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Dog Park at Van Saun is Officially Open

The Dog Park at Van Saun County Park officially opened Saturday to the delight of the county's four-legged friends and John Fugazzie, the man behind it all. On hand for the opening was the Bergen County Sheriff's K-9 Unit, a responsible dog owners presentation by Janice Wolfe, founder of Merlinskids, Bergen County SPCA and the Bergen County Animal Shelter selling limited edition tee-shirts with all proceeds going towards the shelter. 

In the spring of 2011, Fugazzie, the founder of Neighbors-helping-Neighbors, a job support and networking group, organized support to bring a dog park to the county park so that residents from Paramus, River Edge, New Milford and Oradell could have easy access for a place to bring their pets. A place, Fugazzie envisioned, where dogs and their owners could meet to socialize. The idea of a dog park is to provide a place for dogs to play without a leash. There are a few in the county already, in Ridgewood, as well as in Leonia, Lyndhurst and Woodcliff Lake.

Knowing the size of the dog-owning population, Fugazzie was confident that he could draw a crowd to back the dog park.

"It's a dog owner's version of the downtown community," Fugazzie had told Patch.
 
With the help of River Edge Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo, who went to the surrounding towns garnering support for the idea, and Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy, the Van Saun dog park was complete in two years.

Building upon his vision of establishing a dog park at Van Saun, Fugazzie also created BergenDog.org, a volunteer organization focused on creating events to help educate people on dog ownership, rescues and shelters. Part of the mission of this group is to hold fundraising events where the proceeds can go directly to help dog rescues and shelters in Bergen County, as well as to educate dog owners and share information to improve the experience of dog ownership. 

The Dog Park is located at the end of Parking Lot 6.



John R. Fugazzie September 24, 2013 at 04:40 AM
Just to let everyone know that the limited edition T-shirts are now on sale at Oradell Animal Hospital who will be selling them and donating all the proceeds to the Bergen County Animal Shelter.

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