PetSmart associates raise $11,000 for community’s first dog park

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For residents of Ottawa, Ill., playtime with your dog usually means walks around downtown. But now, Ottawa dogs and their families have somewhere new to run and play together!
The Heritage Harbor community had never had a dog park, and recently began the process of creating a space for their much-loved pets to play freely. PetSmart associates at the local distribution center (DC) learned about the effort to raise funds for the town’s first dog park and were more than happy to contribute.

A few times each year, PetSmart DC associates get together to promote an in-house sale, affectionately called the “Just a Buck” sale, to purchase goods housed in the distribution center that are past their prime. Items like discontinued leashes, bowls, toys and specialty items for just $1 and funds are distributed to a local cause or no-profit organization. It’s a fun way for PetSmart associates to come together to support a good cause. At a recent Just a Buck sale, PetSmart associates raised $11,600 to aid in the construction of the River Run Dog Park. “It’s a community win,” said DC 36 HR Manager Missy Wendt.

River Run opened to a very excited public in Aug. 2019. The park includes separate play areas for big and little dogs, a micro-library for pet parents and treats for pets. Community members were thrilled to finally have a place to let their pets run free.

The park is open, but the PetSmart team is not finished providing support. Currently, they are planning various volunteer events for associates to take part in throughout the year, and are looking forward to becoming a part of this dog park, long-term. Whether it’s through grooming onsite, local events, or even passing out treats to pets, associates are eagerly awaiting their next opportunity to interact with the pet families at River Run Dog Park.