Benefits of a Dog Park
Fourty-six million households in the United States have dogs. If history repeats itself, over 4 million dogs will be surrendered to shelters this year. The man power and resources needed to respond to the massive number of pets that are surrendered to shelters is emotionally, physically, and financially exhausting. It’s a sad fact that the 2nd most common reason that dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescues is for their behavior.
Dog parks provide the venue and opportunity for dogs to get vital exercise and socialization they need, which are two major factors in reducing behavior issues; not to mention that people tend to meet other dog owners, trainers and pet professionals at dog parks and are able to exchange information and resources that can further encourage responsible dog ownership.
However, fewer cities are able to pull from their current budgets to find the funds to build dog parks. PetSafe is helping cities to make their dog park dreams into a reality through the Bark For Your Park contest.
Behavior-based surrenders are an issue that PetSafe has been tackling through their behavior and lifestyle products since 1991. After supporting the construction of local dog parks, the company saw an opportunity to make an even bigger impact in the pet community by offering cities a way to earn the dollars.
Why Bark for Your Park?
In 2011, PetSafe developed and launched the Bark For Your Park national dog park giveaway contest. The goal was to structure a contest that would ensure the city’s civic leaders, community members, and pet owners would truly love, use, and support a dog park for years to come. The winner would receive the $100,000 grand prize.
For PetSafe, the contest is all about finding deserving communities that support allocating green space and while investing energy in improving the quality of life of its community and its visitors, while encouraging responsibility pet ownership. For the right community, a dog park will increase pet adoptions and as well reduce the number of pets euthanized due to behavior. That’s the legacy that PetSafe wants to leave in communities across the U.S.
After two years of hosting the contest, PetSafe has seen cities that can agree on nothing else, can at least agree to build a dog park. Moreover, it can set a course for cities working together to achieve what will ultimately result in the city they wanted. People find they can create positive change for their cities when they work together. That’s what our dogs do for us; they bring us together. Just ask Huntington, West Virginia or Texarkana, Arkansas, the 2011 and 2012 Top Dog winners.
It just takes one individual that believes their community would benefit from a having a public dog park to nominate their city. Critical to the execution of a park project, contestants are asked to provide a letter for support from a civic leader and allocate the land for the park. PetSafe chooses 15 finalists, 5 small, medium and large cities. Then the fun starts. Each cities community members are encourages to “bark” (a.k.a vote) every day. Popular vote determines the winners. PetSafe partners with each city to help ensure their parks will be well visited and loved by their community of dog-lovers.
If your city needs a dog park, or simply needs something pure to get behind, nominate your city today.