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Play features added to Hays dog park

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Hays pups can play in new features at the Hays dog park.

City crews Wednesday placed donated tires in the big and small dog sections of the park.

“It’s agility-like elements,” said Kim Perez, president of the Friends of the Hays Dog Park. “It’s not really designed for actual competition.”

Each section of the park has two sets of tires partially buried in the ground for the dogs to run through, around and on. Each also now has a dirt hill.

“Jeff Boyle (director of city parks) said the bison like to play king of the hill, and he thought the dogs would like that, too,” Perez said.

The city provided the labor, and the tires were donated by Huston Tire Co., 1010 Old U.S. Highway 40 Bypass, and Hays Car and Truck Alignment, 710 E. Eighth, so there is no cost to the friends group for the additions. A tunnel still is planned for the play areas, and that might take some of the group funds, Perez said.

The grassroots group worked with the city and raised money to open the dog park in Bickle-Schmidt Sports Complex in April 2014. The only cost to the city has been in the labor of fencing the park and adding amenities such as paved walks and shelters.

More play elements could be added in the future, Perez said, but plans also include keeping plenty of open space, especially in the big dog section.

“We also are working on some sort of pet memorial. We’re trying to figure out how to do that effectively,” she said.

The group will have a fundraiser in the spring, Perez said, to help pay for future improvements as well as ongoing maintenance of the park.

Juno Ogle has worked at The Hays Daily News since 1999 as a reporter, copy editor and graphic designer. She covers area businesses and events, and higher education, among other topics.