Posted: June 17, 2014, 9:10 a.m. EDT
By Clay Jackson
In its annual quest to award a community its own dog park, PetSafe has narrowed the search for one grand-prize winner and four runners-up to 15 finalists in its 2014 Bark for Your Park contest.
After issuing a nationwide call for dog-loving boosters to nominate their communities, PetSafe, the Knoxville, Tenn.-based manufacturer of pet safety and travel products, had a pool of more than 1,400 nominated communities from which to draw its finalists.
"We are overwhelmed by the response to this year’s Bark for Your Park contest,” said Randy Boyd, president and CEO of Radio Systems Corp., makers of the PetSafe brand.
The 2014 Bark for Your Park finalists:
· Enfield, N.H.
· Manassas Park, Va.
· Potsdam, N.Y.
· Tehachapi, Calif.
· Waverly, Iowa
· Auburn, N.Y.
· Beckley, W.V.
· Port Chester, N.Y.
· Sanford, N.C.
· Sulphur Springs, Texas
· Carrollton, Texas
· East Hartford, Conn.
· Hattiesburg, Miss.
· Springfield, Ill.
· Taylor, Mich.
The city with the most votes will receive $100,000 to build a PetSafe dog park.
PetSafe also will award $25,000 each to four runner-up cities in the small, medium and large population categories.
The city with the highest percentage of votes to its population—the Bark from Your Heart city—also will win $25,000.
To vote, visit petsafe.net/barkforyourpark/ or check out PetSafe on Facebook. Voting ends July 31.
Finalist cities are creating 30-second video spots to get communities to vote and are encouraged to submit their videos to local television affiliates for possible airing as public service announcements.
PetSafe is providing each of the 15 finalists with a finalist kit, which includes yard signs, point-of-information stands and tear sheets, posters, stickers, window clings and dog park committee t-shirts and downloads at petsafe.net/barkforyourpark/.
The finalist kits also include instructions for submitting a public service announcement video; a standard public service announcement also is available for download.
"We encourage everyone to get out there and ‘bark’ for their favorite park, and we wish each of the finalists the best of luck in this year’s contest,” Boyd said.
Early leaders include Hattiesburg, Miss., from the large city category; Sulphur Springs, Texas, from the medium category; and Waverly, Iowa, leads among small communities and is the early overall leader.
The 2014 Bark for Your Park contest winners will be announced on August 7.
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