Waco off-leash dog park set to close


WACO, Texas – Waco’s only off-leash dog park has an uncertain future after announcing it will be closing on January 1. Even so, the park was open and operating Friday.

The H.O.T. Dog Park on Steinbeck Bend Drive sits adjacent to the Texas Animal Medical Center (TAMC), which are both owned by Dr. LuAnn Ervin.

The park serves as a sanctuary for social dogs.

“It’s great. Because I mean, you get to…..your dogs get to….all get to know each other,” says dog owner Scott Brucksch. “I mean, I come for the dogs. My dogs seem to come for the people some of the times, so it’s just kind of….helps me be social, and them learn how to be social.”

Dr. Ervin is retired from her practice on New Year’s Day, the same day a sign went up on the park’s gate saying it would be closed. The park has been open to the pubic since 2011, and is heavily reliant on the help of volunteers to make sure it is clean and safe.

The community says their dogs need a place like this.

“They love getting to go explore,” says Brucksch. “They know my backyard plenty, they know our house plenty. I mean, they get free roam of the house and the backyard, but it’s….I mean, I live on maybe a quarter of an acre. I couldn’t tell you how much this is, but they just love getting to go explore around.”

Those who frequent the H.O.T. Dog Park created a Facebook page in the park’s name to try to come up with ideas to save it. The TAMC emailed one of the members saying they would be able to keep the park running if enough volunteers were able to maintain it.

This might not be an issue.

“I mean, certainly I’d love to donate time, money….whatever I can to help keep it open,” says Brucksch. “I know other people are more than willing to do the same.”

The TAMC is urging those who want to volunteer and help save the park to come to them for more information.

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