Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Channeldistrict Kennel Club, a private dog park, opens in downtown Tampa

CHANNEL DISTRICT

Lady may have to leave the Tramp at home — if she is to use what may be the area's sole members-only dog park, that is.

The Channeldistrict Kennel Club officially opened Monday across from the Grand Central at Kennedy condos where, now, cabbage palms dot the landscape.

This used to be a row of aging and rat-infested industrial buildings, but those were razed to make way for the park.

"They were the worst-looking buildings down here," said Ken Stoltenberg, who helped develop Grand Central and invested about $80,000 to create the dog park across the street.

He said the condo has designated pet areas on the roof but not enough — about 75 percent of its residents are dog owners.

"We never planned for the amount of dogs we have here," Stoltenberg said.

After some research, he said he could find no privately-owned dog clubs in the Tampa Bay area. So he decided to create an exclusive park of his own.

In other parts of the country, the idea has attracted dog owners who feel their pets are safer in a secluded environment. An Internet search found private dog parks in Ohio, California, New York, and other parts of Florida, including Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Inverness.

At Channeldistrict Kennel Club, members use a pass to get through the locked gate. Once inside, the 25,000-square-foot park has a section for large dogs, another for small dogs and a common area. A special fenced "Time Out Zone" is available for bad doggies. There are special dog water fountains, misters and about $2,000 worth of agility equipment. Benches offer owners a place to rest, trash cans and bags are available to dispose of doggie waste, and security cameras monitor the scene.

The cost to join is $25 a month. Before becoming members, dogs must be interviewed by an American Kennel Club trainer to check for temperament.

Linda Saul-Sena, Democratic candidate for the District 5 County Commission seat, made an appearance at Monday's ribbon-cutting with her poodle Zooe in tow. Saul-Sena has talked about her work developing community plans, including the Channel District, and her interest in fighting suburban sprawl by focusing on urban development.

She called the club an "example of innovative entrepreneurship."

"There are 5,000 people who live in the Channel District and downtown that can use this," Saul-Sena said.

Stoltenberg said there are about 20 members so far who are doing just that.

"Our hope is more folks in the Channel District, specifically, and downtown can bring their animals here and take them off the leash," Stoltenberg said.

The city created a dog park inside the revamped Curtis Hixon Park, which opened downtown this year. That park, however, is a mile from the Channel District.

Kennel club members also point to differences. Curtis Hixon does not have separate sections for small and large dogs. A dog attack this year left a 10-pound Shih Tzu dead after being attacked by a 110-pound dog at Curtis Hixon's dog run. Rules prohibit aggressive dogs there and a sign posted at the entrance says owners are responsible for their animals.

Another difference, Channeldistrict has more trees and real grass, as opposed to the synthetic grass in Curtis Hixon's doggie area.

Anne Sayers, a Grand Central resident, said she does not take her best friend Lily, an "honorary" Maltese, to Curtis Hixon.

"It's too hot," she said, noting the lack of shade there. "I think it's ill conceived for big dogs."

A handful of nearby condo residents came out this week to check out the new doggie digs.

Jamie Smithers, 25, was there with Gio, her 6-month-old French bulldog, and Spencer, her 3-year-old pug-Pomeranian mix.

"They were really excited about this opening," said Smithers, who recently moved here from Boulder, Colo. The new park, she said, was the reason she decided to stay at the building after her lease was up.

"One hundred percent reason to stay here," she said.

Sayers, 47, said Lily used to catch rats coming from the old buildings. Now she can play catch at the grassy park.

"It was a complete eyesore for the neighborhood," Sayers said, welcoming the change. "I think it's fantastic. I think it's what this community needs."

Jared Leone can be reached at (813) 226-3435 or jleone@sptimes.com.

Playtime hours

The Channeldistrict Kennel Club, at 1224 E Madison St., is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit channeldistrictkennelclub.com.

Channeldistrict Kennel Club, a private dog park, opens in downtown Tampa 10/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 21, 2010 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Watch: Gorilla dances like a 'maniac' in kiddie pool

    Blogs

    Zola, a gorilla who resides at the Dallas Zoo, has gone viral after showing off his dance moves.
  2. Bill Clinton coming to Miami Beach on Saturday for mayors' convention

    Blogs

    From our friends at the Miami Herald:

    Former President Bill Clinton gives the opening address to kick off a meeting of International Aid Groups at the InterAction Forum 2017 at the Washington Convention Center on June 20.
  3. Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault

    National

    WASHINGTON — Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried "eyes only" instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Barack Obama shake hands at the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. [Mikhail Klimentyev | Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]
  4. GOP's challenge: Finding votes for Senate health care bill (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally unwrapped his plan for dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. Now comes his next challenge — persuading enough Republicans to back the measure and avert a defeat that could be shattering for President Donald Trump and the GOP.

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017. He is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed it but are open to negotiations, which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy. [Associated Press]
  5. Trigaux: Halfway through 2017, a closer look at six drivers of the Tampa Bay economy

    Business

    We're nearly halfway through 2017 already, a perfect time to step back from the daily grind of business and ask: How's Tampa Bay's economy doing?

    Is there one theme or idea that captures the Tampa Bay brand? Not really but here's one possibility. The fun-loving annual Gasparilla "Invasion" of Tampa is captured in this photo of 
The Jose Gasparilla loaded with pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on its way this past January to the Tampa Convention Center. In the future a vibrant downtown Tampa or St. Petersburg may be the better theme. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]