Puppy power in Nashua

It seems quite clear Nashuans love dogs. In fact, some of us are so friendly with our canine companions that we even take them out to eat with us in the outdoor seating areas of downtown restaurants.

However, there are some obvious restrictions when it comes to dogs in Nashua. For example, city ordinance states, “It shall be unlawful for any dog to run at large. The term ‘at large’ means off the premises of the owner or keeper, and not under leash or other physical restraint of the owner or a responsible person, or not within the confines of the fenced area of an off-leash dog park approved by the city of Nashua and animal control officer.”

In other words, if you leave your personal property with a dog, the dog must either be on a leash, or must be small enough that you can physically carry it.

Many dogs have the natural instinct and desire to run free and play in open areas. If you live in the downtown area, it does not seem there is anywhere nearby that you can legally let your dog run free.

There is a dog park in the city at 1 Groton Road. The park is nice, but it is certainly not within walking distance for those who live in the downtown area. It also charges a yearly membership fee of $125.

Therefore, Mayor Jim Donchess and other leaders are working on a potential new dog park that would be closer to the heart of the city.

“The idea here is to form a committee to advise the city about issues pertaining to animals, and primary among those would be the potential establishment of a downtown dog park to supplement the dog park we have down in the southwest,” Donchess said regarding the creation of the Animal and Dog Park Advisory Committee.

Donchess envisions the downtown park to be of a slightly different model. Instead of having a closed membership with membership fees, the downtown version could be open to anyone – without user fees.

Amber Logue led efforts to establish the committee. She said site plans are still preliminary, but the piece of property being eyed is in a large open field on the left behind W.H. Bagshaw Co. Inc. and Ultima Nimco in the area of Pine Street Extension.

“It’s very exciting for our residents, both human and canine,” Logue said.

As long as Nashua leaders can build this new dog park at a reasonable cost, we support it. Such a facility will be yet another amenity to attract more young people with disposable income to live in the downtown area.

Beyond that, it will give the folks who live here now an opportunity to let their dogs run free and play, and do so without having to pack up the car and head down the road.

After all, a city packed with dog lovers to the degree that Nashua is can certainly use more than one dog park.