Splash ‘n’ Bark eventraises funds for dog park

Sep. 08, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

Lee County’s furry four-legged friends filled O.T. Sloan Park Saturday during the first-ever Splash ‘n’ Bark event — an occurrence the park’s attendees hope becomes more common.

The day-long event was held to raise funds for a proposed dog park at O.T. Sloan Park and, according to Lee County Parks and Recreation Director John Payne, the group has raised nearly half the funds needed.

“We had $9,700 before the event and we are looking at adding at least $1,500 to that today,” he said. The fenced park, which includes two sections to house large and active breeds and small and inactive breeds, is estimated to cost $20,000.

“We’ve had a great crowd,” Payne said. “We’ve had all shapes and sizes here today, dogs and people. It’s awesome to see folks out here who care about getting the dog park.”

The day’s main attraction was the Carolina DockDogs, a club for dog owners and fans who participate in dock jumping and dock diving sports for dogs.

“We love it,” said Jay Harris, president of Carolina DockDogs. “A dog park here in Sanford is well overdue. We donated $750 from the club and Lee County is eat up with dogs.”

Throughout the day spectators watched as members of Carolina DockDogs threw toys and items into the O.T. Sloan pool to be caught by their dogs.

“We hope to make this an annual event,” he said.

Patty Kidd, along with her two grandchildren Wes and Matthew Kidd, and Stephanie Alderson watched as the dogs leapt into the air before splashing into the pool.

“So far it has been real enjoyable,” Patty Kidd said. “We’d love for them to get a dog park.”

Ed and Kate Fry, owners of Sanford-based Four Legs Barking, were one of the vendors present during event and sold all-nature dog treats.

“Lee County is eat up by dogs and it would really nice to have a park out here,” Ed Fry said.

More information about the proposed park and how to donate to the park is available by contacting the Lee County Parks and Recreation Department at (919) 775-2107.