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Residents fed up with broken dog park gates on east side of Indianapolis

Posted at 11:10 PM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-14 23:10:07-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The lock on a gate at an east side Indianapolis dog park is one of the best perks of the park, but also one of its biggest problems.

"There's a magnetic lock that's supposed to go here, that holds the gate, and you swipe in with your card," Dan Franke, an Indianapolis resident, said. "You swipe, it opens, you go in, life's good, you close it. It hasn't really worked since March of this year, off and on."

The gate to the Paul Ruster Dog Park seems to be hit or miss, and often problematic. Usually, the lock won't unlock, keeping the park's paid members outside of the gate or inside of the gate.

To combat that problem, Indy Parks, who manages the area, has tried to add a different lock. However, none of those repairs solved the problem.

After getting locked in the park on Monday with his dog Dillon, Franke called RTV6 for help.

"How do you lift a 100-pound dog over a gate," Franke said. "And how do you, as a senior, jump the gate? It gets harder and harder to call home and say, 'honey, bring the key,' which is a six-inch crowbar, and I had to pop it open to get out."

Franke says at one point, the gates were just being left open and allowing anyone to enter the park.

Dog owners pay an annual $75 fee to use the dog park. Franke says if the gates aren't secure, anyone can bring in their dog, including those that don't have their shots and vaccinations as required by park policy.

"It has to have shot records," Franke said. "It has to be a well-socialized dog you can't just wander off the street and say, 'OK, here's my fighting dog. And I'm bringing him in.'"

After RTV6 made some calls, Indy Parks quickly responded and told RTV6 the gate has been malfunctioning after being reportedly struck by an object.

Read RTV6's statement in full:

"Indy Parks is proud to serve close to 300 residents at the Paul Ruster Dog Park. Due to the recent destruction of the main magnetic entry device, which appears to have been struck repeatedly by an object, access to the dog park has been temporarily restricted to a coded entry.

While the main entry device is being repaired, dog park customers are now using an access code to enter and exit the dog park. The main entry device will be fully functioning by Friday. Indy Parks is asking residents to immediately report any vandalism at the dog park, tampering with the entry gates, or other dog park conditions to Customer Service at (317) 327-7275 or email"

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