Can Beneful dog food help Watertown, N. Y. realize the dream of a dog park at long last?
There has been much discussion over the last few years about creating a dog park in Watertown. Events held in support of the park included grass roots fundraisers, gatherings with raffles, bake sales, dog walks, holiday theme parties – even the offer of $200,000 by one donor, if the park was named after his dog – all of this and more was enthusiastically participated in by Watertown residents in the hope of creating a dog park in the city. Most often leading the battle has been one S. G. Gates, a local resident with a big heart and a strong belief in the cause, and his dog Mia.
Mr. Gates has made one point that is undeniably true, and quite obvious to most pet people: the pet industry brings many thousands of dollars into a community in a number of ways including services to pet owners such as grooming, pet-sitting/walking, boarding, specialty treats, pet supplies, food, veterinary care, recreation, dog-related sporting events (think of this summer’s Dock Dogs, Disc-Connected K9’s, Stand up for the Pups Paddle Boarding, NCKC’s Lure Coursing and obedience and agility classes) and much more.
The effort unfortunately has been met with great resistance by the city council despite the fact the city’s own superintendent of public works developed a detailed plan showing the project was highly doable. Thus, Watertown has rejected the opportunity to take advantage of many potential dollars that could be realized here by not encouraging a pet-friendly community. Meanwhile, the Jefferson County SPCA has a small dog park but scant funds to improve it or add any amenities to attract more users.
Now residents of Watertown have the opportunity to win a dog park by entering the Beneful dog food company’s “Dream Dog Park Contest”. The contest is in its fourth year, and dog lovers are invited to submit entries in answer to the question “If you had $500,000 to create a Dream Dog Park where you and your best buddy can play together, what would you do?”
Entrants are invited to submit an essay answering the question along with a picture and a creative theme for the dog park of their dreams. To help you brainstorm ideas and to see the entries submitted to date for this year’s contest, visit the Beneful website. The 2012 winning dog park can be seen here.
Official Contest Rules:
The Contest consists of two rounds. In Round 1, you are required to submit a photo that shows how life is better when you are together with your dog, an essay which describes your ideas for a Beneful® “Dream Dog Park” and a title/theme for your entry.
In Round 2, up to 20 Finalists, chosen from eligible and approved entries in Round 1, will be invited to submit a video with their ideas for a Beneful® “Dream Dog Park” for a chance to win the Grand Prize.
Find the official contest information here. But you’ll have to hurry. Entries for the first round are due in no later than September 17, 2013.
Follow me on Facebook for more local dog news: