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North Attleboro’s new dog park, walking trails a treat for all | Local News

Barbara Laverdiere adopted Willow, a 13-year-old Labrador retriever, just four days ago.

Willow’s human mom had passed away and her family couldn’t take the dog. She was going to be put down.

North Attleboro resident Laverdiere, who owns another dog, had seen a post about Willow on Facebook, but wasn’t sure she’d be able to handle walking two large dogs.

Then she remembered North Attleboro’s first dog park was opening Saturday.

“(I thought) well, I live close. I can just take them to the dog park all the time,” she said. “So long story short, I adopted Willow, and here she is right now and she’s about to go to the dog park for the first time.”

Willow was just one pup among the many gathered for the grand opening of the town’s dog park and walking trails, located on an 80-acre parcel of woodland off Plain Street. The new layout features five trails, ranging from just under a quarter-mile to a mile-and-a-half long, and are named after prominent local residents, including former local officials Kevin and Betty Poirier and the late Tony Calcia. There are also new parking areas and signs prominently posted reminding owners to — among other things — clean up after their pets.

The Poiriers cut the ribbon to officially open the trails and park during the ceremony.

Steven Carvalho, parks and recreation department director, told The Sun Chronicle last week the park had been in the works for the last several years and the spot chosen was among five proposed. Local resident Kevin McCarthy launched a fundraising effort early this year to support the dog park.

All in all, cost of the project came in under $100,000, taken from a trust fund dedicated to the town forest.

McCarthy, who brought his Australian shepherd Dottie to the ceremony, said the event meant compilation of everything coming together over the last 18 months and working with the town.

“I kept persisting that we needed a dog park and I wouldn’t give up until it was done and here we are 18 months later,” he said. “I’m excited to bring my dog ​​here all the time now. It’s great to see different folks from different town all coming together.”

Following the ribbon cutting, Town Manager Michael Borg, Forest Committee Chairman Roger Horton, Town Council President Justin Paré, and state Representative Adam Scanlon offered remarks.

“This is a project that we’ve been working on for a very long time. It’s been in the works for several years,” Borg said. “We finally got everything, the resources, the volunteers and everybody to come together.”

Paré brought Lucky, a rescue dog, along with his family members to the event.

“This whole thing is a testament to the hard work of the committee members in town and the residents who got together and made this a reality,” Paré said. “So really happy to be here today.”

Trisha Gautier of North Attleboro, who brought her German-pit Charlie, said this is such a great opportunity for the town and for people to get together and have a place for their dogs to play since there was nothing local like this.

Jon and Marisa Petroni of Attleboro brought their two dogs, Luna, a Boston terrier, and Odin, an Old English bulldog, to the ceremony to give the dogs a chance to see other dogs.

“I think it’s exciting for them,” Marissa said. “(They can) meet new other dogs and it’s good for people to come here and socialize and get out.”

Patrick Motto of Attleboro, the owner of a pug named Gus and the Scoutmaster for Scouts BSA Troop 23 North Attleboro, lives about 10 minutes away and anticipates being near the park a lot.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of Eagle Scout projects in this town alongside the dog park,” he said.

Matt Gillon, who lives right down the street, brought his German Shepard, Labrador and pit bull mix Kali to the opening.

“Now I can take her for the walk every day and get her all that exercise that she needs,” he said.

Carvalho said it was wonderful to see the great turnout.

“It’s a great day in North Attleboro,” he said. “It’s a wonderful community event and I’m elated that there are just many people who care about our town.”

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