A group of Auburn dog owners is pushing to get funding, to build a dog park at Emerson Park, and they could wrap up the effort in two weeks, if enough people vote for Auburn in a national contest.
Cayuga County has donated the land for the park, on the traffic circle at Emerson Park, but County Parks and Trails director Gary Duckett says taxpayer money cannot be used for the project. The plan is to fence the 6 - 7 acres into a small dog and a large dog enclosure, and add an easy-access parking lot.
Over the weekend, Auburn surged to the top of the medium city category in votes (over Wheeling, West Virginia). Campaign coordinator Marla Connelly says if Auburn it stays at the top it could win $25,000, which would complete about half the project. Auburn is #3 overall, and the overall winner picks up an additional $100,000 which would be enough to fund it all.
The nearest dog parks to Auburn are in Syracuse and Ithaca, and while the city is looking to get funding, tourism people say a dog park in auburn would also bring in more ourist revenues.
'They're making Auburn and Cayuga County a more visitor-friendly place,' says Meg Vanek of the Cayuga County Office of Tourism. Vanek says 14% of tourists travel with their pets, and having a dog park for them to exercise their dogs would be an asset.
Pit City Rescue member Anca Lee, who also joined The CNY Dog owners Group to talk to us about the contest, says a dog park would also help socialize more animals and give them exercise--cutting down, perhaps, on the number of dogs turned in to her rescue/foster group for behavioral problems.
'Bark for Your Park' voting continues until July 26, and everyone is eligible to vote online, once a day, at www.petsafe.net/barkforyourpark