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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.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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