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Tue., Sep. 1
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Volunteers sought to bring Potsdam Dog Park plan to fruition


POTSDAM - If you love dogs, you will be excited to hear that plans are in the works to create a dog park in Potsdam.

The Potsdam Community Dog Park, an extension of the Potsdam Humane Society, will be a safe, fenced area on three acres of land ,where dogs and their owners can enjoy walking through the woods and meeting friends. A group of volunteers is working with the Potsdam Humane Society to develop the park on the Humane Society’s property at 17 Madrid Aven. (Route 345).

Deborah Massell, a Potsdam resident and dog owner, is a volunteer leading this effort and coordinating the planning, outreach, fundraising and land preparation for the project.

The Potsdam Community Dog Park will offer an enclosed space for off-leash exercise and supervised play without fear of dogs getting lost, hit by cars, or chasing bicycles.

This will be a place for new and experienced dog owners to meet, socialize, and foster responsible pet ownership. It will also be a perfect site for dog-related events and activities like obedience classes, competitions and agility training. In addition, the park’s various areas will provide a great place for the Potsdam Humane Society staff to train, exercise, and socialize the dogs in their care at the shelter. Having more people coming to the Potsdam Humane Society property to enjoy the dog park may also increase the number of adoptions of the wonderful animals that are in the shelter waiting for homes.

Work has already begun to create this space for dogs and their humans. The three-acre lot behind the PHS building has been surveyed by Louis Maine, a surveyor from Potsdam, who graciously donated his services to the project and professional design work has also been generously donated by Jeff Hodgson of WagnerHodgson, landscape designers from Burlington, Vt.

Fundraising efforts are in progress. Ultimately, the park will include several walking trails, clean water for the dogs, pet waste clean-up stands, benches, a gazebo and a separate fenced area for small dogs. Future considerations are an agility course and even a water feature.

Volunteers are needed to help clear trails, install fencing and equipment, and assist with other tasks like planning, marketing, outreach and fundraising. Financial support for this project is critical to pay for fencing materials, equipment, supplies, signs, outreach and to create a fund to offset future maintenance and operating costs.The group is seeking a combination of community support and grants to meet these expenses.

Donations may be made by sending a check payable to the Potsdam Humane Society, 17 Madrid Ave., Potsdam, NY 13676. Please include “Dog Park” in the memo line. You may also send donations through their website, Although the site is still under construction, the donation service works. All donations are tax-deductible.

If you would like to attend the planning meetings, participate in work parties, get more information, or volunteer your services, short or long-term, please contact The Potsdam Humane Society at (315) 265-3199 or You can also join the volunteer group on their Facebook page by “liking” the Potsdam Community Dog Park or stopping by the website at to stay informed of the progress on this exciting new facility for the community.

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