Conway canines may get place to mingle

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published June 16, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated June 14, 2013 at 4:19 p.m.
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The furry citizens of Conway might soon have a place to run around and meet new friends.

Conway is a finalist in the PetSafe Bark for Your Park contest, where the city can win $100,000 to go toward building a dog park in the city.

If Conway isn’t the winner but one of the four runners-up, $25,000 will be awarded to fund the park.

According to its website, PetSafe is the largest manufacturer of electronic pet training products in the United States.

Judi Standridge, a volunteer with the Humane Society of Faulkner County, entered Conway in the PetSafe contest.

“Most of us have, for about 10 years, traveled to the Burns Park Dog Park,” Standridge said. “We spend time there, and when I go there, I’m constantly meeting people from Mayflower and Conway.”

The Conway resident said she attended a meeting in mid-April about trying to get a dog park in Conway, but funding was the main issue standing in the way of making the park a reality.

“I found this contest around the first of May and entered as a private citizen,” Standridge said.

Before entering, Standridge had to consult with the city of Conway and get approval for the land the park would be on, and a letter of commitment to show support for the project.

Jack Bell, chief of staff for the city of Conway, said he looks forward to the potential dog park.

“We’ve been talking about a dog park for several years, and it’s something we need in Conway,” Bell said. “It’ll be a good addition to our parks system because people have been going to other cities to use dog parks.”

Social media played a big role in spreading the word about the contest, Standridge said.

“The Humane Society of Faulkner County has a pretty big fan base on Facebook,” Standridge said. “We have 4,500 fans.”

Standridge then posted the links to the organization’s Facebook page, and the votes started rolling in.

The potential dog park will be at the Don Owen Complex in Conway, Standridge said. The park will be about 3 acres and have one area specific to large dogs and another for small dogs.

Standridge said the park will give dogs and their owners the chance to meet new friends.

“[The dog park] is a wonderful place for dogs to socialize, but it’s really great for the people,” Standridge said.

Conway residents and others who’d like to vote for the dog park can do so until midnight July 26, and can vote twice a day — once on the PetSafe website and once on the PetSafe Facebook page.

Standridge said she wants to encourage others to vote to make the park a reality.

To vote for the Conway Dog Park, visit www.bark

foryourpark.com.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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