Dogs and Owners Rejoice as Bluffton Dog Park Opens

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Bluffton finally has a place for dogs to run free, socialize and play in a safe, enclosed area.

After 12 long years, the town finally has its first dog park, holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 7 at the park in Oscar Frazier Park — a ceremony attended by Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka, area residents and excited pups.

“It’s taken a longer time than we wish it had, but it’s a great amenity,” Sulka said.

Dalmatians, whippets, golden retrievers and mixed-breed dogs romped in the one-acre park as soon as the opening ceremony concluded, and dogs of all sizes and their owners have been using the park every day since.

The nonprofit group Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks was the primary organizer of the project. Charlotte Wamser first suggested the idea to the town and pushed for it for years, as did many subsequent board members.

The group transferred ownership of the park to the town earlier this year.

“For more than a decade, hundreds of supporters, donors and businesses raised money and donated their time, talent and supplies,” said Phillip Robinowich, current president of Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks.

The park has three sections: one for small dogs, one for dogs heavier than 40 pounds, and one for senior dogs. The rules are simple:

  • Hours are from sunup to sundown.
  • Pick up dog waste.
  • No digging.
  • Two dogs per person.
  • Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • No food or dog treats allowed.

Bluffton Police Department is overseeing the park and Beaufort County is providing basic maintenance services.