Can a dog park transform a community? One pet-loving company believes so.
PetSafe, a leading innovator in pet behavior and lifestyle solutions, is offering its second annual “Bark for Your Park” nationwide contest. Last year, Huntington, W. Va., was named “top dog” and won a $100,000 dog park. This year, in addition to the $100,000 grand prize, two additional pet-passionate finalist cities will receive $25,000 to put toward their dog park plans.
“In these times of economic distress, and minimal civic resources, it is a great relief to have a member of the corporate sector step up to not only fill a void, but to help make dreams come true by helping communities in need,” said Kevin Brady, executive director of the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District. “That’s what PetSafe did. We were ‘barking’ for a dog park, and PetSafe heard us.
“But we gained a lot more than winning an off-leash park for our dogs. We gained a source of pride, more green space to enjoy, a place for socialization and fellowship, an opportunity for increased healthy activity for owners and their pets, and a resource to encourage responsible pet ownership in our community. It was a win-win-win all around.”
Dog parks enhance the pet ownership experience in a community, which helps encourage pet adoptions and foster healthy pet-owner relationships, according to Randy Boyd, president and CEO of PetSafe.
Boyd added, “We strongly believe that dog parks can help decrease animal homelessness and euthanasia in that community. Not only are dog owners across America asking for off-leash parks to encourage play, exercise and socialization, we know these dog parks have a positive and lasting effect on the communities as a whole.”
While the contest kicks off May 1, PetSafe encourages community members to start planning early as the contest will be largely driven by community support. Citizens and pet owners across the U.S. are encouraged to visit the PetSafe website to nominate their city starting May 1 and to vote every day for their favorite city to move forward in the contest. For the best chance to become a finalist, a city should excel in all three categories of land availability, support from civic leaders and community votes.
On June 15, PetSafe will select 15 finalist communities to produce a video and continue “barking” for their park. The finalist city with the most votes will receive $100,000 to build a PetSafe dog park. The runner-up and the city with the highest percentage of votes to its population will each receive $25,000. Winners will be announced on August 3.