Dog owners make final pleas to keep Oak Creek dog park open as fall closure draws nearer

NOW: Dog owners make final pleas to keep Oak Creek dog park open as fall closure draws nearer

OAK CREEK, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Frequent users of an Oak Creek dog park, set to close Nov. 1, are making an eleventh hour plea to save it.

Owners had a chance to speak directly to Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley Monday night, Aug. 22.

Runway Dog Exercise Park's got a lot of fans and those fans are skeptical of what they're being told. They're told the county's planning to seek another location for a dog park, but they don't know if they believe that.

This gorgeous Monday afternoon, a lot of good-looking pups, like Tucker, played in this fenced-in park off Rawson Avenue.

"Two-year-old beagle terrier mix, high energy, loves the park," said Leo Lisowski, Tucker's dad.

But Tucker's time at his favorite play place is coming to an end. Runway's set to close Nov. 1.

"I'm going to be very sad when this closes. There will be tears because I love this dog park. My dog loves this dog park," said Cathy Myers, Duke's mom.

Cathy Myers and Duke got in a little exercise before this town hall about the county budget. She wonders if the runway's being shut down because too many people had complained it wasn't being kept in good condition.

"Not that they were wrong, because we were about to bottom out our cars and break axels coming through," Myers said. "But I think the airport just doesn't want to deal with it. The county can't deal with it. So it's easier just to remove the squeaky wheel."

The Milwaukee County parks director says that's not the case, that truly the FAA stepped in.

"We're supportive of folks wanting to have these parks. That's why we created these," said Guy Smith, Milwaukee County Parks executive director.

For now, county parks have set aside money in their budget to fund a study for a new dog park.

"The funding is for the study. We don't have the funding for the infrastructure, the bricks and mortar if you will. So would have to go through the capital committee process where we would identify the need for the dollars to actually construct such a location," said Smith.

County Executive David Crowley said every municipality across the country is facing some type of financial strain. He encouraged them to talk to their state lawmaker for funding because he too is a dog lover. 

"As a new owner of a pit bull named Cosmo, I truly understand where you're coming from. I can tell you that the parks department is working with the community," Crowley said.

The next town hall is virtual on Tuesday, Aug. 23. The last one takes place Wednesday. 

In the meantime, you can go on the county parks website and enter a pin where you think the best place is for the next dog park.

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