New gate system will keep dogs healthy, township says

By: Nico Rubello | C&G Newspapers | Published March 8, 2012

 Contractors began installing the Clinton Township Dog Park’s new gate system on March 7.

Contractors began installing the Clinton Township Dog Park’s new gate system on March 7.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — With the installment of a new gate system at the township’s dog park, township workers will have a more active log of the canines accessing the park.

Township Parks and Recreation Director Linda Walter said the gate system upgrade, which uses plastic key fobs in place of key cards to enter the dog park, will allow them to track in real time who accessed the park. More than 560 people have passes to the park, which is located behind the Clinton Township Adult Senior Life Center on Romeo Plank Road.

The software also will allow the Parks and Recreation Department to deactivate key fobs if the dogs aren’t licensed or aren’t up-to-date on vaccinations, Walter said.

Walter said the new system will encourage dog licensing and keep potentially sick dogs out of the park, where they often come into close contact while socializing. The old key card system tracked this information, but could take as long as a month before parks personnel were notified.

“It’s safety for the other dogs,” she said. “If a dog doesn’t get their vaccination, they could go into the park and infect other dogs if they’re not up-to-date. Having a whole month go by before we catch you is not in the best interest of the users.”

State law requires licenses and rabies vaccinations once a dog turns four months old, said Sue Jeroue, Macomb County’s chief animal control officer.

In addition, the Clinton Township Parks and Recreation Department also requires dogs to be current on their distemper and bordetella vaccines to access the park.

Park-goers purchase the key fobs once for $19, and renew the membership for $9 a year after that.

“The key fob is a one-time-only purchase,” Walter said, adding that new key cards were required every year under the old system.

Walter said the Parks and Recreation Department tried to secure township funding for the $7,000 gate upgrade for at least three years, but the project was denied as the township dealt with falling revenue. The department then turned to business partnerships to cover half the cost.

The project’s three largest sponsors — Parkway Small Animal and Exotic Hospital and Animal Activity Center, Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Creekside Animal Hospital — will be honored at a grand opening ceremony in April.

“(With the new gate system), you know every dog in there is completely up-to-date,” Walter added.
 

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