Here’s some pawsitively exciting news for all dog lovers and their four-legged buddies in Kochi. Pawsome, a pet parent group, has begun to lay out the red carpet, or should we say green turf, for our furry companions at Kochi’s Rajendra Maidan. Kochi now has a dog park, and it’s the best news of the week.
Consider this: an outdoor oasis solely for dogs in the very heart of the city. This is a dream come true for many in an urban area where pet-friendly public areas are as scarce. Pawsome was started from a simple conversation between Donna Denny and Aishwarya Nandilath about where to take their pet pups for a fun day out. “Pet parents in the city, particularly those who live in apartments, do not have many choices,” Donna explains, and she couldn’t be more right.
Their adventure began with a ‘Pawsome Party,’ a two-day event where fellow pet owners and their furry kids could interact and meet new friends. The concept grew quickly, leading them to ask if there could be more frequent meet-ups in an open spot. They offered this unique idea to GCDA officials, who eagerly agreed.
The first-of-its-kind dog park in Kerala opened its doors on October 1, inviting canines and their owners every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. And the best part? Everyone is welcome. But bear in mind, pet parents, that it is your obligation to try and keep the park clean.
You’re offered to soak up the doggone good vibes even if you don’t have a dog. It’s a chance for dog lovers who can’t have their own furry buddy for practical reasons. The big opening at Rajendra Maidan was nothing short of amazing, with over 350 dogs and their ecstatic owners in attendance. What was the unanimous response? A resounding success!
Dona Denny and her partner from Pawsome Party, known for their yearly dog flea market, presented their vision to the GCDA committee and were given the green light to set up. They’ve opened up a previously inaccessible area for pet owners and followed the trend of large cities by designating periods for pet parents to enjoy the park while others can avoid it during those hours.
Sushmita Barik and Nihal Jayaprakash, together with their pet cocker spaniel, Momo, now have a space to let their furry friend run free. “It’s critical, given the number of pet owners who live in apartments.” “This is a fantastic start, and we hope it becomes a permanent feature,” Sushmita said. Dr. Anitha Justin travelled all the way from the United Kingdom to attend the inauguration with her Lhasa Apso. She is overjoyed to have such a park in her own hometown. “I’ve seen plenty of parks like this in the UK, and it’s fantastic to have one here,” she said.
The pet industry in India is expanding, with an estimated value of Rs 22,000 crore. As nuclear families expand, pets provide companionship and aid in alleviating loneliness. So, where is this canine wonderland? Rajendra Maidan, of course. When can you visit? Sundays, from 8 AM to 10 AM and 5 PM to 7 PM!
Just keep in mind the following dos and don’ts:
- The park is exclusively for dogs.
- Keep your pets on a leash at all times.
- Water and snacks are not provided, so bring your own.
- If you are a diligent pet parent, bring waste bags to clean up after your pets, or you could get fined.
“This park is needed to develop the humanity of our city,” says GCDA Chairman K Chandran Pillai. We are willing to overcome any obstacles or criticism that may arise. If necessary, we may even examine better locations for a pet park.” And, echoing this sentiment, Hibi Eden MP says, “Having spaces for pets is a sign of a matured society.”
Expect to see tails wag, paws play, and doggos have the fun of their life at Kochi’s first-ever dog park. Rajendra Maidan is a location where both pets and pet lovers can come together and where every day seems like Sunday.