J., the Freedom Bark Park in Lowell, Ind., the Shaggy Pines Dog Park in Ada, Mich., the Point Isobel Regional Shoreline in Richmond, Calif., and the Magnuson Dog Park in Seattle.

To view the entire list, visit http://bestdogparks.info.