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Grassroots organization plans to bring dog park to Lancaster

Lancaster Unleashed was founded three years ago, and now the group has support from Erie County.

LANCASTER, N.Y. — Western New York is home to its fair share of dog lovers, but when it comes to dedication, few compare to the members of Lancaster Unleashed.

It's a grassroots organization working to bring a dog park to Como Lake Park.

"There are a lot of other dog parks in Erie County, but none really in the area of Lancaster and Cheektowaga. You'd have to drive 20, 30 minutes to get to one from where we live," said Jaclyn McKewan, the president of Lancaster Unleashed.

Three years after the group was founded, their goal is close to becoming a reality. 

Organizers told 2 On Your Side Erie County has agreed to give Lancaster Unleashed the land, but they're still in the preliminary stages of planning. 

However, the project isn't receiving any taxpayer money. Members of the group will have to come up with the funding on their own. 

"We have to get the fencing. We have to have liability insurance. Any amenities will be paid through us," said Karen Penziul, a member of Lancaster Unleashed.

At this point organizers aren't quite sure how much money they would need. They estimate it could be somewhere in the ball park of $50,000.

Dogs are currently welcome at Como Lake Park, but owners say it's not an ideal set up.

Penziul explained, "You do see people letting their dogs off the leash, which is dangerous. You don't know if they're gonna run up to anybody. Cars are driving. They could get hit."

Members of Lancaster Unleashed said more than anything they need people to get behind their mission and support the cause. 

"It is for anybody," Penziul said. "It's open to anybody to come to it and we really need support from the whole community, not just the Lancaster area."


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