Jacklyn Orza throws a ball for her rescue dog

Location sought for local dog park

Group wants area for dogs to play in one of Sooke's parks

Different businesses and members of the community have come together in support of a dog park in Sooke.

“A few different businesses in the community have said that they would either advertise or sponsor it one way or another,” said Jacklyn Orza, lead of the dog park project.

She said many people have come forward offering labour, in-kind and cash donations, and discounts off materials.

The park will require a full-length chain link fence, proper pathway, and double-gated entry and exit. Although not necessary, lighting, waste bin with bags for excrement, benches, signage, and  plumbing for a water feature are also on the wish list.

Orza said the project will cost between $7,000 to just over $10,000, depending on which amenities are approved.

“It’s going to be pretty low maintenance,” Orza said, adding if lighting and water amenities are not possible, the only maintenance will be covering holes from wear and tear with wood chips.

The dog park, which is currently in the planning process, has been in the works since last year.

Orza said feedback from the community has been good, stating a petition that was distributed at local pet stores and veterinary clinics received about 500 signatures in just two weeks.

“To get that many signatures in such a short period of time, I think that’s a pretty good response to the park.”

As a dog trainer, Orza said there have been concerns from the public regarding the lack of dog-friendly areas.

“I personally feel that a dog park would be a benefit to Sooke. I know that there’s some people who’ve contacted me directly saying they’ve moved out of Sooke because it wasn’t dog-friendly enough, there wasn’t any place to take their dog.”

Orza held a public delegation with council on June 11, where the project was referred to staff for a final plan, suitable location and recommendations for future consideration.

An area in John Philips Memorial Park is currently being eyed for a dog park, which will also house the Bike Skills park and possibly horseshoe pitches.

A second possible location is the Ponds Park Corridor between Townsend and Church Road — an area previously approved by the former council in 2011.