BOONE — Many excited dogs and their owners gathered on Saturday, July 13, to celebrate the re-opening of the Watauga Humane Society’s Arko Dog Park, which had been closed for two months for repairs.

According to Alice Roess, Watauga Humane Society president, approximately 120 dog owners, a number of whom brought two dogs each, entered the park on Saturday to explore the park’s new features.

“Central to the park’s repairs was the addition of considerable soil in a number of low places in the park which frequently flooded; in addition, an extensive drainage system has been installed which should help with eliminating much of the flooding that occurred whenever there was a heavy rain,” Watauga Humane Society Vice President Charlie Duke stated. “Also installed have been concrete pads around the water faucets; these pads will replace the mud puddles which delighted the dogs but not their owners.”

“Further work has been done on the major hillside in the park; the area has been hydro-seeded and seems to be responding well with new growth of grass to cover what had become something of an eye sore in the park,” Duke added.

Current dog park members had their membership extended for two months in recognition of the inconvenience caused by the park being closed, Duke stated.

“The park has a new electronic gate system which requires a special membership card to be scanned prior to entrance,” Ashlee Yepez, director of shelter operations, said. “Current members will be mailed their new cards or they may pick them up at the Adoption Center.”

The Pet Place and The Cardinal food truck were on hand for the ceremony, as was humane society group SNIPS.

Individuals wishing to obtain membership for the Arko Dog Park must fill out an application and present evidence of their dog having current rabies vaccination before being allowed to enter the park, according to the humane society.

Memberships can be obtained Tuesday through Sunday at the Watauga Humane Society Adoption Center, which is open from 12:30-5 p.m. at 312 Paws Way, Boone. One day, a week, or a year-long membership is available. Cost of a year-long membership is $105. Day passes cost $10 and a week’s pass is $40. The park is open to members seven days a week.

Further information concerning Arko Park or related services of the Watauga Humane Society can be obtained by contacting (828) 264-7865 or visiting

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