Pups get chance to bark freely

Company officials with Pet Supplies Plus said they can’t wait to start building Seymour’s first dog park.

It’s a project the public has asked about for several years now, and city officials said they are glad it’s finally going to happen.

On Friday, PSP employees gathered with Mayor Craig Luedeman and Jim Plump, executive director of Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., on the grassy front lawn of the pet supply warehouse and distribution center at 1510 E. Fourth Street Road.

With shovels in hand, they ceremoniously turned the earth in a groundbreaking event for the park which will encompass about two acres.

Tammy Barker, human resources manager for PSP, said the first noticeable feature going up this week will be the fence.

The park will be separated into two areas, one for small dogs and another for big dogs. It will be free for public use.

A landscaped, brick entryway will welcome dogs and their owners, and interior gates will allow people to unleash their dogs to run and play untethered, without having to worry about them getting outside of the fence.

Those visiting the dog park will be able to drive through PSP’s main entrance and park in the first row of what Barker said will be reserved “barking” spots for dog park users.

“We’ll have 14 spots available,” Barker said.

There will be picnic tables for people to sit at and watch their dogs and doggie waste stations for owners to clean up after their pets, she added.

“Hopefully, everyone will feel responsible and help keep it clean,” she said.

Plans also call for water fountains for dogs, agility equipment, park benches and even a shelter house.

To add some of those features, the company is seeking donations from the public, Barker said.

Those who donate can have a brick engraved with their pet’s name that will be used in the park’s entryway.

There are three donor levels, $50 is the chihuahua level; $100 to $150 is the Labrador level and $150 or over is the Great Dane level.

Anyone wanting to donate can visit the distribution center to pick up a form or can call 812-519-2162 for more information.

Barker said the dog park is a way for Pet Supplies Plus to give back to the community and live its mission to be “knowledgeable, neighborly, trustworthy and pet-centric.”

Pet Supplies Plus employs 185 workers in Seymour, most of which are pet owners, Barker added.

“Since we are not going to have a retail store here in Seymour, we thought this was the next best thing,” she said.

Luedeman said the park is going to be a great addition to the city and is in the right location.

“That’s an area we are planning to include in our trails system, so it will be perfect for people to be able to use the trails to walk their dog to the park,” he said.

The company is planning a ribbon cutting Sept 18 and a grand opening event from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 19. There will be a cookout lunch provided by AVI catering and PSP’s puppy mascot, Patches, will be there for children to get their picture taken with him. There also will be giveaways of pet-related products and vendors will be onsite offering samples, Barker said.

“We’re looking forward to it being a great event,” Barker said of the grand opening.

During the grand opening, people also will be able to adopt dogs from local rescue groups.

Barker said PSP plans to host regular adoption events at the park in the future.

If you go

What: Grand opening for Pet Supplies Plus’ public dog park

Where: 1510 E. Fourth Street Road, Seymour

When: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 19

There will be food, giveaways and vendors. People are welcome to bring their dogs.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.