by Terry Cunningham, Founder of Run Dog Run in Bozeman
The Bozeman-based non-profit Run Dog Run was formed in 2010 to plan, fund and construct off-leash dog exercise facilities in Southwestern Montana – and to promote responsible dog ownership practices. With the community’s support, we have built 6 new facilities to date, ranging from single-dog exercise areas to 2-3 acre “fetch and hike” parks to a 13-acre doggie wonderland (Anderson Dog Park) featuring ponds, trails, a diving dock, a dog beach, an agility course and shade pavilions (one of which is funded by West Paw!).
We are convinced that our model of creating a community coalition to provide safe, secure, sanctioned facilities is one that can be replicated in any community in the country. In fact, the concept has proven successful in nearby Big Timber, Montana where a grass roots organization created the town’s first official dog park.
So, what are the ingredients necessary to create off-leash facilities in your community? Here’s our list:
If your community has an interest in building off-leash parks, please contact Terry Cunningham, Executive Director of Run Dog Run, for tips, advice and presentation templates. It takes a great deal of hard work, but a proven template exists and the rewards are great for the community.