Volusia County will build a dog park being billed as a "doggie rest area." The new park will be built as a part of the Halifax Humane Society. CEO Miguel Abi-Hassan says the animal shelter purchased the 3.2 acres and the county matched the spending with $400,000 to build the park.
"It's a recreational environment. We're going to have off leash parks for small dogs, off leash parks for large dogs, natural walking trails going through old Florida."
Because the Halifax Humane Society is located right off Interstate 95 and very close to Interstate 4, Abi-Hassan says they plan to market the park as a doggie rest area with signs all over the interstate, and in some cases miles away.
"I absolutely see a good amount of billboards coming up announcing the rest area is here. I see our services being advertised in the newspaper."
Abi-Hassan is confident in the plan to market to travelers, even though there are several state owned an operated rest areas already along the interstate with places for dogs to do their business.
"There are rest areas where you can let your dog out of the car, and that's about as much as you can do at a rest area right now."
The money to pay for the park comes from the county's ECHO funds, a tax that Volusia voters passed on themselves to fund park space, trails, and cultural amenities. Abi-Hassan says the park will also give the animals at his shelter more room to play, and admits there is an ulterior motive for the park, increasing pet adoptions and interactions with the public.
"We want folks to come here more than just looking for a pet, for more than just once a year opportunities. We want folks to come here for retail, for recreation, just to have a good time."
The park will be there from residents in Volusia, and will be the only off leash dog park in that area of the county. We checked, and yes there will be a rest area for the traveling humans as well.