Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
June 26, 2012
INDEPENDENCE -- Dori Showell said she swore years ago that if she ever won the lottery, she would open a dog park in Independence.
If nothing else, it would give Showell a way to whet the restless appetite for activity of her lab/border collie mix, Puck.
Showell said she has frequented dog parks in Dallas and Keizer, though leaving town is difficult because she's disabled. Ditto for taking Puck on walks.
"Mostly, it's just playing Frisbee or ball with him in the backyard," she said.
Showell is one of those community members who's been counting down the days until the Independence Community Dog Park's grand opening Saturday at 11 a.m.
The dog park is located off Grand Street and north of the footbridge in Riverview Park. The event will include a ribbon cutting, refreshments and a door prize drawing.
"We have no place nearby to take our dogs, so this is awesome," said Showell, one of roughly 15 volunteers from Independence who've been involved with raising money for and helping prepare the 2-acre facility.
The idea for the dog park materialized in October, with work starting in earnest in January, said Robin Puccetti, public library director and coordinator for the endeavor.
To date, the group has raised $8,200, including $2,000 at a communitywide bingo event in May.
A waterline has been extended to the facility and an informational kiosk installed. Posts for a perimeter fence were placed last weekend and a dog cleanup station is forthcoming.
"The volunteers have put in hundreds of hours for meetings, fundraising and planning," Puccetti said.
The group needs another $8,000 to purchase 1,500 feet of fence for the site. Until that happens, the park will be open to owners and dogs comfortable without a barrier, Puccetti said.
"Hopefully, opening on Saturday, people will see what's left to do and this will spur folks who've been wanting to make a donation," she said.
For more information, to donate or become a sponsor: Robin Puccetti at 503-838-1811 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The city's Parks and Recreation Board will set general rules for the park, which will be open from dawn to dusk. Proposed regulations include requiring dogs to have current licenses and vaccinations, and prohibiting dogs less than 4 months old.
Canines that exhibit aggressive behavior or are defined as dangerous under city code -- essentially, dogs that have caused serious injuries to people or domestic animals -- will not be allowed in the park.