Dogs and their people now have a better way to stop for a “paws” that refreshes, thanks to a new combination people-and-dog water fountain at the Fairhope Pier Park. The new fountain is next to the sidewalk, under the bluff, on the South Beach side of the park. It’s the first of several to be installed around town, said Chris Riley, chair of the City’s Bicycle-Pedestrian committee.

Fairhope Bike and Pedestrian Committee member Chris Riley with his dog Tonya at the new dog-and-people fountain.

Fairhope Bike and Pedestrian Committee member Chris Riley with his dog Tonya at the new dog-and-people fountain.

“The first fountain is in place and a big hit,” Riley said. “My service dog and myself have both tested it out. The Dog Park Coalition funded this first fountain and the City is in planning to place up to six more, pending funding.”

Bob Nemens, with the Dog Park Coalition, says his group was happy to fund the first fountain.

“I like that it’s multipurpose, with a fountain at ground level for dogs, a regular fountain for people, and a bottle-filler feature, which is nice to have.”

The Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee determined seven key areas for additional units, Riley said.

“The city will consider our recommendations, with water supply and electricity also factors in the final placements. Other locations we determined, in no specific order, include two others at the Pier Park—at North Beach and by the entrance to the pier—North Bluff Park, Volanta Park, the Splash Pad Park, the Welcome Center downtown, and in the Orange Street Pier area.”

Mayor Tim Kant notes that the new fountains are in line with Fairhope’s goal of encouraging more people to get outside for exercise.

“The Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee works to make walking, bicycling, and other non-vehicular movement safe, accessible, and convenient for all in Fairhope,” Kant said. “The committee seeks to achieve this through planning, advocacy, and education, and by making recommendations to the Fairhope Planning Commission and the Fairhope City Council—such as the recommendation for these new fountains. As a dog owner, I know that walking a dog is a great reason to get outside for exercise yourself, and it’s just as important for our pets to stay hydrated as it is for us, so these new fountains are a great addition to Fairhope’s parks and public areas.”