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West side dog park opens with official 'ball toss'

West side dog park opens with official 'ball toss'

West side residents have a new place to play with their pups.

Walnut Grove Park officially opened Monday afternoon with an opening ball toss ceremony. The park at 202 N. Westfield Road is the eighth Dane County dog park. 

Madison Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp said buying a pass for the park extends throughout the county.

 

Walnut Grove dog park to open

Starting Monday, Walnut Grove Park, 202 N. Westfield Road, joins seven other parks in the city of Madison as locations for a fenced dog exercise area.

Everyone and their dogs are invited to join Mayor Paul Soglin, Madison Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp and the west side neighbors and dog owners for a special unveiling.

There will be an official 'ball toss' opening at 1:30 p.m. on Monday at the park.

"Madison Parks in committed to providing safe places for dogs and their owners to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. The city of Madison is proud to be ranked number 6 in the nation for off-leash dog parks by the Trust for Public Lands," said Knepp.

Click here to find out the dog park rules.

The cost of the Annual Permit is $30 and the daily permit is $5.

Henry Vilas Zoo announces 2 new residents coming to zoo

Henry Vilas Zoo announces 2 new residents coming to zoo

Madison?s Henry Vilas Zoo announced Wednesday that two new residents will be moving in as soon as their home in the zoo?s new Arctic Passage Exhibit is finished.

Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz said the new residents are two grizzly bears who are currently at the Bismark?s Dakota Zoo, in North Dakota.

The bears were born in the wild, and their mother and grandmother were nuisance bears, which mean they were too comfortable being around people. They broke into campsites, and the grandmother had to be relocated 11 times to keep her away from people.

Then the grandmother broke into and raided a pig farm and became too dangerous. Officials euthanized the mother and grandmother, leaving four cubs behind.

Madison will be helping the zoo in North Dakota out by taking two of the cubs. The bears don?t have names yet, but zoo officials hope the community will help them out with that.

MPD Mounted Unit officially announces newest member

MPD Mounted Unit officially announces newest member

The newest member of the Madison Police Department?s Mounted Unit will be announced Monday at a Community Corral, according to a release.

Torres is an 8-year-old Friesian Gelding that has spent the last two months in field training with the unit, and has now earned the right to start his solo career, officials said. Torres joins the unit thanks to a private donor working in conjunction with MPD?s nonprofit organization.

In March, Jack, a veteran horse member of the unit, passed away following a short illness, according to the release. But Torres has filled the void and is ready to carry on in Jack?s footsteps.

Torres will be introduced to the public at the Community Corral from 5-7 p.m. at Vilas Park. The unit?s team members will also be available to share information and answer questions about the horses and the responsibilities of being a mounted police officer.

Mounted police horses featured at park meet-and-greets

Mounted police horses featured at park meet-and-greets

The city's equestrian police team is scheduled to make appearances at three parks this month to meet with the community.

The Madison Police Department said its mounted patrol unit will hold "Community Corral" stops on the south, west and northeast sides of the city.

The Community Corral is an informal meet-and-greet event, organizers said.

Police said the park events are "a great way to 'corral' up area neighbors to say hello to the largest four-legged members of the police department."

The mounted patrol is scheduled to stop by from 4-5 p.m. at:

  • SOUTH: Henry Vilas Park, 1602 Vilas Park Drive, near the playground on Monday, July 21
  • WEST: Bordner Park, 5610 Elder Place, on Monday, July 28
  • NORTHEAST: Reindahl Park, 1818 Portage Road, near the shelter on Wednesday, July 30

Humane society's pet event offers free adoptions

Humane society's pet event offers free adoptions

Lots of furry friends are looking for good homes during a free pet adoption event underway in Madison this weekend.

Dane County Humane Society spokeswoman Gayle Viney said most dogs had already been adopted by Saturday afternoon but there were still plenty of cats available to good homes at no cost. 

The adoption fees are being waived as part of a two-day event sponsored by Maddie's Fund. 

DCHS is one of five area rescues including DC Friends of Ferals, Angels Wish, the Humane Society of Southern WI and Friends of Noah who are participating in the nationwide event.

People are invited to visit the animals at the DCHS main shelter, 5132 Voges Road, or the Adoption Center West, 7474 Mineral Point Road.

Viney said doors opened Saturday at 10 a.m. and will continue through 8 p.m. Sunday event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Potential families will still be screened so pets go to qualified homes, organizers said. 

Madison's resident foxes make a splash with the community

Madison's resident foxes make a splash with the community

Near the railroad track lining Warner Park, depressions in the snow marked many paths -- coming, going and crossing. Some of the prints set close together, others further apart.

Most of the tracks belonged to two foxes, according to Madison resident Rhonda Martin.

Martin lives near Warner Park on Madison's north side, and sees the foxes so regularly she can keep track of their family trees. She can list the members of the family individually, noting when and how many babies (known as kits) each had, as if she knew them personally.

One female fox had two kits in 2011, one of which took over territory near the baseball field where the Madison Mallards play. He’s still there, Martin said. The other kit -- a female -- made a den down the railroad tracks from her mother, and had five kits of her own in 2013. She and four of her kits were run out of the territory by the fifth, a male.