Harmon Field dog park reopens after parvo scare

Published 11:40 am Monday, February 12, 2024

New measures and vaccination requirements ensure future safety for visitors

 

TRYON—The Harmon Field Dog Park reopened on Friday, February 9, after being closed since January 8.

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Last month, Polk County Animal Control directed the Town of Tryon to close the dog park for at least one month due to a possible case of parvovirus. Parvo is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal virus that is easily spread among dogs, mainly through contact with feces.

While the park was closed to the public, Harmon Field staff worked tirelessly to thoroughly sanitize the grounds. A section of the walking path near the dog park was also closed to the public during the sanitization. 

“The thing I’m happy about now is I can run the loop without having to turn around,” said Sarah Cod, who frequently visits Harmon Field. “It was kind of annoying when the path was closed for runners.”

The park has reopened with new rules in effect. Now, dogs who visit the park must be vaccinated for rabies and DHLPP, which is a five-way vaccine for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis. A DH2PP vaccine is also acceptable. 

In addition, all dogs must be on a leash until safely inside the dog park and returned to a leash before exiting. Also, dogs 25 lbs. and under are now considered small dogs and must use the small dog area, and vaping, smoking and chewing tobacco are prohibited at the dog park. 

Anyone who repeatedly breaks the park’s rules will no longer be allowed access to the park. Dog park participation is at the risk of the visitor, the town says. 

Polk County Animal Control will be conducting periodic rabies tag inspections and will issue fines for those without proper documentation. 

“I’m excited to go back. It’s a beautiful area and both of my dogs love it,” said Polk County High School Senior Maggie Johnson. “It’s a great place that allows them to play with other dogs, and it’s also a good opportunity to meet new people.”

Any questions regarding dog vaccines may be directed to Polk County Animal Control at 828-894-0187.