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Archive for June 24th, 2010

Cosmo Park: A desert oasis for dogs

 
How do you go from drainage pit to the nation’s top dog park?

You take a giant leap.

Of course, it also takes imagination, planning, dedication and money. But with enough of all four — as was the case with the birth of Cosmo Park in Gilbert, Arizona — the results can be impressive

Cosmo Park was one of the first stops Ace and I made in the Phoenix area. Impressed as we’d been with Millie Bush Dog Park in Houston, Cosmo Park, though smaller, was a true gem (or oasis, pick your cliche) in the desert.

With four fenced acres to romp, a large lake complete with diving pier, nighttime lighting, a washing station, tables and benches for the humans, agility features and a separate area for “timid” dogs, I’m sure it’s destined to end up on my top 10 list.

It has already landed on most everybody else’s.

In 2007, Cosmo dog park was named the top dog park in the nation by Dog Fancy magazine. This year it dropped to fourth, with another Arizona dog park — one we’ll get to shortly, called Jackass Acres K-9 Korral– taking top honors.

“It offers a great opportunity for dogs and families to get active and socialize. Everywhere you go in the park, you see the celebration of dogs,” town spokeswoman Beth Lucas told the Arizona Republic. The park averages more than 600,000 visits annually.

Residents were so psyched up for the new dog park that some climbed over the fence before the July 2006 opening for an early look.

The park is named after Gilbert’s first police dog.
(To read all of “Dog’s Country,” click here.)

Pro-Pet dog vitamins recalled

United Pet Group of Cincinnati is recalling all unexpired lots of its Pro-Pet Adult Daily vitamin supplement tablets for dogs because of possible salmonella contamination.

The Ohio company says it took the action “out of an abundance of caution” after one lot of the product tested positive for salmonella, according to Consumeraffairs.com.

The recalled vitamins — sold in retail stores nationwide — come in 100-count white plastic bottles with a light blue label and have a UPC of 26851-01800. All bottles with expiration dates on or before “06/13” are included in the recall.

Consumers with pets that consumed the recalled vitamins and have symptoms should contact their veterinarians.

United Pet Group said consumers should immediately stop giving their dogs the recalled vitamins. For more information about the recall, pet owners can contact the company at 1-800-645-5154, extension 3.

Susie’s Law signed in North Carolina

Susie, an 8-week-old puppy when she was tortured, burned and left to die in Greensboro last summer, yesterday became the first dog to sign a piece of legislation in North Carolina — one aimed at protecting her kind.

Gov. Bev Perdue signed the animal cruelty prevention bill known as Susie’s Law. Susie, a pit bull mix wearing pearls and pink nail polish for the occasion, then put her paw print on the bill.

“Today, we make our homes better and our streets safer for the people who inhabit this state,” said Perdue. “No matter if they have two legs or four legs.”

It was about a year ago when Susie was tortured, set on fire and left for dead in Greensboro. Her ears were singed off and she was covered in maggots by the time she was found, about two weeks after the beating, which left her with missing teeth and a broken jaw, according to the Greensboro News & Record.

Lashawn Whitehead, 21, of Greensboro, was convicted and sentenced to probation.

Susie’s new owner, Donna Lawrence, was one of the forces behind the legislation, wanting to make sure that anyone who tortured a dog in the future would have to pay with jail time.

Under the new law, any malicious abuse, torture, or killing of animals becomes a Class H felony, punishable by up to 10 months in jail.

“This law will also protect, I believe, North Carolina’s people,” said Perdue. “The data is pretty clear. For those of you who don’t know the data, people who are actually cruel and do this kind of stuff to animals, are five times more likely to do this kind of thing to a human being.”

Perdue’s dog’s Dosie and Zipper also looked on as the bill became law.

(Photo: Lynn Hey / Greensboro News & Record)