Not every neighborhood has a first lady, but Sugar House does. Miss Rosie Short is familiar to everyone who lives and works around the town center. Touring her domain each day, Rosie, a tri-color Beagle, visits Liberty Park, Gilgal Gardens, Westminster and Hidden Hollow Nature Preserve. She often appears at festivals, farmers markets, grand openings, and on the 4th of July, in the annual Pet Parade.
Next year, there may be many more dogs strutting around the business district. Of the nine existing and new residential developments in the town center, seven are pet-friendly. The oldest is Lincoln Towers, and the largest is Irving Schoolhouse Apartments, which allows cats and dogs in all of its 232 units.
When it opens this fall, the new mixed-use Vue at Sugar House Crossing will have 211 apartments and perhaps as many pets as people in each of them. A recent City ordinance removed the limit on the numbers of dogs and cats that can be owned by a resident, provided that all dogs and cats are properly licensed and cared for. But property owners can impose their own limits. The Wilmington Gardens project, which will open later this year, allows one pet per resident and limits the size of dogs to 25 lbs.
Pam Bergeron at Sugar House Veterinary Clinic said she expects a noticeable increase in their clientele once the new apartment and condos are occupied. She said the greatest challenge for apartment dwellers is providing their pets with enough exercise to keep them healthy and calm.
For cats and small dogs, a few laps around the house may be enough to keep them fit. But Selma Saran, property manager at 21st and View said that her canine tenants seem to enjoy walks in Sugar House Park and around the block. The management even provides waste pickup bags at stations around the apartment complex.
Best Friends Adoption Center on 11th East specializes in finding the right owners and environment for the animals in their care. Marketing specialist Jaimi Haig recommends mixed-terrier, -poodle and -Pug breeds for apartment-dwellers, or medium-sized Beagles like Rosie. Larger dogs benefit from crate-training to make them feel safe when left alone for long periods. And daily walks are essential. Haig said that Sugar House is a great place for walking, where new residents can get to know the neighborhood while exercising their pets.
A stately walk may suit many dogs, but some people and their pets need other options for recreation and exercise. Running on a trail satisfies both species, so Salt Lake City is considering new policies for off-leash areas at parks and trails such as the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
An Off-Leash Working Group convened by the City Council recommended that Salt Lake explore options for new dog parks and part-time off-leash areas in existing parks and open spaces. Fairmont Park and Wasatch Hollow are under consideration as pilot projects. Both are attractive since they offer access to natural water features.
In addition, the working group suggested that the City could allow some golf courses, including Forestdale in Sugar House, to be used for off-leash dogs during the off-season or at certain hours of the day. The City Council is considering other policy changes for City golf courses, so that discussion will take place at some future date.
One way or another, Rosie will have lots of company soon on the streets of Sugar House.