Park rangers can now enforce new rules at Richland dog park

RICHLAND, Wash. - The City of Richland and the Tri-City Dog Society are now enforcing new rules at the Paws-Abilities-Place Dog Park. If the rules are broken, park rangers can now deem a dog owner as "trespassing." 

"It'll be a warning or it can go trespass for one day all the way to trespass for 365 days," said Jason Janosky, Park Ranger for Richland Parks and Recreation. "We made the rules more basic so we can actually enforce."

One of the biggest changes is the age restriction.

"Children 14 and under can be here but they have to be supervised," said Janosky. "When before it was 10 and under not allowed at all."

The changes were made last week. Prior, children between 10-14 were allowed in the park if they supervised by an adult. 

"The park is for dogs, not for the kids," said Janosky. "So if the kids are out here with the parents, playing fetch with the dogs that's fine, but you have to have some etiquette involved. You can't have kids climbing trees."

Janosky says they're following the idea to change the age restriction correlates with other Richland parks.

"All of our parks don't have an age restriction," described Janosky. "The thinking behind this is why should we have an age restriction here when all the other parks don't have an age restriction. We just kind of went that route."

Another change is the designated areas for the dogs. There are two areas for both small and large dogs as well as an area for dogs 25 pounds and under. Now, the City of Richland has added a "tiny" area for canines 15 pounds and under.

Prior, large, shy dogs could go to the small dog area. However, that is no longer allowed.

In addition to the new rules, a dog park etiquette sign will be placed inside the kiosk. Currently, the sign displays a rule regarding park etiquette. However, Janosky says the wording needs to be made a little clearer. 

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