Posted: April 4, 2014, 6:40 p.m. EDT
Dog parks provide a place for pet owners and their four-legged wards to go and play, and now those who look after the swaths of dog-friendly green have a place to go, too.
Roseanne Conrad, president of the newly formed National Dog Park Association, today announced the launch of the Martinsburg, Pa., organization and its companion website, NationalDogParkAssociation.net. The website is in the development stage.
"The growth in dog park popularity is almost mandating an organization to help people find answers to questions they have about ... starting or maintaining as dog park,” Conrad said. "I have talked to a number of people who have struggled in their attempts to get dog parks started in their respective communities.”
Dog parks help canines learn social skills.
Conrad knows of what she speaks, as she struggled for four years to establish a dog park
near where she lives in central Pennsylvania.
"Zoning ordinances, community misconception and funding constraints are some of the problems voiced,” she added.
Conrad wants her organization to help developers, administrators and managers of off-lead dog parks
to provide safe, clean recreational outlets for dogs and their owners.
"A priority is to start a standards committee that will be charged with developing ... practices for which municipal and private dog parks
may refer to during the planning, building and operating phases of their parks,” Conrad said.
The National Dog Park Association intends to provide anyone looking to start a dog park or manage one with feasibility studies, planning and development advice, marketing, graphic design, website and social media development, and networking.
Other member benefits being investigated are group liability insurance and discounts for pet-related products.
Conrad plans to hold the National Dog Park Association’s first National Dog Park Management Conference in 2015. Online training courses and a quarterly e-magazine are also in the works.
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