DERBY â€“ Derby is one of the top runners for the Pet Safe dog park contest and is teetering with one other town, Mountain House, CA, between first and second place.
Derby entered the contest last year and did not win, but did well competing against other towns with much larger populations. Now there is a per capita contest with a $25,000 winner.
Ann and Bob Kelley and their daughter Ally Kelley are spearheading the effort to build a dog park in Derby and are promoting the voting. Derby needs more people voting every day, the Kelleys say. Already 10,000 votes have come in for Derby, but now Derby is 450 votes behind Mountain House, CA.
The winnings would pay for everything, Bob Kelley said. Work on the dog park on town land in Derby is well underway and donations now total approximately $9,000. But the fencing and a well alone total $15,000. If Derby wins, any extra money could also be set aside for future maintenance.
The winnings would help to make everything nicer, such as the agility equipment for the dogs, the benches, walking paths, etc.
Many community members, organizations, and businesses are rallying behind the dog park and donating money, time, labor, equipment, supplies, and much more.
Columbia Forest Products allows employees to take one work day a year and spend it on a community work service project, Bob Kelley said. One day, two workers came to spend the day helping and Kelley said he was impressed with workers and how helpful they were.
Everyone is being encouraged to sign up to vote twice a day, once through Facebook and a second time through the Pet Safe Bark For Your Park website. Interested individuals can find local information and updates on Facebook at Kingdom Dog Park. Friday, there is a chance for everyone to get seven votes for Derby by answering some trivia type questions. The Kelleys will answer the questions and post them on Facebook to help facilitate the extra votes.
Everyone voting every day is critical, Bob Kelley said. It all comes down to the number of votes. Anyone from anywhere can vote for Derby. The Kelleys have friends who moved back to France and they are voting for Derby. All that is required to participate is filling out a short registration at the website. Voting is open until July 31.
The Kelleys and many others agree the dog park will be a great and much needed addition to the town. It will be a free, public park for anyone from any town to use. Dog parks help dogs socialize and in turn help nullify aggressive behavior toward people and other dogs, help prevent nuisance barking, and give pets and owners a safe place to run free and play while interacting with others.
The following is a list of large local sponsors. There are many more donors as well: Derby Village Store, Newport Animal Hospital, The Animal Hospital, Blue Flame Gas, Columbia Forest Products, Community National Bank, The Farmyard Store, John Gobeil, McDonalds, Memphremagog Press, North Country Hospital, Spates Construction, Surprenant Sanitation, Robert N. Taplin Inc., Carl and Susan Taylor, Tetreault's Maple Farm and Tractor Supply.