Dog Park May Come To Mud Island

(Memphis) There are dog parks at Overton Park and Shelby Farms, and one City Councilman wants to see another on Mud Island. Lee Harris says his constituents have been asking for one for years now and he believes there’s money in the budget to get it.

“The more dog parks, the better, I say,” said Memphis visitor George McVee.

Some people put their dogs first, and McVee puts his even before the law. That’s because he says Sparty has more fun without her leash on.

“Look at her. She is so happy,” he said.

“Dogs improve lives and lift spirits,” Harris said.

Harris says he doesn’t own a dog, but thinks dogs should have a free place to roam on Mud Island

“Right now, if you look at the municipal code, you cannot interact with your dog anywhere without a leash other than your back yard,” said Harris.

“Does Grace like to run around without a leash?” asked reporter Sabrina Hall to a man running with his dog.

“Politically? No. Answer? Yes,” said Christopher Cook.

While many dog lovers love the idea of a dog park at Greenbelt Park, the Memphis City Council is struggling with budget issues right now.

“So, I looked at last year’s budget, we’ve got a lot of unused money,” said Harris.

Harris says the $100,000 to build the park would come from funds that had been budgeted for parks in 2013 but wasn’t spent. He said that amount was $843,000.

The dog park plan passed committee Tuesday with the exception of one vote. Councilman Bill Boyd didn’t get back to us on how he would like to see the money better spent.

“I would love to have dog park. I sure would,” said William Fitzgerald, who lives part of his year on Mud Island.

Those who live on the island say, for them, building a dog park wouldn’t be a “ruff” decision.

“Dogs love to be free and it frees us up to let the dog go,” said Fitzgerald.

“Because they have more energy than us,” said reporter Hall.

“They certainly do,” said Fitzgerald.

The full city council is expected to vote on the issue July 18th, but Harris says he  is trying to move it up to the first week of July.

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