ANDERSON — Pam Benzenbauer said owning a 7-month-old yellow Labrador retriever keeps her busy.
Ruby is full of energy, Benzenbauer said, and if she is not regularly exercised she can be a handful.
So when Four Paws Dog Park, 109 W. 53rd St., opened, Benzenbauer was one of the first people to sign up for a membership.
“I am so glad they have it there,” she said. “It makes it really nice for us and it is close.”
Four Paws was opened by South Anderson Veterinary Clinic in September.
“We wanted to offer something on this side of town and we wanted to give pet owners another option when it comes to a dog park,” said Tiffany Weisheit, at the clinic.
The new facility is Anderson’s second dog park. Animal Care & Control Canine Companion Corral, 2108 W. Eighth St., is maintained and operated by the Animal Protection League.
Both dog parks require animals visiting the play area to be up-to-date on rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and bordetella vaccinations, but Four Paws has taken additional steps to ensure the safety of its members, they said, by requiring a negative fecal exam.
“We have more health clearances and a higher security,” Weisheit said.
This is a precaution Benzenbauer said she can appreciate.
“I’m very picky about Ruby,” she said. “Another one of the things I really like, is it has an electronic entry and it is double gated so you don’t lose your dog. It’s nice that they can’t run out on you.”
Although the dimensions of the parks are very similar, each covering about an acre of land, both Benzenbauer and Weisheit say the layouts of the parks vary greatly.
“They have two separate areas for bigger dogs and the smaller or timid dogs,” Benzenbauer said of Four Paws. “We love it.”