Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

February 20, 2014

Going Unleashed for Andover Dog Park

Major fundraiser March 8


The Andover Townsman

---- — “Unleashed” — a fundraiser to support the construction of a dog park in town — is set for Saturday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at Andover Country Club.

Hosted by the Friends of the Andover Dog Park, the event will include silent and live auctions, raffles, appetizers, drinks, desserts and live entertainment.

Proceeds will go toward the completion of an outdoor recreation area for dogs, their owners and anyone who enjoys the company of dogs.

The town of Andover has approved a parcel of land near the Bald Hill Conservation property on High Plain Road for use as a public dog park. The Friends of the Dog Park, a group of private individuals, is currently raising funds to complete the park infrastructure. They hope to start construction this spring, dependent on the success of their fundraising efforts.

When the park is complete, dogs will be allowed to exercise, play and train leash-free within the fenced boundary. While town leash laws currently prohibit dogs from being off leash on public land, the new park will provide an area for dogs to enjoy a little freedom. A double gate will guarantee that the dogs are kept safely within the fenced area. The park will also include benches and wooded shady areas where dog owners and outdoor enthusiasts can relax and socialize.

Group leaders say while the Friends of the Andover Dog Park is working to raise all the necessary construction funds privately, they realize that some of the funds may need to be provided by the town through a warrant request at this spring’s Town Meeting. They say the private-public funding model has been successful for Andover projects in the past, and they want to raise a significant amount of funds at Unleashed to demonstrate a good-faith effort to Andover residents.

Attendees of Unleashed will have the opportunity to bid on such items as in-home wine tastings, Bruins tickets, a chef’s table at a local restaurant, golf at The Country Club in Brookline and artwork from local artists. In addition, there will be fun activities and dog park-related items available for purchase to benefit the cause.

Tickets are $50 and available online at www.AndoverDogParkMa.com, or at the following local businesses — River Road Veterinary Hospital, Groom Town, Blue Dog Academy, Learning Express, Cakes by Design, Andover Animal Hospital, Alpers Fine Art and Shawsheen Village Liquors.

A pre-event kick-off featuring light appetizers takes place next Thursday, Feb. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Brasserie 28, 2 Elm Square, Andover. The public is invited to donate items for the auction and hear about items that will be up for bid at Unleashed, buy tickets for the fundraiser and learn about the dog park.

A Facebook page that includes more details on the fundraiser has been created for the Friends of the Andover Dog Park at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofAndoverDogPark. For more information, visit www.AndoverDogParkMa.com or email www.AndoverDogParkMA@yahoo.com.