The several dozen canines in attendance at the Opelika Dog Park at Floral Park ribbon cutting on Saturday occasionally interrupted Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller’s brief speech with their barking as they were just ready to be let off their leashes and try out the new park.
The dog park opened in March, but the grand opening was held Saturday morning. Fuller, accompanied by his wife, Laura Fuller, and their dog, Ellie, cut the ribbon.
Fuller said there is still some work to do for the park, such as implementing a water system for the dogs.
“We want to put maybe some obstacle type courses for dogs to play on,” the mayor said, adding that he’s requested two fire hydrants from the fire chief “so the dogs will have something to mark.”
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The dog park is divided into two enclosures for small and large dogs.
Volunteers from the Lee County Humane Society attended the grand opening with several adoptable dogs, and O Town Ice Cream handed out free scoops of ice cream and dog treats to the four-legged visitors.
The mayor said people have mentioned the idea of a dog park over the years, and he understands the need himself as the Fullers have only a small yard for Ellie to play in. The more they looked into the idea, the more interest they found in it, he said.
“We have a leash law in Opelika, so this is a place where dogs can come and run free and exercise and socialize with other dogs,” Fuller said.
The dogs attending the grand opening with their owners certainly seemed to appreciate the freedom as they ran and played together.
“Obviously, we have a lot of dog lovers,” Fuller said. “This is something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and thank goodness we finally got it done.”