Work underway for Potsdam Community Dog Park on property owned by humane society
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 5:59 am

POTSDAM – Dogs and their owners may be excited to hear that plans are in the works to create a dog park on property owned by the Potsdam Humane Society (PHS).

Work has already begun to create a beautiful, fun space for dogs and their owners. The three-acre lot, located at 17 Madrid Ave. behind the PHS building, has been surveyed by Louis Maine, of Potsdam, who donated his services to the project. Professional design work was donated by Jeff Hodgson of WagnerHodgson, landscape designers from Burlington, VT.

The Potsdam Community Dog Park: an extension of the humane society, will be a safe, fenced area where dogs and their owners can enjoy walking through the woods and meet friends.

The dog park will offer an enclosed space for off-leash exercise and supervised play without fear of dogs getting lost, hit by cars or chasing bicycles. This will be a place for new and experienced dog owners to meet, socialize and foster responsible pet ownership. It could also be the site for dog-related events and activities like obedience classes, competitions and agility training.

In addition, the park’s various areas will provide a place for the Potsdam Humane Society staff to train, exercise and socialize the dogs in their care at the shelter. Having more people coming to the PHS property to enjoy the dog park may increase the number of adoptions of the animals in the shelter waiting for homes.

Ultimately, the park will include several walking trails, clean water for the dogs, pet waste cleanup stands, benches, a gazebo, and a separate fenced area for small dogs. Future considerations are an agility course and even a water feature.

A group of volunteers led by Potsdam residents and dog owners Deborah Massell and Jackson Francisco, are coordinating the planning, outreach, fundraising, and land preparation for the project with the Potsdam animal shelter.

Volunteers are needed to help clear trails, install fencing and equipment and assist with other tasks like planning, marketing, outreach, and fundraising.

Fundraising efforts are in progress. Financial support is needed to pay for fencing materials, equipment, supplies, signs, outreach, and to create a fund to offset future maintenance and operating costs. The group is seeking a combination of community support and grants to meet these expenses.

Donations may be made by sending a check payable to the Potsdam Humane Society, 17 Madrid Ave., Potsdam, NY 13676. Include “Dog Park” in the memo line.

Donations can also be made through www.PotsdamDogPark.com. Although the site is still under construction, the donation service works. All donations large and small are tax-deductible.

To attend the planning meetings, participate in work parties, get more information, or volunteer services, short or long-term, contact 265-3199 or contact@PotsdamDogPark.com.

Volunteers can join on Facebook by “liking” the Potsdam Community Dog Park.