Winnetka Heights resident and proud dog owner Robbie Good has a dream of a more pet-friendly city. One where lost pets are found, local businesses are always pet-friendly, and dog parents gather at the neighborhood dog park. That’s why Good, along with fellow Oak Cliff residents Michael Reagan and Catherine Dodge, started FIDO Oak Cliff.
What is FIDO Oak Cliff?
The organization’s mission is simple: Improve the quality of life for Oak Cliff dogs and their owners. I have two boxers, Baxter, 12, and Sookie, 2, and would love to have a local dog park, just like many other Oak Cliff residents. Fidooakcliff.org was built as a forum for lost and found pets, a directory of pet-friendly businesses and a rallying cry for all OC pet owners who wish to create a neighborhood dog park.
What’s first on the agenda?
Our primary objective is to develop the first dog park in Oak Cliff. Right now the area doesn’t have a dog park, but we are building interest and making a nice, strong case for one through our pop-up parks.
You held your first pop-up dog park at Polk and Kings Highway in May. How’d it go?
The first pop-up dog park was inspired by Jason Roberts’ well-known Better Block Projects. The idea was to pick a visible location [showing the city that a dog park is something that people would use] just show up, and ask for forgiveness later. It was a beautiful day, and the turnout was huge. One cool thing that came from the pop-up is it caught the eye of Dallas City Council member Delia Jasso.
With that success under your belt, what’s next?
The next step is to do more pop-up parks in a handful of neighborhoods, gauge the response and choose the ideal location. We got a tip that a local builder might be interested, and there are a lot of decisions left to be made before we submit a proposal: Will the proposed park be on city land or private land? Will we propose an agreement where neighborhood volunteers agree to maintain the space? A dog park doesn’t have to cost the city millions of dollars. There doesn’t even have to be parking … people could walk there.
What do you see in FIDO Oak Cliff’s future?
I would like to create committees of passionate dog owners to help with fundraising for pop-up park materials, discuss other socializing options and assist local animal charities.