AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Georgetown unveiled enhancements to its Bark Park off-leash dog park Tuesday — including a new memorial dedicated to the pets killed in a September 2021 boarding facility fire.
Georgetown’s Bark Park is the city’s first off-leash facility, featuring dog drinking fountains, benches and an agility course. The six-acre park includes separate areas for both small and large dogs to roam, per the city’s website.
The city allocated $25,000 to park enhancements, including agility equipment in the small-dog park, replaced equipment in the large-dog park and new waste cans. A seating area is also available near the newly installed memorial plaque.
The plaque features the names of the 75 pets lost in a fire at Ponderosa Pet Resort. At the time, the Georgetown Fire Department said the animals likely died from smoke inhalation.
“The improvements and memorial dedicated to the dogs lost in that fire and their families will ensure we honor and remember these members of our community for decades to come,” Mayor Josh Schroeder said in a release. “I remain proud of the steps City Council and our fire department took to update our fire code requirements and inspections for boarding facilities, which will help prevent tragedies like the one we experienced here from happening again.”
In response to the deadly fire, Georgetown City Council updated its city fire codes to require all animal care facilities to install fire alarms. Newly constructed animal facilities also have additional fire-protection requirements, per the city release.
The Georgetown Fire Department also added animal housing and care facilities to its list of annual, priority inspections. Existing facilities were also audited and inspected in the department’s service area following the fire.
“We are pleased to see the animal-care facilities begin the process of installing the fire alarm equipment,” Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan said in the release.