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Parks create dog-friendly territory

John Giambalvo and his dog, Charlie, take a break at the Claremont Pooch Park as they wind down from a game of fetch. The leash-free park brings dogs from around the area together, welcoming all with free tennis balls and dog water fountains. / photo by Veronica Orozco

John Giambalvo and his dog, Charlie, take a break at the Claremont Pooch Park as they wind down from a game of fetch. The leash-free park brings dogs from around the area together, welcoming all with free tennis balls and dog water fountains. / photo by Veronica Orozco

Liz Ortiz
Staff Writer

Although three of the local dog parks – Baldy View Dog Park in Upland, Horsethief Canyon Dog Park in San Dimas and the Claremont Pooch Park – range in size and scenery, they all strive to help dogs relieve stress and strengthen their social skills.

All of the parks have a similar set-up and demand that dogs and people follow all of the park rules but of the three parks, Horsethief Canyon seems to be the more favorable park because of its location, safety standards and accessibility.

“I wouldn’t make any changes to (Horsethief Canyon),” Jared Caccamo, San Dimas resident and dog owner, said.

Caccamo brings his dog, Vermilion, to Horsetheif Canyon park several times a week.

“There’s lots of grass and it’s well-maintained,” Caccamo said.

“There’s also a strong sense of community. I know almost all the dogs and their owners.”

Horsethief Canyon Dog Park is situated in the hills of San Dimas and overlooks the city.

It features both small and large dog runs surrounded by a tall, chain-linked, fence that separates the two sides and ensures the dogs’ safety.

Each side offers tables for owners to sit at while watching their dog.

The park also has two-level drinking fountain, with faucets to accommodate owners and their dogs.

Although the park is nestled in the foothills, it is still easy to access.

It is also convenient for La Verne residents since it is only five minutes away.

Baldy View Dog Park is similar to Horsethief Canyon Park in that the park has separate runs for large and small breed dogs.

However, the chain-link fence that separates the two sides is not that tall.

“I’m concerned that the fence is not high enough, so a big dog could jump over it and harm a smaller dog,” Damari Calderone, an Ontario resident who brings her dog, Passion, to the park, said.

The park is significantly smaller than Horsethief Canyon, and there is only a small patch of grass on both sides of the run.

The park also has tables for owners to sit at while they watch their dogs play, but there is only a drinking fountain in the large dog run.

Baldy View is also difficult to locate if you are not familiar with the Upland area.

On top of that, it is more than 15 minutes away from La Verne.

On the plus side, the Baldy View park has a stronger sense of community.

All the owners seem to know one another and their dogs pretty well.

The owners are welcoming to outsiders and do not hesitate to give a warm welcome to newcomers.

Both parks ask that dogs are spayed or neutered before entering, and they also request that you unleash your dog upon entering.

Dogs who attend the parks are expected to be well-behaved and social.

It is not recommended that an owner bring a dog if that animal is hostile toward humans or other dogs.

Bringing hostile dogs can put both owners as well as their dogs in danger.

“It is important to watch your dog at all times if you let them off the leash,” Annette Florez, the marketing coordinator for the Basset Hound Rescue of Southern California, said.

“Don’t bring small children (to the park), but if you do bring children make sure they stay by your side at all times.”

Owners are expected to clean up their dogs’ messes and maintain the environment of the dog parks.

Both parks offer “pooper scoopers” and disposable bags so owners can clean up their pets’ mess so that visitors are able to enjoy themselves without worrying about possible health issues.

“It’s a great way for (dogs) to relieve stress, and it helps with their behavior and social skills,” Calderone said.

Horsethief Canyon Dog Park is located at 301 Horsethief Canyon Road in San Dimas.

Baldy View Dog Park can be found at 1098 W. 11th Street, between Mountain Avenue and San Antonio Avenue in Upland.

Claremont Pooch Park can be found at 100 S. College Ave., near the Claremont Village.

Liz Ortiz can be reached at elizabeth.ortiz@laverne.edu.

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