Dogged by lack of canine spot, Tempe tries pop-up dog park - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Dogged by lack of canine spot, Tempe tries pop-up dog park

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Posted: Monday, March 12, 2012 5:12 pm | Updated: 1:37 pm, Wed Mar 14, 2012.

The hundreds of new apartments in downtown Tempe have brought an influx of people — and pooches.

So many canines populate the area that a pop-up dog park will appear this Thursday to test the demand for a permanent park.

The Downtown Tempe Community is putting together the event to find out how dog owners respond, DTC Executive Director Nancy Hormann said.

New apartments and condos have opened west of downtown, and the West 6th towers opened its first building a year ago. And with the success of that project, other developers are moving to build even more towers downtown.

Hormann said she’s surprised at the size and number of dogs in apartments, and knows they need some outdoor space for play with their owners.

“There’s some that I don’t know how they fit in the apartments, but it’s very common,” Hormann said. “Sometimes I say there’s more dogs than people.”

The pop-up park will appear from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. as part of the downtown’s Third Thursday events. It will be at the Hayden Square Amphitheatre, 404 S. Mill Ave. The event will feature rescue organizations, vendors, the screening of a documentary and a dog costume contest.

If the idea seems to catch on, the DTC will explore working with the city on a permanent park. It’s possible the DTC would work with a private property owner for a simple, temporary park until a permanent facility could be located and built, Hormann said.

The park couldn’t be anywhere near the size of many traditional dog parks, but Hormann said she’s identified some potential areas.

“It has to be enough for the dog to have a little bit of a run,” she said. “And we do have some green space downtown that we could look at.”

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