Local senior living community gifts residents new dog park

Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 11:36 AM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - One local senior living community gave their residents an early holiday present on Monday. The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods unveiled their new dog park as part of National Mutt Day.

There was an event to celebrate because this is only senior living community in Sarasota with a dog park.

“Dogs are becoming acceptable in most places, yet there is still a lot of homes and places where people in my age group or my situation, they don’t take dogs," Donna Dubiel, resident at The Fountains said. "So I have to look for a place where dogs are acceptable.”

The Fountains at Lake Pointe Woods is actually one of the only assisted living homes that even allow dogs, something that board members believe is necessary for these seniors.

“Just getting up to know that there is someone that depends on you," Peggy Beasley, Executive Director of The Fountains said. "It gives you a sense of purpose when you wake up in the morning.”

They say this also helps with keeping independence and increasing social interaction and physical activity. That’s why they’ve created this new space to give them an area where they can play outdoors and take their dogs off the leashes.

“It’s an area where they can just go in and sit down, and then let their dogs go and play," Michelle Sayre, Community Director said. "It’s safe and fenced in, and it’s an opportunity they didn’t have before.”

The maintenance team spent the last six months creating this paw park and opened it to the community for the first time on Monday with extra special holiday treats that were enjoyed by both the dogs and their owners.

“I think this is so great," Beasley said. "I don’t normally let my dog loose in the dog park.”

But since this paw park is only for residents and their visitors, many say it’s a safer and cleaner way to interact with other dogs than at county dog parks.

“We are so excited," Sayre said. "This is just so unique and it brings me so much joy to be able to give this to our residents and their four-legged pets!”

The paw park is open from dawn to dusk every day for residents and their visitors.

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