Commentary: Costa Mesa needs to revamp its dog park

As the years go by, Costa Mesa is becoming less pet-friendly, especially for cats and small dogs.

The city may have the largest dog park in the county, but it continues to deteriorate. The small-dog section in particular is overcrowded, undersized, under-protected and poorly maintained from a sanitary standpoint.

The city has so many more important priorities that it may take years before a Costa Mesa City Council will vote to fix up the dog park.

Spending $50,000 in the new 2015-16 budget for a “study” to determine what is needed in the dog park is a total waste of taxpayer money. While only $30,000 is needed to convert the small-dog park into one of the premier small-dog parks in Southern California, more than $500,000 is needed on the large-dog side, mainly for new irrigation. This is

according to bids received by the Costa Mesa Bark Park Foundation several years ago.

And the city will not come to the aid of the small-dog park until the entire park can be rehabilitated. Does that seem fair? By the time the city does anything for the small-dog park, my dogs will all be dead, and I may be dead too.

Costa Mesa fireworks cause much discomfort to many pets, not to mention many people. And when residents ask for relief from the growing onslaught of coyotes, they are told the animals are “protected.”

The urban coyote, which was born and raised in a city environment, generation after generation, is much larger than its counterpart in the wild, thanks in part to its high-protein diet (cats). And it has lost its traditional fear of man. Trying to scare the animal off, a process called hazing, often fails to get the job done.

But residents are told that they need to co-exist with the animals and adapt to living in a state of fear. Leaving pets or small children in a backyard without an adult present is not advisable.

Indeed, Costa Mesa is not a pet-friendly city, and no one seems to want to do anything about it.

AL MELONE is a former candidate for Costa Mesa City Council.