PetSafe’s 2015 Bark for Your Park Finalists Announced
Fire up the brass band, uncork the bubbly, and drumroll please. PetSafe has announced the 15 finalists in their fifth annual Bark for Your Park contest that recognizes the importance of having a communal hang-out space where balls are tossed, Frisbees thrown, and pooches run untethered. Yes, the brand awards each of five U.S. communities with the cash needed to build a local off-leash dog park in their ‘hood, including one grand prize of $100,000 and four $25,000 prizes.
Last year’s small town winner was Waverly, Iowa; population 10,000 and home to some serious social media gurus who used Facebook, YouTube, and twitter to ensure they can now include “home to one heck of a dog park” on their tourist brochures. Waverly beat out a whopping 1,400 submissions for top honors and this year the Waverly townsfolk lobbied heavily to help neighboring Epworth, Iowa make the cut. Clearly no dog-eat-dog world in the Hawkeye state but did their efforts work?
What was the catalyst behind this cool competition? PetSafe CEO Willie Wallace recognized the many benefits a dog park makes to the community but knew that lack of funding made it impossible for many small towns to achieve the dream. Thus began the Bark for your Park competition. This year’s event saw voting take place from May 13 through June 10 with U.S. residents encouraged to vote daily for their community through PetSafe’s website and Facebook. Multiple criteria were used to determine the short list including Pet Safe confirming the availability of land and civic leader support prior to creating their short list of 15.
So who made the cut? From the 1,000 communities nominated for 2015, the finalist communities for this year’s Bark for Your Park Contest include:
- Epworth, IA
- Fort Gratiot, MI
- Portland, TX
- Sheffield Lake, OH
- Winslow, AZ
- Barstow, CA
- Bryant, AR
- Jacksonville, IL
- Merrimack, NH
- Willmar, MN
- LaGrange, GA
- Moore, OK
- Oswego, IL
- Vacaville, CA
- Watkinsville, GA
Each of the finalists will receive a tool kit with all the cool stuff needed to generate a community buzz including t-shirts for dog park leaders, yard signs to place around town, stickers, window clings and more.
In addition to the top prize, PetSafe will award each of the four runner-up communities with $25,000 based on the most votes in each of small, medium and large categories as well as the community with the highest voting percentage per capita – which will receive the Bark from Your Heart award.
Voting for the 15 communities is open now through July 22, 2015, and winners will be announced on July 31, 2015.
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