Pooches and people come together to raise awareness around proposed East Falls dog park

Just as many dogs as people could be seen on Saturday afternoon in the parking lot behind the Foodery along Ridge Avenue in Roxborough.

The event, titled “Bring Your Own Dog,” charged entrance by the pooch with proceeds going toward the East Falls Dog Park Committee.

This event was part of the committee’s campaign to bring a dog park to the neighborhood, an effort that has been intermittently pursued by residents since 2012. Claire Stilley, a member of the East Falls Dog Park Committee, said the current focus is on bringing attention to the proposal and the fundraising push will come later.

“If we get a few hundred dollars here, that’s great,” Stilley said. “This is to get our voice out there. To bring attention to what we’re trying to do.”

The Foodery, a craft beer store that is part of a local chain, provided beer for the event. Bryan Benedict, the store’s beer manager, said they were looking to hold an event like this for some time.

“We both had the idea and we just had to get together to make it happen,” Benedict said, adding that he would like to see the park become a reality so he could take his own dog.

Citing a 2013 “dog census” that determined about 53 percent of East Falls households own dogs, Stilley said she’s confident East Falls will have a dog park one day.

“When it happens, we’ll do it right,” Stilley said. “I think that respects the needs of the community.”

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