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Gathering Place cracks down on "no dog" policy, concerned about safety and cleanliness at the park

Posted at 5:58 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 18:58:38-04

TULSA, Okla. -- The Gathering Place saw more than 50,000 visitors this week.

Staff tell 2 Works for You for the first few days they turned a blind eye to those bringing dogs inside. Now some visitors are disappointed to learn the rules are changing.

"I think it's kind of silly. I guess there are some good reasons like if a dog is aggressive but as long as your dog is tame and you pick up after your dog then I don't think it should be a problem," dog owner Makayla Duffey said.

Starting Saturday people with dogs will be asked to move over to the trails. There will be an exemption for service animals, and some park goers said they're relieved.

"There are people that are diabetics or that have other health issues so to have your service animal out here it may be a little easier because it can help alert a child that may have diabetes and their sugar may rise up being that it is hot outside," Audrey Cue said.

The fine print on the signs at every entrance says "no dogs allowed inside," but many visitors said they didn't realize that was a rule.

"Some dogs are well-mannered, well-behaved, unfortunately other are not and it did cause us some problems with some guests in some engagements that weren't quite favorable that really forced us to quickly move and not allow this," park director Tony Moore said.

Some who ignored the rules said park staff warned them that a couple children were bitten by dogs this week. Those with friendlier pets said they're disappointed, and may not be seeing as much of the park as planned.

"I take my dog with me everywhere. So I'll probably come sometimes. I feel safe with my dog too when I'm by myself. So I probably won't come as much," Libby Wayts said.

Larger signs are coming this weekend to emphasize the rules. Next week The Gathering Place will launch "dog play Wednesdays" where the Lakeview Lawn will be reserved for pets from 4:00 to 7:00.

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