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07

May 2014

Enthusiastic Response to WINDOG Campaign

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Winnipeg’s new off-leash dog park advocacy coalition is moving forward with its campaign to elect a dog friendly City Council this year. On Monday the Winnipeg Network of Dog Owner Groups (WINDOG) elected its first Board of Directors.

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Founding Directors Colin Lang, Jordan Lobe and Donna Henry, representing Maple Grove, Little Mountain and Kilcona Dog Parks.

Henry says the response to WINDOG’S “I own a dog AND I vote” campaign has been nothing short of amazing, acknowledging that the endorsement of Winnipeg Humane Society CEO Bill McDonald lends credibility to the campaign.

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WINDOG organizers and supporters Maria Conley, Trinda Frovich, Rosalyn Jones-Smith and Melissa Tennant

“Winnipeg lags far behind most major North American cities when it comes to off-leash recreational green space. Dog owners and their supporters want to see a change in the way the City manages dog parks and they want to be part of the change. Off-leash dog parks benefit everyone in the community and the momentum for change is growing rapidly.”

“WINDOG has received generous financial support from dog-loving organizations and businesses. Every one of Winnipeg’s eleven dog parks was represented at the AGM. Lots of volunteers have stepped forward to help with the campaign and groups of dog owners have already organized new off-leash area stewardship groups at Bourkevale, Brenda Leipsic and Charleswood parks.”

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Little Mountain Park Dog Club President and WINDOG organizer Kristy Greening

WINDOG’s top priority is to increase quality off-leash recreational space in the city. According to Henry, “Winnipeg is losing its off-leash recreational space at an alarming rate. It has less off-leash space than it had in 1998, when the city’s first dog parks were created.”

The City recently reduced the size of Maple Grove and Little Mountain and closed the Plessis Road and Stephen Juba parks, leaving Transcona and the downtown without any off-leash space.

Charleswood is slated to close for the William Clement Parkway extension and Brenda Leipsic is threatened with closure for a rapid transit line and construction of a new residential subdivision. Most Winnipeg neighbourhoods have no off-leash dog parks.

WINDOG will begin interviewing candidates about their record and vision for improving Winnipeg’s off-leash recreational green space and making the information public through a clickable ward map on the WINDOG’s new website.

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