- Ingvard Ashby
Beginning July 1, OKC’s formerly free Paw Park, 3303 NW Grand Blvd., became a members-only dog park operation charging a $10 monthly usage fee. The nonprofit Partners for Animal Welfare of Oklahoma (PAW OK), which has operated the park on land leased from the city for more than 15 years and maintained it through the efforts of volunteers, warned users in March that the donations it received were not enough to pay for the expense of maintaining the park.
“Our operating costs are between $8,000 and $12,000 a year,” PAW OK president Charles Allen told News 9 in March. “Currently, we’re getting less than $100 a month.”
When donations did not sufficiently increase to make up the difference, PAW OK held a series of public meetings about the usage fees before announcing the policy change. Users can pay $10 a month or $100 per year for access with a reduced fee of $8 per month or $80 per year for seniors, veterans and volunteers.
Dog libertarians will no doubt applaud PAWS OK’s rejection of self-sacrificing altruism in the interest of maintaining private property, while dog socialists will surely point to canine political theorist Karl Barx’s assertion that “modern bourgeois private property … is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.”
Dogs who identify as “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” will probably just whisper about how glad they are the new fees seem to have priced out a lot of “those kinds of dogs,” while dog conspiracy theorists are probably freaked out about the park’s new security system with cameras, electronic key fobs and remote entry gates, not to mention the requirement that all dogs must be registered with a current shot record on file. “What is this,” they will yelp, “13888?”*
*1984 in dog years