Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dog park?

A dog park is any fenced-in area where owners may safely allow their dogs to exercise off-leash, play and socialize with other dogs.  Often these areas are managed by the users themselves in conjunction with city officials.


How will the dog park benefit our community?

A dog park provides many benefits:

  • Well-exercised dogs are happy dogs, and are more likely to be quiet, good neighbors.
  • Dog parks create a sense of community and forge friendships among users, as playful dogs break the ice between strangers.
  • Dog parks add to the livability of densely populated areas with small yards.
  • Promotes responsible pet ownership and provides an efficient tool for educating dog owners.
  • Dog parks strengthen the bond between owners and their dogs making them less likely to surrender them to a shelter.
  • Dog parks discourage crime and loitering and raise property values.
  • It’s estimated that as many as 60% of Worthington households own a dog.


What sorts of rules will there be at the park?

The American Kennel Club has created a list of suggested rules which the city governments will use as a guideline for our park. 


Why Godown Road for the location of the dog park?

Free land is scarce in Worthington, and existing parkland is already committed to other uses, such as baseball fields, soccer fields, and children’s playgrounds. Godown Road Park is the only city-owned land that is large enough for a dog park but is not already committed to other use.


How will the dog park be built?

The dog park would be constructed in phases with amenities added as monies from fundraising become available. The initial phase of construction involves fencing & gating systems, partially paved parking, informational signage, plantings, drinking water access, and possibly, a dog wash . Later phases would include plantings, additional paved parking and additional amenities such as an agility area.


How would a dog park at Godown Road Park affect my home’s property value?

  • Typically, property values near dog parks increase, sometimes significantly. Consider this: parks increase the livability of a city and provide for a better sense of community. The more parks a city has, and the more variety of parks a city has, the higher its property values tend to be.
  • Dog parks have become a sought-after amenity among people relocating to a community.
  • Dog parks often assist with reducing crime. Who would commit a crime with dogs and owners watching? In a 3/25/09 article in This Week, the Gahanna Deputy Chief of Police stated, “Since the dog park started operations, we have seen a significant drop in calls for suspicious persons or activity occurring in the park.”


Won’t the dog park smell and be unsanitary?

There are over 2000 dog parks in the United States today, and the number is growing exponentially every year. Dog owners who use these parks value the opportunity the parks offer and are extremely conscientious about taking care of these parks. Moreover, owners who take the time to use the park care for the well-being of their pets and want the area to be safe, clean, and pleasant. Therefore, dog parks have multiple clean-up stations where owners may access waste-disposal baggies and garbage cans. In summary, dog parks are exceptionally clean and well cared for by their users. Initially the park will be developed by the City of Columbus and maintained by the City of Worthington with the assistance of WOOF volunteers. Under the terms of the lease, the City of Columbus will be a partner in the maintenance beginning in year nine of the park. 


Will the dog park be noisy?

The concern of noise was ever-present while designing the dog park. The design includes the following:

  • A buffer of landscaping between Godown Road and the dog park.
  • The park is buffered by the RR tracks, airport on two sides and Godown Road on the fourth. The more "active" dog areas are located behind the parking lot to provide additional buffering from neighbors.
  • Noise studies at other dog parks demonstrate the noise level to be minimal. Observations noted that most often dogs did not bark while at play in the parks as they are too busy playing. Dogs that barked did so for short periods of time. Interestingly, the studies found the loudest barking heard was generated from dogs confined in neighboring yards.


Should I be concerned about safety?

  • Over 50% of dog bites were by dogs in their own yard. Source: Insurance Information Institute, Dog Bite Liability
  • Only about 10% of bites are by dogs unknown to the victim. Source: American Veterinary Medical Assoc.
  • WOOF will seek grants to develop a comprehensive educational bite prevention program that can be used by schools and communities.

How can I help?

Volunteers are needed to help with fundraising efforts that will provide additional amenities and, once the park is open, assist with ongoing maintenance costs and volunteer clean-up days. To volunteer, or make a donation, contact WOOF at or 614-349-6630.

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