Graffiti vandals target Detroit’s first dog park after recent opening

Graffiti found at the Detroit Dog Park.
Graffiti found at the Detroit Dog Park.

Graffiti vandals already defaced Detroit’s first official dog park, less than two weeks after it opened near the Michigan Central Station in Corktown.

Detroit Dog Park by Anthony Barchock of Francis' Photos.
Detroit Dog Park by Anthony Barchock of Francis’ Fotos.

The Detroit Dog Park was the culmination of three years of painstaking work to find an ideal location and to clear bureaucratic hurdles.

So organizers were dismayed to discover graffiti strewn on several signs Thursday at 2301 17th St. next to Roosevelt Park.

“I’m obviously a little upset,” said Mary Lorene Carter, president of the Detroit Dog Park. “We worked very hard to make something nice for the neighborhood.”

Dog park vandalismGraffiti vandalism has grown exponentially over the past year in Detroit – and so too have the types of targets. Vandals are hitting historic gems, churches, traffic signs, cars, trees, sidewalks, homes, mailboxes and occupied buildings.

The proliferation is most noticeable in southwest Detroit, where the Dog Park is located.

Exclusive: Meet some of Detroit’s most destructive graffiti vandals

Related stories:

Detroit police not ‘trained’ to ticket graffiti vandals
Detroit mulls graffiti task force as vandalism gets out of control
No shame! Graffiti vandals hit historic churches in Detroit at disturbing rate
DNR ranger under investigation for vandalizing Detroit with graffiti

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Richard James

    Detroiters do not want anything new or nice

  • Lynne

    FWIW, I know some long time residents of that area who see things like the dog park as symbols of the gentrification that is going to soon push them out of their homes. There is anger there for sure. I know that the people who worked hard to make this dog park think they are doing something for the neighborhood but I am not so sure everyone in the neighborhood feels the same way.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I *love* dog parks and the existence of a dog park makes the area much more attractive to me but that isn’t a universal experience. Anyways, graffiti is harmless and adds character imho.

  • Stephan Palazzolo

    Me thinks the focus on blight removal is pure spin, only when the city became bankrupt (officially) did the concern spiral. Same for this vandalism issue. Perhaps it is seen as the last great opportunity to expose vandalism and blight when folks may give a damn. Today at Eastern Market, the vandalism outshone the positive artwork.

  • Jill Drnek

    So awesome to have dog parks in Detroit! I look forward to visiting this park with my pups and kids.

  • Dust Buster

    “We worked very hard to make something nice for the neighborhood.”

    how many times per day and for how many years has someone said something like that around here?

  • bebow

    What should we do to prompt others to treat us with respect? (Cue The Staple Singers.)

  • Shatner

    What can you do when the police arent trained to deal with it.

  • They’re really slowing down! As I recall they tagged the Shinola clock in much less than a week… And to think people want us to believe Detroit isn’t turning around and moving forward by leaps and bounds.

  • Rock Wolf

    Is This The Only Things You Report About In Detroit, Even Thought, we may be going through some things here in the city! Your Reports are all negative as if, you are looking for the negativity, for your negative minded followers and readers. We have a lots of great neighborhoods in Detroit, that you never speak of or photograph. I guess this is how you keep your followers, that what to see and hear the negativity, you report! SMDH! I been in the city for over 60 years and never seen the thirst from the suburbs and people like you, to be able to go back and take the city by force, in order for you to have it back. This is where we are and will stay and I love Detroit! SO Stop Your Only Negative Reporting! Or I will Start a Campaign right on your page to shout you Down!

    • marshall

      It’s what muckraking does…

    • MajorAmerica

      Rock Wolf, please look up the word Syntax.

      • Rock Wolf

        Found it your mother.

    • Shatner

      what news site does positive reporting? Upworthy?
      thats it?

    • Gary

      Fuck off

    • SnowStormsinDetroit

      They can’t help themselves Rock, this Is basically what happens when you let mousey type guys from small towns report the news of a major city.
      These blog guys are just like 10th grade females who wanna gossip & spread dirt about the ex-who’s dating a new chick. Lol lol.

    • Dust Buster

      why dont you go pick up some trash on belle isle with the other volunteers.

      • Rock Wolf

        Because I have a dam good job, but however, If you were on the isle I would be happy to pick up that big piece of trash and then throw you on a big garage boat. to sail to wherever that dump that kind of trash.

  • Donn

    Technically vandals struck an ad for PetSmart, not the dog park itself. I’m sure it doesn’t make a difference to the dogs.

    • Dust Buster

      i hope you dont drive or vote

    • Lynne

      I totally agree

      [And sorry Dust Buster, I both drive *and* vote…although not at the same time]

  • A.L. Cadillac

    Somebody should call the cops.

    Ohhh, that’s right-they’re not trained to ARREST PEOPLE FOR VANDALISM.