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The City Journals

Bark in the Park Brings K-9s into the Community

Sep 29, 2016 11:10AM ● By Kelly Cannon

The obstacle course was set up by the Cottonwood Heights Police Department K-9 unit. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)

By Kelly Cannon | kelly[email protected] 

Cottonwood Heights, Utah - Cottonwood Heights residents and the K-9 companions enjoyed a relaxing Saturday on Sept. 17 at Mountainview Park. In its sixth year, the annual event brings out pet-related vendors, the Cottonwood Heights Police Department K-9 unit and special entertainment. The dogs and their owners also enjoyed the park’s splash pad, which was open to dogs for that day only. 

Jamie Jackson, a volunteer at Bark in the Park, said the even started when Cottonwood Heights was looking for a way to bring pet owners out to interact with animal services and with each other.

“Over the years, we’ve increased the vendors and added entertainment,” Jackson said.

Kris Monty, a volunteer with Bark in the Park, said the city invites the vendors to come to the event for free.

“The only stipulation is they have to be pet related somehow,” Monty said. 

The K-9 unit set up an obstacle course similar to the one their own dogs train on for dogs and the owners to try out. The course included running up a ladder, jumping over obstacles and running through a tunnel.

“Everyone thinks their dog can do the course,” Monty said.

This year’s entertainment was Dazzle Dogs, a group of specially trained dogs who perform stunts such as dunking a small basketball, throwing away trash and catching Frisbees.

Monty said the event has grown in size over the years.

“Everyone comes out to have fun,” Monty said. “Most people who come are pet owners. There are even cat owners who come out.”

The police agility course was new this year. The splash pad being open to pets is also a new addition.

“We used to move around different parks,” Jackson said. “I think we’ve found a permanent home here (at Mountainview).” 

Jackson said she believes Cottonwood Heights is a friendly city toward pet owners.

“The city tries hard to give lots of opportunities to bring your pets out,” Jackson said. “Cottonwood Heights is known for being an outdoor community. It’s nice when you can bring your pets too.”