This grassy Area is Not a Dog Park

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This grassy Area is Not a Dog Park

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    Rana Goodman

    This grass area is not a dog park, however why can’t SCA have one?:

    Over the last 18 years that I have lived in SCA the topic of a dog park has often circulated among us. For the most part, owners whose property is close to the suggested sites have always raised their fear of noise, i.e. barking, chatting etc. as a reason to object. For these reasons among others the idea has never gone anywhere.  

    However, at Anthem Center, on side of the parking lot there are horseshoe pit sits, a child’s swing set, and the Community Patrol building.  There is also a sign where the TGIF banner is presently located, along with a doggy “clean up” station.  There are approximately 20 to 25 dog owners and their pets that visit this area daily–some who drive their dogs up to this site in order to utilize it. The major problem is the early morning hours that this grassy area seems to have become a quasi-dog park.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not against our four-legged friends, I have never in my lifetime been without at least two dogs myself, but the point is backing onto that area sits a street of homes, many with bedrooms situated at the back of the homes where the noise and chatter from the Anthem Center “quasi-dog park is like an early morning wake-up call.

    We are almost all retired and many of us don’t want to be woken up by barking and chatter at 5:30-or 6:00 in the morning, especially those who don’t have pets, thus those owners have no reason to be out walking them.

    One of my major prerequisite before choosing my lot for my home was having a large lot that could be landscaped into lots of room for my dogs to run and play thus I would not need to go to a dog park, however  many dog owners and their pets enjoy the interaction they find at these parks and personally,  I see no reason SCA cannot have one, lord knows it has been discussed in the SCA community many times before..

    If you were to drive around the area, via Sun City Anthem Drive towards the Eastern Avenue junction, you would notice several large hillside pieces of land that belong to SCA. A dog park could be built far enough from the homes that sit higher on the hillside thus no one would be disturbed by any noise from it.

    I have heard from several of the owners living on the backside facing the Anthem Center parking lot, none too happy with the situation as it is in the early morning hours when owners in addition to the pets congregate in the area to socialize with barking and loud human voices.

    It seems to me that if the Inspirada’s development has been able to establish several dog parks in their community, SCA should at least be able to set up one. All that would be needed is some grass, some shade areas, and a fence with a lock on the gate that owners would have a key or combination to. For example, my side yard leading to the rear of my home has a push button entry latch. Only my family and my service providers have to combination to, the park gate could be secured the same way..

    I will be forwarding a copy of this post to our board of directors and would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this idea. Feel free to post your comments or, if you wish email them to us and we will be happy to post them for you.

    Send your comments to (or log in to Anthem Today to post yourself.)


    Our friends bought a home in Anthem, Arizona which I believe is also a Del Webb development. When they moved in 8 or so years ago there were no fenced in dog parks. Homeowners presented a petition and otherwise lobbied the HOA / BOD and they got their dog park.

    I am hoping, with all the dog owners in SCA, that a movement can be started and our community can develop a dog park for exclusive use by SCA residents. A grassy or even dirt area would be great during the summer when temps make the pavement too hot for little paws.

    Stephen Anderson

    Thank you Rana for raising this issue once again.  I believe that the last proposal for a dog park was to locate it on the west side of Independence Center between it and the entry drive into the Anthem and Independence Centers.  As I recall, it never got approved because people objected to having it next to the entrance to the two Centers.

    I would propose the Pet Club working with the Facilities and Landscape Committee to work on a proposal to develop a plan to submit to the Board.  As a community we have very little free and open land that is accessible by foot and car, has parking, and is away from resident homes.  Sites away from Independence Center could well be looked at.  Coming up with the size, what kind of surface (dirt, sand, artificial turf, etc), and needs for cleaning and sanitizing should be something that these two groups could well come up with.

    I heard directly from a resident who currently lives next to the area Rana mentioned as the unofficial dog park of SCA which is next to the play ground at the far west side of the area.  I sympathize with the infringement on the peace and quiet that the residents backing up to this area experience at 5:30 am to 7:30 am.

    As one member of the Board of Directors, I would be interested in considering a plan to benefit dog owners and those residents who are currently being disturbed early in the morning. Please consider coming to one of the next several Board meetings to express your views either pro or con.  The next one coming up is July 22 at 1:30 in the Delaware Room.

    Stephen Anderson, President

    Sun City Anthem Board of Directors




    Rana Goodman

    Posted for Shirley Otradovec

    My husband and I have been doggie foster parents since 2005. We have fostered dozens of dogs throughout the years. Last year we took in a tiny dog who was in deep trauma. We could not find the perfect home; she’s probably unadaptable. Contrary to our desires, it looks like we are actually dog owners again.

    I have mixed feelings about dog parks, largely because there will always be dog owners who neglect to pick up after their dogs and/or fail to monitor their dog’s behavior. But, I have taken many foster dogs to dog parks over the years to assess socialization levels and simply give them a chance to run hard and fast off leash.

    This heat has made it impossible to walk our 6 lb. dog and our backyard is artificial turf and gravel. We have been taking Penny to a grassy pocket park in our village. There are many others who use this area as a dog park of sorts and it is kept in pristine condition. It is not a big gathering place like the space near the Community Patrol office. And I sure hope our little pocket park doesn’t gain in user population because there are typically no more than three dogs there at any given time.

    My point is that we do need gathering places within SCA for dogs and their people. Many residents don’t participate in clubs or community activities. The doggie spots are an opportunity for human and canine socialization.

    I have a cousin in Florida who took his dog 2x daily to a local dog park for many years. He is a busy property manager who offices from home. When the dog passed away last Spring it was, of course, a deep loss. But after a short time he also realized that losing his daily routine and the friends he made at the dog park was a big factor contributing to the constant stone in his heart. So he returned to his daily routine and when the time is right he’ll get another dog. In the meantime he enjoys his visits with his doggie friends and their owners. This is a 50 year old man with a career and a wife who realized this connection was important to his mental health.

    So, although I don’t love dog parks, I love dogs and I believe SCA should do what it can to support the social and emotional health of community members. Although I probably won’t use it, I want a dog park within SCA. But if/when there is one I hope regulars will ensure the rules are abided by and violations will be reported and managed.

    Best regards,
    Shirley Otradovec

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