City of Picayune Unveils Little Champs Dog Park with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Published 6:42 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

The City of Picayune reached a significant milestone on Thursday with the inauguration of the new Pat Blades Little Champs Dog Park. This facility has been thoughtfully designed to offer a secure space for smaller dogs to play, alleviating concerns about interactions with larger dogs and contributing to the city’s pet-friendly environment.

Mayor Jim Luke, presiding over the ceremony, underscored the importance of integrating pets into the community fabric. He appreciated the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for their involvement, recognizing their substantial contributions to animal welfare in Pearl River County and Picayune.

In his remarks, Mayor Luke acknowledged the generosity of Jerome Davis from JJJ Construction, who donated $5,000 towards the fencing around the dog park. This contribution ensures a safe and enclosed environment for the canine visitors.

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The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by Michael Blades, the younger brother of Pat Blades, the park’s namesake. Michael provided insights into Pat’s Mississippi legacy, having been the Maroon Tide manager for nearly 30 years. The inspiration behind the dog park’s name, “Little Champs,” stems from Pat’s dog, Champ.

“We appreciate everyone coming out today, and we appreciate the city,” expressed Michael Blades, conveying gratitude to the attendees.

Councilmembers Frank Ford and Janice Miller Stevens participated in the celebration, emphasizing the community’s united support for the new dog park.

Mayor Luke concluded the ceremony by commending the Public Works department and newly appointed Public Works Director Ronnie Spiers for their efforts. Additionally, he expressed gratitude to recently retired Public Works Director Eric Morris, noting that the project was initiated during his tenure.