Little Italy Residents Rally for New Dog Park

Dog lovers are gathering Wednesday evening to rally for a new dog park in Little Italy at the site of former Star Builder’s Supply building.

The site, at Kettner Boulevard and Beech Street, is vacant and now publicly owned, and proponents want the county to establish it as a dog park.

Many said they fear the property will give way to a high-rise building.

“What we’re deficient in is public space,” said Dorothy Percaro Bertram of the Star Dog Park Coalition. “We need off-leash dog parks. We need places where dogs can actually go and run, just for their wellbeing, have a spot in the community.”

Bertram said downtown San Diego is home to 12,000 dogs and 2,500 in Little Italy alone, but there is limited space for the pets to exercise and play.

Currently, many dog owners use the field at Amici Park on Date Street, which is connected to Washington Elementary School. Still, some said that space isn’t large enough for the number of dogs in Little Italy.

Advocates for the proposed Star Dog Park meet for the rally Wednesday evening at the Kelvin Restaurant and plan to take their pleas to county officials, who are accepting bids on the land.

“I think the community has spoken when it says it needs a dog park,” Bertram said.

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