The Marshalltown Dog Park in this modestly-sized Iowa city – population around 27,500 – does the wag in grand style with an off-leash park that has most of the basic amenities you would expect from a community that is family and family-dog friendly. Then it does it one better. The dog park is a fair size at 4.5 acres and it has a separate small dog section for dogs under 25 pounds.
It also has benches, drinking water, and what is not a standard item in the great plains states; shade trees. This is a park that exemplifies community spirit, as the locals raised close to $40,000 to establish this fenced-in park, which is not listed as among the 22 other parks operated by the city of Marshalltown that also boasts of its extensive bicycle trails and its roots in good, old, American baseball.
There are fees, but first the really cool part – pun intended. Marshalltown has a glorious swimming recreation facility – a pool with slides and other features – and two days a year in late August, they open the pool up for an annual “Doggie Dip.” The town opens the pool up for small dogs of 25 pounds or less from 5:30 to 6:30 PM and for larger dogs from 6:45 to 7:45 PM.
The fee is $5 per dog. Dogs who want to go swimming can jump right in. “Humans are allowed in the water at their own risk along with their dog(s),” says the city's online brochure. “Owners must show that their dogs have current rabies and distemper vaccinations. No dogs in heat allowed,” the write up declares. How do you like them biscuits? There are rules for the dog park and fees, too. Dogs must be registered every year and day passes are available.
Also, dogs must be up on their vaccinations, cannot be left unattended, and no dogs in heat or puppies under five months old are allowed. Waste pick-up is mandated. The fees for the dog park, which is on Woodland Street, is $25 for the year, which drops to $20 per year for dogs that are spayed or neutered. Additional dogs - a second and third - are allowed for $15 per dog. A day pass if the dog is not registered for park use is $2 per day.