There is only one place in the East Mountains where dog owners can take their dogs and let them run around, worry-free; but many owners say that place still isn’t safe enough.
“It’s the safety of the dogs. We don’t want dogs escaping from here,” said Deb Tobias, who frequently visits The Vista Grande Off-Leash Dog Park in Sandia Park.
Tobias says for the last year, the relatively new park has sat in a state of disrepair. The entire area was merely dirt and both of the gates have broken locks.
“It was really not good,” said Tobias.
Tobias and other park visitors added make-shift locks to the gates, but those can only do so much.
“It leaves a fairly big gap and we have some small dogs here that end up scooting right through,” said Tobias.
Tobias says the area full of dirt and rocks almost required her Golden Doodle, Cosmo, to need surgery.
“We took him to the vet because he wasn’t feeling well. They did an X-ray and he had a gut full of gravel from the ground,” said Tobias.
Tobias says the rocks would get stuck to wet tennis balls and, over time, the gravel accumulated in Cosmo’s stomach. Luckily, Cosmo was okay.
After telling Bernalillo County about the faulty locks and the dangerous dirt for months, a crew finally came out and dumped wood chips over the dirt last week.
However, the crews did not fix the broken gates.
Tuesday, Bernalillo County told KRQE News 13 they didn’t know the gates were broken.
“That was mentioned to them at the same time as the issue with the gravel on the ground,” said Tobias.
Now, the county says they will fix both gates.
Tobias says that will finally make this dog park a safe place to be.
Bernalillo County says they do not have a timeline for when the gates will be fixed.