Dog owners are always on the lookout for new and inviting places in which their dogs can play and exercise. Taking the same route along city streets becomes monotonous, and there are very few places that allow off-leash running. Regardless of whether your area already has a dog park, your organization can create another much-needed dog-friendly area that will benefit them and the financial needs of your program.
Look for a large outdoor area that could accommodate dogs of any size, keeping in mind that they’ll need room to run and have space away from one another as needed. Such areas could be in community parks or on private land. Make note of these locations, and then speak with their respective owners or managers about using the space temporarily for a dog-friendly fundraising event.
Once you have approval to use the chosen location, find other people and businesses in the area that are able to donate supplies and services. A lumber yard, for example, could supply you with large panels that volunteer contractors could then hook together and stabilize. The area needs to be fenced in, with either wood or metal, along the perimeter. Any extra materials can be used to create tunnels, ramps and platforms in the field.
Post flyers on store bulletin boards, particularly those in grooming and pet supply shops, announcing the new park and program that you’re benefiting. To draw additional interest you could also plan and advertise contests and activities, such as a cutest pet contest and an agility course day. Local dog trainers may also be willing to donate their services at the park, to either host basic obedience lessons or teach advanced tricks.
You will need to post some rules and regulations for the area. Note that dogs must be current on their rabies vaccinations, for instance, and that the dog owners are liable for anything involving their dog. Your city may also have other pet-related ordinances in place that you will need to follow, so be sure to check everything with your city government.
Dog owners can make a donation to use the park. The fee structure could all depend on how long you’ll have the park running, though. If it will be long term, you could request a flat fee for the season. Other options include a flat weekly fee, a door charge fee for activity or contest days; or a donated amount of their choice for use on regular days. If you won’t have someone there at all hours to check the entrance, attach a locked box to the front gate so that people can leave “good faith” donations when entering the park.
The activity and fundraising options for this are nearly endless. But even with few supplies, you can create an area that’s safe for dogs to go for a fun run off leash. Their owners will thank you!