Where will it go?

Paw Prints September Edition

14 Sep Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments
Paw Prints September Edition

A Monthly Newsletter of Happenings


Canine Corners Dog Park

September 2019


Becky’s Project Update

The Becky’s Project Team continues to work hard implementing the improvements

planned for Canine Corners Dog Park. The team’s efforts are now focused on raising

funds for this project. Several letters have been sent to businesses and other

organizations seeking their financial help. Information signs and brochures

describing the renovation plans and how you can help have been placed in the 3

sections of the dog park.  If you wish to help, you can donate by

Any amount is appreciated. The fund now has a balance near $6000.  Our next expense that we are saving for will be for a topographical study which must be done before other construction bids can be obtained.

As progress occurs, updates to Becky’s Project will be published in this newsletter.


Small Dog Area Restrictions (New)

 The center small dog enclosure is currently restricted to a maximum weight of 30 lbs.  This rule will soon be modified to “SMALL DOG AREA 30 lb. maximum weight and 18” maximum height at shoulder. No exceptions.”  Signs will be placed on the West and East entry gates that state “All size dogs welcome.”

This size restriction is in place for safety purposes and has been put into use at many dog parks across the nation.  Dogs over 30 lbs. can severely injure a small light weight dog.  It is a matter of heavy mass vs small mass in a collision which can lead to a catastrophic injury.    The 18” rule allows the size restriction to be enforced without a scale.  The entry gate fence post of the center small dog section will be clearly marked to show 18” at the shoulder.  While your dog may be very compatible with smaller dogs, please respect the rules and do not bring your large dog into the small dog area.

Thank you for helping Canine Corners a better dog park.


Dogs Locked in Hot Cars

Although it is September, the hot weather is still with us.  Please be informed so you can act if you see a dog in danger in a locked car.

In 2016, changes were made to California law that allow any person to take reasonable steps necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle if the person holds a reasonable belief that the animal’s safety is in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.

This person will not be criminally liable for actions taken reasonably and in good faith if the person does all of the following:

  • determines the vehicle is locked or there is otherwise no reasonable manner for the animal to be removed from the vehicle
  • has a good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle is necessary because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm
  • contacted a local law enforcement agency, the fire department, animal control, or 911 prior to forcible entry
  • remains with the animal in a safe location, but close by until emergency responders arrive
  • used no more force than necessary to enter the vehicle and remove the animal
  • immediately turns the animal over to a representative from law enforcement, animal control, or another emergency responder

Immunity for civil liability

A new law (§ 43.100) effective on Jan. 1, 2017 states that there is no civil liability for property damage to a motor vehicle if the damage was caused by a person rescuing an animal under Section 597.7 of the Penal Code.


Canine Corners Dog Park History

In 1998 five dog walkers formed a casual walking group in Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa.  One of the women, Andrea Ladner of El Cajon, had already begun researching the formation of an off-leash dog park for East County, and she mentioned her idea to the other four ladies, Becky Rice, Ruth Riedl, Janice Britton, and Sharon Rider. Though Andrea was not up for such a large undertaking, the other four pursued the project enthusiastically. Becky Rice took the lead and enlisted many others in her vision of the dog park. Her leadership and fund-raising ability turned Andrea’s idea into reality.

The park’s governing body, the Joint Powers Authority (city of El Cajon, city of La Mesa, Helix Water Authority, county of San Diego, and the Grossmont High School District) was reluctant to agree to have a dog park within the larger setting, due to liability concerns. They required the park to be managed by the volunteers with no cost to the city and be handicap accessible. Retired Judge Harrison Hollywood, another dog walker at the park, helped the women negotiate with the city legal team, convincing the city in one decisive meeting that their existing insurance would cover the dog park liability. They also assured there would be handicap access to the dog park. With the JPA’s approval in hand, the next hurdle was raising funds.

Becky’s ideas for fund raising included tee-shirt sales, garage sales, and business solicitations. These efforts raised about $16,000, which was supplemented by a grant of $4200 from the San Diego Foundation. The City of El Cajon and PetSmart gave $1000 each, and an additional $4000 was garnered from raffles and events featuring donations of goods from many of the La Mesa merchants. On October 11, 2001 the public was invited to a formal ceremony opening the park, which featured two dog runs, one for large dogs and one for dogs under 30 lbs. The ceremony was noted in the local news outlets.

Over the years additions to the park were made, including concrete benches with the names of some of the patrons’ dogs. The first permanent concrete bench was the “Founder’s Bench, dedicated to the names of the living dogs of the original women who began the park. Subsequently other benches were dedicated to deceased pets. Covered shelters, water access, and additional seating were added. At one point an additional dog run was added, as well as several trees to add shade.

Eventually the original group of women became less involved in running the park, and in 2009 Pam Harrington stepped in to take a leadership role. She gathered a group to assist her. After she retired and left the area in 2011, the group became a more formal council whose objective was to form a 501 (3) (c) non-profit organization. Lead by John Palmer and attorney Jerry Grossman, and with much controversy, Canine Corners became an IRS designated non-profit with formal bylaws in 2014. Once managed by informal get-togethers, the dog park is now run by a council with monthly meetings, a website, a Facebook page, and formal records of finances and minutes. Social activities for both dogs and their owners include the annual Howl-o-ween party, marching in the La Mesa Flag Day parade, and a Holiday party.

In 2019 a committee began exploring the requirements involved in renovating the dog park. Plagued by dust, erosion, and deteriorating fencing, it was determined that a major overhaul was in order. An interior fence-line was moved to expand the small dog section, and approval of additional space at the north fence-line was given by the JPA in April of 2019. Upgrades to seating areas, water access, fencing, as well as drainage remediation and grading improvement head the list of improvements. A new bridge access to a pillared gate and an enlarged entryway to newly surfaced dog runs featuring play features for dogs complete the wish list. A new cycle of fund-raising has begun. The park continues to evolve and improve, served by a dedicated group of volunteers who love their dogs and value a space for them to run unleashed. We know Becky, who passed away in July 2019, would approve of the efforts to keep her dream alive and growing, which is why we are calling the renovation “Becky’s Project.”


Special thanks to Bill Pogue, Ruth Riedl and Karen Lynn for researching and composing the history of our park.



Aloha Party

A special thank you to all of you who attended our dog park’s Aloha Party at Anthony’s Fish Grotto on August 17th. Your participation helped make this event a success. Many of you took the opportunity to share the evening not only with your friends but also your dog. The outside dining area next the lake made for a very pleasant evening and the food was delicious.  A grand time was had by all. In all there were 53 people attend the event along with approximately 15 well-mannered dogs.  Anthony’s graciously donated $280 from the proceeds to Canine Corners. Thank you, Anthony’s!


Howl-o-ween Party and Dog Costume Contest, October 19

Join the fun at the Annual Canine Corners Howl-o-ween Party and Dog Costume Contest, Saturday, October 19. This event will be between 11:00 am and 2:30 pm. Prizes for best little dog, best large dog and best owner / dog costumes will be awarded. Dog rescues, crafters, and commercial product exhibitors will be there.  Wonderful prizes will be awarded in our fundraiser raffle.  The “Born in Brooklyn” food truck will be in attendance. Start planning your costumes now!

La Mesa Parks Appreciation Day – Harry Griffen Park

Volunteer and help plant 200 trees in our park!  Grants have been provided to the park to fund the purchase of 200 trees.  Volunteers are needed Saturday November 7th from 8AM to 12Noon to plant them!  Bring a shovel, gloves and wear closed toe shoes.  You can register on line for this great everlasting improvement to our park at:

Holiday Dinner

Mark your calendars for the Annual Canine Corners Holiday Dinner to be held December 7. This event will start at 6:00 pm and will be held at The Mission Del Magnolia Club House, Santee. More information will be provided as the event date approaches.  Save the date!


Tee Shirts Available

Canine Corners Dog Park is now offering t-shirts with the Canine Corners logo for sale at super reasonable prices. These fashionable shirts are available in adult sizes for $10 or in youth sizes for $5. You have a choice of red or black for colors. You can order this beautiful addition to your wardrobe by calling or texting Bill Mercado at (619)249-3514.

Lost Friend

If you know of a dog that has passed away and would like to add a note about him or her in this newsletter please let us know by emailing us at .

Scoop the Poop                                                                                                              

New signs reminding dog owners to pick up their dog’s poop will be going up soon at the park. Failing to pick up your dog’s poop is not only a violation of City Ordinance; it is unhealthy and discourteous to others. Please help keep our dog park safe, healthy and clean. Scoop the poop!


Thank you for reading to the tail end of the newsletter!

Leave a Reply