JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., NOV. 30, 2011 -- If you want to take your "best friend" along on your best vacation, Missouri State Parks will provide both you and your dog a place to stay the night.
Beginning in January 2012, Missouri State Parks will make lodging units available to people who want to travel and vacation with their dogs. With the new Cabins for Canines program, specific lodging units will be available for use by dog owners. The program includes units such as outpost cabins, camper cabins, yurts, single-unit cabins, fourplexes and duplexes.
"Missouri State Parks wants everyone to know they are welcome to visit our outstanding state park system. Our new Cabins for Canines program is reaching out to those who love state parks but also love to bring their pets with them," said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Previously pets were not allowed in any state park building, including lodging units. With the new program, 30 percent of lodging units will be made available for owners with dogs, following certain guidelines. "A portion of our lodging units will be available to dog owners and a portion will remain canine-free, giving us a balance to accommodate everyone who wants to come to a state park," Bryan said.
Implementation of Cabins for Canines program will begin Jan. 1, 2012, for state-operated facilities including outpost cabins, camper cabins and yurts. Implementation of the program in lodging facilities operated by private concessionaires will be phased in during 2012 based on availability and fully implemented in 2013. For more information on parks offering lodging facilities for dog owners, visitmostateparks.com.
The number of dogs allowed per cabin is limited to two, regardless of size. For visitors bringing canines as overnight guests, there will be a minimum fee of $15 per dog, per night collected at check-in time. The per-dog, per-night fee may vary depending on the type of unit chosen. An additional fee may be assessed when extra cleaning is required. Dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs inside and outside the unit.
Dogs should be attended at all times while inside the unit and at all locations in the park. When guests must leave the dog unattended, they must be placed in a crate or kennel. A crate or kennel will be provided for each unit free of charge as a courtesy to guests.
With the new program, dogs are allowed only in the designated lodging units and may not be taken in any other park building. This program applies to canines that are not considered service animals assisting guests with disabilities.
For more information about Missouri state parks and facilities available in the Cabins for Canines program, call Missouri State Parks toll-free number at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419(Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) or visit mostateparks.com.