Competing for their canines
by Denise Ellen Rizzo / Tracy Press
Jun 18, 2012 | 3065 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Volunteers talk to visitors at the Mountain House Kite Festival about the online vote to win money for a dog park in Mountain House.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Volunteers talk to visitors at the Mountain House Kite Festival about the online vote to win money for a dog park in Mountain House. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Local dog lovers are finalists in a national contest to receive a cash prize to help fund a dog park in their community.

“We got into the finals,” said Fiona Mayne, a member of Mountain House Dog Club on Friday, June 15, when the top 15 communities were announced on the contest website

Overseeing the contest efforts on behalf of the club, she said the group registered for the PetSafe-sponsored Bark For Your Park contest on the day it started, May 1. When the voting ended to decide the first list of finalists on June 13, Mountain House had placed sixth overall with 3,827 votes.

Now in its second-year, the contest awards $100,000 to the city with the most votes and $25,000 to two runner-up communities with the highest percentage of votes based on population. In the per capita category, Mayne said there were two other cities that are similar to Mountain House in the finals, but she said her group plans to promote the contest at the upcoming Fourth of July festivities and seek votes through fliers and Facebook promotions.

According to the contest website on Monday, Mountain House had 4,817 votes, good enough for sixth place. The leader at the time was Lynchburg, Va., with well over 16,750 votes.

“We want to set out goals realistically,” Mayne said, vying to win one of the top two runners-up spots for $25,000 to help build the communities interim dog park.

According to Mountain House Dog Club President Rachel Mullen, a prize would ensure a dog park in the near future, as opposed to one made possible through local fundraising efforts.

The club cleared the first hurdle to build a dog park in Mountain House last September, when the Mountain House Community Services District directors gave their blessing. At that time, the board informed club officials they would have to raise their own funds for the project, but Mullen said fundraising has been slow going so far.

“It’s a lot harder to raise $30,000 when you have nothing to start with,” Mullen said. “So many people want it — getting their family members and friends to vote.”

Mullen said preliminary costs sketched out by the club show that the park, slated to go near the wastewater treatment plant north of Bethany and Wicklund roads, would require $20,000 to $30,000 to complete.

“Every person in town I talked to with dogs wanted a dog park,” Mullen said. “It’s the reason we have a dog club. The contest is very important to the people of Mountain House — at least 50 percent of the residents.”

Anyone who wants to vote for Mountain House can do so on the contest website. Voting can be done once a day on both the contest website and the PetSafe Facebook page. Contest winners will be announced by PetSafe on Aug. 3.

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