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Unique dog park 'popping up' in Phoenix

PHOENIX -- It could be the only dog park of its kind in the nation and it is opening in central Phoenix Saturday.

PetSmart, Inc. created the pop-up dog park concept. Everything needed to set up a space just for dogs and its owners comes in a metal shipping container.

"There's fencing inside that can be assembled, there's ramps for access, there's clean-up stations," said Brian Kiesling, director of government affairs for Phoenix-based PetSmart. "There are even movable benches that can be used for seating."

PetSmart's pop-up park, called PuP, is part of an initiative by the city of Phoenix to beautify vacant spaces across the city that can be used for other purposes by the community. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton designated the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road as the PHX Renews lot. Now, the space will include the pop-up park. If the concept is successful, PetSmart will look to expand the idea.

"If this park is successful and the community appreciates it and enjoys it, we certainly are open to doing this in other parts across Phoenix and even across the country," Kiesling said.

An advantage of the pop-up-park is that it is portable and can be taken to other places around the city if it is needed. PetSmart considers the mobile aspect of the park as an avenue to host pet adoptions, or other charitable events.

"We can host relief efforts and mobile spay and neuter site," said Kiesling.

Once the dog park is deployed from the container, it will turn into a 6,500-square-foot space for the community to enjoy. PetSmart donated $50,000 to make the PuP happen. According to Kiesling, the agreement with the city of Phoenix stipulates that the city maintains the space.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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