Annadel won't be going to the dogs

  • Oreo and Lady, left take a walk with owner Norman Malfatti at Spring Lake, Tuesday June 19, 2012. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Norman Malfatti was hoping that after 40 years in Santa Rosa, he might finally be able to legally take his dogs for a walk at Annadel State Park.

Many pet owners were looking forward to doing the same now that Sonoma County is poised to take over operations at Annadel, which like most state parks is off-limits to canines.

But county officials confirmed this week that the ban on pooches will remain in place at the 5,000-acre state park, at least for the near future, despite the expected management change-over by July 1.

Malfatti is none too happy about it.

"It makes no sense to outlaw dogs," he said this week at Spring Lake Park, where he enjoyed a morning stroll with Oreo and Lady.

Malfatti said allowing dogs at Annadel, which beckoned a short distance away, would not create problems.

"If you look at this park," he said of Spring Lake, "it's spotless."

County supervisors voted June 12 to authorize a one-year agreement with the state to take over operations at Annadel. The deal, which is awaiting the signature of California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman, would keep Annadel open past a July 1 deadline when dozens of parks statewide are scheduled to close for budget reasons.

Dogs are allowed on leash at Sonoma County's parks with the exception of Shiloh Ranch Regional Park in Windsor.

Some dog owners complain about a lack of places to run their pets and have been salivating over the prospect of being able to access Annadel's miles of trails. Currently, dogs are only allowed on leash on Channel Drive inside the park.

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