Pet owners: Steele Indian School Dog Park is dirty and neglected

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The dogs appear happy at Steele Indian School Dog Park in Phoenix, but pet parent Avie Kalker is disappointed with the park.

On a scale of 1 to 10 Kalker rated the park a 5.

She gave the park a low score because there’s no water fountain inside the park.

Instead pet owners leave buckets inside for water.

"Whoever sees it (the bucket) or thinks about it, steps outside the entrance and goes out to the fountain and fills up the water," Kalker said.

The lack of sufficient shade bothers pet owner David Yeager.

"During the day just because of the sun and no shade you really can't use it (the park) during the daytime hours," Yeager said.

At Chaparral Dog Park in Scottsdale, dogs play under shade awnings and drink from water fountains.

There are also free mutt mitts for dog droppings, something not offered at Steele Indian School Park.

On that same scale of 1 to 10 Heid Raber gave Chaparral a high score.

"This is definitely an 8," Raber said.

Raber drives her dog all the way to Chaparral Park even though she lives near Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix.

"They just don't put the money or time into it," Raber said.

Pet owners described the dog park in Phoenix as dirty and dusty with no grass.

Phoenix City Park manager Brian Flanigan denied neglecting the park.

"If you look around the park it's not the prettiest time of year, but give it six months from now it will be green and lush," Flanigan said.

The park was renovated two years ago.

The water fountain was kept out of the park on purpose, mostly because of the budget and because an overflow of water causes mud.

Kalker is nervous about visiting Steele Indian School Park at night because there are no lights inside the park.

There are, however, lights outside of the park that highlight the sidewalks.

"We do have security lights all throughout the park and we do have staff here seven days a week," Flanigan said.

He further said there have been no crimes committed at the dog park.

On a scale of 1 to 10 Flanigan rated the dog park an 8 or 9.

Yeager said no way.

"This is a 3 or 4 and that's primarily because of the people," Yeager said.

Another pet owner said he doesn't have a problem with the park and for those who do they should know Arizona is dry and dusty and some trees are leafless this time of the year.

Flanigan and his team will take into consideration the complaints but it is unclear if changes are on the horizon.