SAN ANGELO, Texas — The City of San Angelo's only dog park offers a place for exercise, recreation and socializing, not only for canines, but for their human companions, as well.
After a second theft at the dog park - this time a double gate in the small dog section - some dogs (and their humans) will have to wait to visit.
Originally, in late June, a large section of fencing was stolen from the small dog park at 3215 Millbrook Drive. This past Sunday, the double gate were stolen from the same area. A worker was reportedly at the site until Sunday afternoon. The City received the theft report Monday morning.
"The staff was very surprised that not only did they steal the fencing material that closed to Millbrook Drive. But now they've come back and added to their supply with the two additional gates. It's quite surprising," Roger Havlak, City of San Angelo Parks senior manager, said.
Havlak said this is the first time he has seen this type of situation in his 15 years of working for the City of San Angelo.
"Here at the dog park, this is the first time any parts of a fence have been vandalized and or stolen," Havlak said.
There were about 142 comments under the City of San Angelo's Facebook post talking about the most recent incident, many asking about surveillance cameras for this park being installed in the future.
San Angelo resident Andrea Andrade said in a written statement:
"My dog, Dobby, frequents San Angelo's dog park. It is a safe, fenced-in place for him to roam and socialize with other small dogs, some even being with sensitivities and special needs. It is disappointing that people choose to vandalize city property. With the dog park being in a well-populated area with many passer-byers, I hope that the city invests in some type of security for this one and only dog park we are so lucky to have. I would like to advocate for these furry friends who have to now "turn to the streets" for their exercise and let these thieves know that they have it ruff."
The City of San Angelo maintains more than 75 different sites from parks and playgrounds to the City's only dog park. Havlak said cost is a massive barrier to not putting cameras and surveillance systems in the dog park and other areas.
"It's unfortunate that we're really unable to be able to afford surveillance and or cameras throughout our entire parks systems within San Angelo," Havlak said.
According to the City of San Angelo, any time vandalism and/or theft is reported, a police report is always filed. The San Angelo Police Department is well aware of the situation and is currently investigating.
If anyone in the community notices something unusual in the park, the City asks they contact the non-emergency San Angelo Police dispatch line at 325-657-4315.