A Soldotna park meant to be a safe space for dogs was hit by a potentially dangerous act of vandalism this week.
Park patrons found broken glass scattered across the 3 Friends Dog Park Wednesday morning, Connie Hocker, park organizer and coordinator, said.
Hocker, who reported the broken glass to police, said the incident is the second time broken glass was found in the park. A similar incident happened in May, but she didn’t report it because she was unsure that it was intentional, she said.
The park opened in September after six years of effort by community volunteers, and provides a fenced-in area for dogs to run off-leash safely. In May, a covered pavilion funded through community donations was opened in the park.
“We’re building this beautiful, positive park and this is very disheartening at best,” Hocker said.
The glass pieces, which were about an inch or smaller, appeared to have been broken before being left in the park and were spread across a 1/4-acre of the 2-acre park, she said.
Volunteers cleaned up the glass pieces Wednesday morning. “We’re picking it up by the handful,” Hocker said.
Soldotna Police Sgt. Duane Kant said that because volunteers had already removed most of the glass before officers arrived on the scene, the police were unsure if the glass was scattered deliberately. Kant encouraged anyone reporting a potential crime to leave the evidence where it is so police can investigate.
No injuries were reported from the glass, but Kant said the police would take any attempt to harm animals in the park seriously.
“If somebody’s doing it maliciously we would take it seriously,” he said.
Kant said Soldotna police would step up surveillance in the area.
“We are going to add extra patrols in and around the dog park to see if there is a pattern,” Kant said.
Hocker asked for the community to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. She hopes to install cameras in the park, but would need funding for the project.