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Group raises money for new dog park

We're bringing you a fresh look at a vision for MacArthur park in downtown Little Rock. Members of the Unleashed Project hope to transform the southeast corner of the park into a dog park where you can let your pet run without a leash.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - FOX16 is bringing you a fresh look at a vision for MacArthur park in downtown Little Rock. Members of the Unleashed Project hope to transform the southeast corner of the park into a dog park where you can let your pet run without a leash.

"You're a good boy, Milo. Good boy. We often wonder what his life was like before he got to us," says Milo's owner and downtown Little Rock resident Keith Canfield.

Canfield adopted Milo from the Little Rock Animal Village last year.

"He had not been around dogs a lot, so it was really important for us to socialize him, so having a dog park and being able to meet other dogs in a controlled area, it really makes a better life for the dog and the owner," says Canfield.

And, after living in downtown Little Rock for the past three years, Canfield says there's something missing.

"Downtown pet owners particularly need somewhere to go not only to exercise their pets, but also to socialize," he says.

That's why Canfield supports the Unleashed Project which is part of a master plan launched in 2009 to revitalize downtown. It includes building a dog park across from the UALR Law School in MacArthur Park. With more than 15-thousand dollars already raised, and 15-thousand in matching funds from the City of Little Rock, Unleashed is well on its way.

"$30,000 gets us basically fencing and water, but we think we need lights, for the basic things, we think we need lights, we need an emergency call box," says Sharon Priest with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership.

Now, Petsmart is giving away 100-thousand dollars to the city that gets the most votes to build a dog park.

"Hopefully on August third, they'll be calling us and saying Little Rock, here's your dog park," says Priest.

The extra cash means Milo would have splash pads to play with, a wash station and even an agility area. Little Rock has some pretty tough competition from Batesville, Texarkana and Vilonia to win the 100-thousand dollar Petsmart grant.

You have until June 13 to vote in this round to choose the 15 finalists.
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