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Newcomer to North Branford Launches Effort to Create a Dog Park

Dr. Eric Hodgson said, like other town residents, he would like some place to bring his dog.

Newcomer to North Branford Launches Effort to Create a Dog Park

Having recently moved to North Branford, Dr. Eric Hodgson believes the town needs a dog park.

He said at the , he got talking to some other North Branford residents and discovered there was no place where dog owners could bring their pets to socialize and run.

"There was no place that was a safe place to bring multiple dogs that was sanctioned by the town," he said.

Hodgson’s pet weimaraner, Atticus, is a dog that needs lots of exercise, so Hodgson approached Town Manger Richard Branigan and Parks and Recreation Director Pamela Gery for their support to establish a dog park.

He also advertised for other people interested in starting a dog park and about 35 people attended a meeting to start a committee.

One of his allies is Carol Small, owner of , a doggie daycare business in North Branford where Hodgson leaves Atticus while he is at work.

The committee attended a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting in October, and Hodgson said the committee will return to the commission in January with a formal proposal outlining possible locations, a budget and fundraising possibilities.

He said the committee has visited dog parks in other towns to see what they are like. Typically, they are fenced areas, divided into separate sections for big dogs and small dogs, and equipped with a double-gated entry and some means for controlling dog waste. But the committee determined there is one other factor that is more important than the rest for the success of a dog park.

"The most successful factor for a dog park is the responsible owner who picks up after his dog and acts responsibly," Hodgson said.

Hodgson, 39, is an instructor in obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven.

He is originally from Pennsylvania, went to medical school at the University of Maryland and moved to Connecticut eight and a half years ago. Hodgson moved from East Haven to the Northford section of North Branford last May and says he likes his new hometown.

"It’s a perfect town," he said. "It’s a great town to live in and having a dog park will be the icing on the cake."

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