Voting ends Thursday as Potsdam’s dog park still in the running for online prize of $100,000
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 2:32 pm

POTSDAM -- Supporters of Potsdam's entry into the Pet Safe online dog park contest have until Thursday to add their votes to the tally for the $100,000 grand prize or a $25,000 runner-up prize.

The Potsdam dog park project made it to the finals of the contest on the strength of voting by supporters from the North Country and around the world.

People can "Bark for Your Park" by voting twice a day through July 31, once a day each at and at

People can also donate to the Potsdam park effort at

PetSafe, a purveyor of wireless fences, training collars, bark control, dog doors and other items, is putting up $100,000 for the winner of the dog park contest, and four additional $25,000 runner-up prizes.

Work had already begun on the three-acre lot at 17 Madrid Ave. behind the Potsdam Humane Society building when Potsdam’s dog park organizers found out about the contest.

Among the park organizers are Deborah Massell and Jackson Francisco, Potsdam community members and dog lovers who are working on the planning, outreach, fundraising, and land preparation for the project with the Potsdam Animal Shelter.

It was Massell who nominated Potsdam in PetSafe’s 2014 Bark for Your Park contest. She said the group has been planning on opening the park in the fall, and they would love to have the prize cash to help make the park a reality.

Potsdam's effort was among 15 finalists announced last month. The finalist city with the most votes will receive $100,000 to build a PetSafe dog park. Three runner-ups and the city with the highest percentage of votes to its population will each receive $25,000. Winners will be announced on Aug. 7.

While earlier in the contest we could keep track of the voting on the web site, there is now a blackout until the end of the contest.

"Your daily votes will help us win money for the first dog park in the North Country," says the notice on the Potsdam Pet Safe page. "All-volunteer labor & equipment is being used to clear & beautify the woods donated by the Potsdam Humane Society. There will be three separate areas: for community dogs, for small dogs, & for shelter dogs. We want to increase awareness of the many animals in need of forever homes, & we and our dogs want to play! It will be the only fenced, off-leash dog park within 90 miles unless you cross the border into Canada, & even that is 51 miles away! We need this dog park! Thank you for voting for Potsdam, NY!"