Montgomery County dog owners get break on 2013 fee

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Local,Maryland,Kate Jacobson,Montgomery County,Animals

Montgomery County dog owners will have a few more bucks to spend on Fido after the first of the year, when the county temporarily discontinues its annual dog park permit fee for 2013.

The $40 annual fee, first imposed in 2010, allowed dog owners to use one of the county's five dog parks. After noticing a decline in people using the facilities, though, county officials decided to repeal the permit fee and find new funding options to replace the lost revenue.

"Dog parks are such an important resource to the residents of this county, and we regularly receive requests for more," said Mary Bradford, director of the Montgomery County Department of Parks. "Dog owners should have a free, public place to play with and exercise their dogs."

The Department of Parks may add up to 12 new dog parks within existing parks after a 2012 survey showed a need for more dog parks in the county.

Montgomery County Parks Department staff met in November with the County Council's Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee to discuss the future of dog parks, including adding them in more urban areas of the county like Bethesda and Silver Spring.

kjacobson@washingtonexaminer.com

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