New dog park in Carmel set to open

(WISH Photo)

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — On August 22, Carmel gets a new attraction for people and pets. The “Central Bark Park.”

It’s a two-acre complex for park members to play with their dogs.

Mayor Jim Brainard told 24-Hour News 8 there is “a tremendous amount of interest in it.”

So much so that park managers have more applications than space in the park. They limited membership to 250 families. Each household can enroll up to three dogs.

The park’s web site says a “double-gated entrance will ensure dogs cannot easily escape as visitors come and go. Designated areas will be provided for small and other dogs,” and “a small shelter within the dog park will provide a shaded, central gathering place for the two-legged visitors.”

Members will pay for those and other amenities through a monthly fee of $10. They must also pay a $40 application fee.

Part of the latter expense will pay for DNA testing of the members’ dogs.

“A lot of apartment complexes around the country use this,” Brainard said. “They have dog parks within the apartment complex and we have found the ones that do the DNA testing are much more successful parks.”

If a pet owner doesn’t clean-up after his or her dog, park managers can check the records to find out who it was.

“It’s unfortunate that you have to enforce good manners,” Brainard said  “Not among the dogs as much as the humans.  But it’s a very inexpensive test to make and we don’t think the cost of cleaning-up should be allocated among all the users, only the ones that aren’t doing it.”

The park’s web site said the idea is not just to fine the irresponsible owners.

Brainard said, because of the popularity of Central Bark Park, pet owners can put their names on a waiting list for future membership.

And because of the demand for the first park, he said “we’ve looked at other possible sites” for dog parks in Carmel. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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