PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- A long-awaited dog park opened with a public ceremony on Sunday at Abendroth Park in Port Chester.
Village residents including dog walkers have sought an exclusive area for pets for more than three years. Fundraising efforts by the Port Chester Dog Park Group -- and a $25,000 donation from the PetSafe brand earlier this year -- resulted in the special park off of Touraine Avenue.
"We are very excited that hard work and persistence has paid off and we have a beautiful dog park to spend quality time with our four-legged family members,'' said Linda Turturino, a founding member of the village's Dog Park Group.
Park advocates and other local dog owners were joined at Sunday's dedication by Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla, village staff and members of the Village Board of Trustees and Park Commission.
Joyce Rytelewski's 10-year-old English Boxer, Dakota, was among the lucky dogs to inspect the new park, from corner to corner.
Rytelewski, a court clerk with the Village of Port Chester, told Daily Voice that Dakota "loved the dog park. . . . She made a lot of friends."
The village's first dog park includes three sections separated by fences for big dogs, small dogs and an area known as the “Time Out Corner” for dogs that need some alone time.
Those in attendance (and their dogs) enjoyed free giveaways, raffles, music and a preview of "fence dedication" plaques.
The Port Chester Dog Park Group, a community-based grassroots association, led the local effort to raise money and help develop the park.
Dina Goren, a spokeswoman for the local group, said donations and sponsorships are still needed for maintenance of about 1,500 feet of fencing as well as additional park amenities, such as: steps, shrubbery, landscaping and water access.
For more details, visit www.portchesterdogpark.com .