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Dog Parks at Palm Coast’s Holland Park Closed Over Fears of Hookworm

| February 7, 2018

The larger dog park at Holland Park as it was nearing completion last June. (© FlaglerLive)

The larger dog park at Holland Park as it was nearing completion last June. (© FlaglerLive)

Friday update: The dog parks at Holland Park reopened Friday. The city sprayed the grounds with a chemical treatment, and once it was dry, it was safe to reopen the Venues, according to a city-issued release.

Palm Coast government temporarily closed the dog parks at James F. Holland Memorial Park in the center of town today (Feb. 7) after it was reported that a dog that recently used the parks was diagnosed with hookworm.


There are two dog parks in the 27-acre expanse of Holland Park, one for larger dogs, one for smaller dogs. The park itself had been closed for renovations for 30 months, including a reconstruction of the two dog parks. It reopened last June.

City officials are coordinating the response with the Florida Health Department in Flagler County, and will treat the dog parks immediately, according to the city. There is no way to know for sure if the dog contracted hookworm at the dog park. But the city is taking appropriate precautions regardless.

City officials aren’t sure how long the park will remain closed. “We’re researching our options now, and will treat the grass as soon as we determine the best approach,” Cindi Lane, the city’s chief spokesperson, said in an email. “We decided to close the dog park as a precaution – we aren’t even sure it was contracted there. But since the dog had been there, we felt it was best to do that. Obviously this is a priority, so the treatment will be done as soon as possible. Hopefully we won’t have to be closed for long. No concerns about the rest of the park as of now.”

Hookworm spreads through feces and can infect dogs, cats and people. Pets who are already on a hookworm preventive medicine should already be protected. Health Department officials advise any dog owners who use public dog parks should have their pets fully vaccinated and on preventive care medicine for any zoonotic diseases, or diseases spread from animals to humans.

Anyone who is concerned their pet may have been exposed should contact their veterinarian.

Dog-park closures are rare but not unusual. In 2013 the county closed Flagler Beach’s dog park at Wadsworth Park for weeks after concerns arose that a dog had possibly contracted the parvovirus at the park, or shed it there. The park was cleaned of all dog droppings and bleached in a process that likely mirrors what will take place at the dog parks in Palm Coast.

The public will be notified when those dog parks reopen. Citizens are reminded to always pick up their pets’ waste – no matter where – to prevent the spread of disease.

Hookworm infections are not rare: the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 7 to 8 percent of the world’s population is infected, but overwhelmingly in less sanitary environments. Hookworm infections in the United States have fallen considerably.

The CDC describes the infection this way: “Hookworms live in the small intestine. Hookworm eggs are passed in the feces of an infected person. If the infected person defecates outside (near bushes, in a garden, or field) or if the feces of an infected person are used as fertilizer, eggs are deposited on soil. They can then mature and hatch, releasing larvae (immature worms). The larvae mature into a form that can penetrate the skin of humans. Hookworm infection is mainly acquired by walking barefoot on contaminated soil. One kind of hookworm can also be transmitted through the ingestion of larvae.

“Most people infected with hookworms have no symptoms. Some have gastrointestinal symptoms, especially persons who are infected for the first time. The most serious effects of hookworm infection are blood loss leading to anemia, in addition to protein loss. Hookworm infections are treatable with medication prescribed by your health care provider.”

Treatment takes only a few days and results in no known side effects.

For more information, please contact Palm Coast Customer Service at 386-986-2360. A flier with information provided by Banfield Pet Hospital is below.

Hookworms and Roundworms Brief

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14 Responses for “Dog Parks at Palm Coast’s Holland Park Closed Over Fears of Hookworm”

  1. deb says:

    wouldn’t it be great if all dog owners were responsible and cleaned up after their dogs? I see piles that look like they walked their elephant through the park in Town Center. pick up after your dogs people!!!

  2. David S. says:

    One of the problems is the owners do not clean up after their dogs and do not give there pets a preventive. Also the city needs to get rid of that fountain it harbors many diseases it is another waste of money….

  3. Richard says:

    All the more reason why dog owners should be treating their dogs with Heart Guard maintenance medicine. It prevents heart and hook worms.

  4. Anonymous says:

    When is local officials going to do something about all the sleeping around and spreading of STD’s and pregnancies in this county? Why stop with dogs? Control, control, control….that’s what local officials are all about. Post a sign and leave it up to the people who visit to determine if they want their dog there or not.

  5. That'sTheFactJack says:

    My neighborhood/block Prince Eric Lane is loaded with dog fecal matter from irresponsible dog owners who refuse to pick up after their pet. Reporting to city is useless.

  6. palmcoaster says:

    My appreciation to the city officials for closing the dog parks to be treated and reopened.
    Also will be appreciated if our city officials mainly public works gets rid of the large pond east of the Holland Park all along of the Florida Park Drive sidewalk that is full of foul smell rotten water that can be seeing from the flooded sidewalk by the park chain link fence. Now spring is approaching and not only the water leak on the sidewalk is a slimy slippery danger to pedestrians trying to avoid it, is also a mosquito breeding large foul smell pond!

  7. starryidgirl says:

    Dog owners that utilize this park will also note the Alligator warning signs posted at the dog pond. After almost 3 years and many taxpayer millions in redevelopment we deserve better than this!

  8. palmcoaster says:

    Maybe people will become responsible with their dog waste and pick up after, if only , properly fined after violating the rules and caught…but we need enforcement.

  9. Stan Wolak says:

    My wife and I walk the White Feather Lane and surrounding area,it makes us sick just to see how much dog fecal matter is left on the road sides and even in the roadway,just plain laziness!!! I wonder how these people would like this fecal matter on their driveways and lawns which can cause deadly parasite diseases in animals and Humans.It doesn’t hurt to get a little exercise by bending over and picking up your dogs waste!!! The dog park in Palm Coast is closed just because of this, area infested with a deadly disease from Hookworms and Roundworms!!!

  10. David S. says:

    Talking to the city is a waste of time because their in the business of wasting our tax dollars not addressing the problems.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Jack–you have too much time on your hands if you are out investigating dog poop locations and quantities. Give me a break! It’s not like a cigarette butt that will never deteriorate. The ferrell cats, rabbits, deer, birds and other wild life poop all over too, do you measure that and look for that too? Deal with it. You sound like a chronic complainer.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Stan-How much rabbit, deer, bird, cat and other animal poop do you look for and see? Dog poop may be seen, but it is like all other poop, it decomposes and goes away. Find another path as there are many paths, parks and walk ways for you to explore. You must not be an animal lover.

  13. Mary M says:

    My neighborhood is also a mess,I don’t walk my dogs on the grass,there is so much dog poop and now I see it on the street,cars drive over it and spread it on the road and probably in their garage,it is disgusting.I have 2 large dogs and ALWAYS pick up after them no matter what.I even had poop in my yard,I knew who it was so I gave them a piece of my mind.I called the town awhile back and suggested signs in neighborhoods but that would be to exspensive,but they will spend lots of money on plantings,makes no sense,maybe the town should send a reminder in with the renewal reminder.It is very frustrating to deal with this situation

  14. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe it’s the towns problem……. if you bring your pet to the dog park and the pet gets sick …… just like bringing your kid to daycare if a kid is not vaccinated your kid is getting sick . And many many dog owners only pick up waste when someone Is watching .

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