Many dog owners are chasing the idea of a dog park or having designated hours in Cupertino parks where their pets would be allowed to run free. They say they're frustrated at having to drive 10 to 15 minutes to the nearest dog park in a neighboring city.
"It's so silly to have to put your dog in a car for 15 minutes just to get them out and be able to run leash-free," said Betsy Dougherty, a dog owner and Cupertino resident.
Owners say a dog park in Cupertino would benefit more than the dogs.
"I've met a lot of people that I would never have met if I didn't have a dog," Lisa Geifer said. "It promotes a tremendous sense of community."
Geifer, a Cupertino planning commissioner, and other residents near Linda Vista Park, created Cupertino Doggie Mamas. The group has met up for brunch and dog-dates at the beach.
A dog park, Geifer said, would also benefit people with disabilities and elderly dog owners who are unable to take their dogs on long walks.
"They would be able to take their dogs to an off-leash area and sit on a park bench, all while being in compliance with the law," she said.
A group of dog owners, including Doughery and Mike Hsu, had begun meeting early mornings with their dogs at a Cupertino park before they were informed by Santa Clara County's division of animal control that having their dogs off leash was a misdemeanor.
Dog parks are great things. It gives dogs socialization while their owners get socialized too! I hope these guys can find a way to make it happen.