Inaugural Puppy Pawrade to support future South Carroll Dog Park

Inaugural Puppy Pawrade to support future South Carroll Dog Park
The Friends of South Carroll Dog Park has been revving up fundraising this year since deciding on a 2.5-acre site at the South Carroll senior center for its future dog park. Last week they raised money at Texas Roadhouse and this weekend it's planned the "Puppy Pawrade." (Contributed/Kathy Martin)

This weekend, the Friends of South Carroll Dog Park group is hosting the first of what they hope will be many Puppy Pawrades.

The Puppy Pawrade is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 21, at the South Carroll Senior & Community Center in Eldersburg — where the future dog park will be built — with a puppy costume parade and contest, vendors and music from the Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus.


“Also [we are going to] have the area cordoned off and mark off where the park is going to be,” said Friends of SCDP President Kathy Martin this week. “It’s 2 ½ acres, so the people will really be able to visualize where it’s going to be.”

The Friends of SCDP began its efforts to build a dog park in late 2016 and early 2017, Martin said, and received support at meetings from the local community, Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, and Carroll County Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Degitz.

Originally, the group was hoping to get the park put in Freedom Park — but the State of Maryland denied the request in October 2017.

That’s when members of the Friends of SCDP got the ball rolling for a spot at the local senior center.

“That site was always offered to us,” Martin said.

“So when the state wasn’t really, terribly interested in doing that on our site [at Freedom Park], we just immediately switched gears in January of this year and focused our attentions to the South Carroll senior center,” she said. “It’s a 2 ½ -acre, beautiful, grassy kind of pasture right now — and it’ll be fantastic.”

To make its dream of a dog park come true, however, the group needs to raise $50,000, and to get digging they need at least $42,000.

After a year of fundraising, they have about $9,000 of the goal.

“We really need financial support from the community,” Martin said. “This is going to be something that’s going to enhance our property value and our community, and it will be a county park, administered by the county.”

When the park is completed, Martin said it will function like the Bennett Cerf Dog Park in Westminster, with an annual membership fee and a gate with a number lock that changes each year. The cost will be $30 per family with up to two dogs.

And the Friends of SCDP has ironed out more details since its members have been meeting monthly.

“The dogs will be required to wear a numbered tag while they’re in the park,” Martin explained, “so if there are any concerns, they can identify the dog by its number if it’s injured someone or another dog.

“And the insurance is going to be part of the county park system as well,” she said. “So it will be fully insured, will be monitored by a panel of us volunteers on an annual basis making sure its clean and well-kept, and the county will mow it and maintain it for us.”

Dogs will also be required to have proof of vaccination in order for their families to get a membership.


But before any of that happens, the group is focused on raising the funds needed to get the dog park under construction.

This past weekend, members of the group were at the Sykesville Harvest Fest collecting donations and selling T-shirts, magnets and stickers. Last week they had a Texas Roadhouse night where 10 percent of sales went to the SCDP.

Now the Friends will host pups on parade.

The suggested donation for the Oct. 21 Puppy Pawrade is $20 per person, and additional donations can be made online through the group’s GoFundMe campaign.

More information about the park can be found on the Friends of South Carroll Dog Park Facebook page and website.