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Dog park to host ‘Howl-O-Ween’ event

MARTINSBURG — The Blair County Dog Park is making plans to host a free “Howl-O-Ween” event from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, at the 10-acre park off Agway Road.

Members and nonmember dogs and their owners are invited as long as proof of rabies and DHPP vaccinations are shown and the dogs are non-aggressive.

Also, puppies must be older than 4 months of age, and male dogs older than 10 months of age must be neutered. Females in season may not enter the park.

People who plan to attend the event should educate themselves with the rules of the dog park, which can be found on the organizations’ website at

www.blaircountydogpark.org.

People are encouraged to bring their dogs to try out the play areas of the park and to bring dog costumes for the “Howl-O-Ween” parade at 2 p.m.

The Blair County Dog Park is open for its ninth season. The member/volunteer-based park is a 501(c)(3) organization and is conducting a new member campaign.

Member dogs must be social with other dogs and people and up-to-date on required vaccinations. They must also be healthy and free of internal and external parasites.

“Our park is beautiful, open, surrounded by trees and welcoming. The wide-open space allows dogs to run free and safely,” said Roseanne Conrad, one of the dog park’s founders.

The park has four fenced-in areas including a 2-acre area for large dogs, a 2-acre confidence course, a 1-acre area for small dogs and a half-acre private run.

Members receive the code to the entrance lock box and dogs receive a collar tag that they must wear for entrance.

According to Conrad, there are no breed restrictions, but aggressive behavior will not be tolerated.

In addition, members are asked to volunteer to keep the park maintained and to help with events and fundraisers throughout the year.

“We keep the membership fee very low so that dog owners can afford to join, but we also ask members to be stewards of the park and help with the work that needs to be done,” Conrad said.

Conrad said there are no paid employees, and all work is done by volunteers.

There is a bathroom on the property and adequate parking. There are also picnic tables outside of the fenced areas and benches throughout the park.

The park also has an ongoing sponsorship campaign. Donors may sponsor a fence section, a tree, waste can or birdhouse. Information is on the organization’s website.

“Unlike free dog parks in many other communities, our dog park receives no funding from government sources, so we need to raise our operational funds through memberships and fund raisers,” Conrad said.

Costs include land rental, insurance, maintenance, gas and fuel. The park is also in the process of upgrading several things that have seen wear and tear during the years including the message board and the roof of the storage shed. The park is also in need of a shelter for their large mower and maintenance equipment.

To find out more about membership criteria and to join the Blair County Dog Park, go to www.blaircountydogpark.org.

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