Valley pet owners test out first PetSmart "Pop-up park" in Phoenix

PHOENIX - Nestled among the community gardens at Central Avenue an Indian School Road in Phoenix, the first portable dog park in the nation has sprung up.

A metal shipping container and some fenced-in space to run convinced resident Bill Elander to bring his dogs Fritz and Eva to test it out.

"It enables my dogs to get exercise, so it's ideal," said Elander. "There's a real need for additional dog parks, and this satisfies a really good nitch."

At a fraction of the cost of a traditional dog park, Mayor Greg Stanton said it's a great way to use empty land around the city.

"By working on vacant lots, turning them into something positive, you'll actually build community; build a sense of place, within the city," he said.

If this first "Pop-Up Park" is successful, PetSmart plans to deploy more across the Valley and nationwide.

"This was a great opportunity for us to partner with Phoenix," said PetSmart CEO David Lenhardt. "We're a hometown company here, we've been here for 25 years, so we couldn't think of a better place to do this."

"Pop-Up Parks" are designed to travel, so if the land needs to be used for something else, they can simply pack up the park and move it to another location. Each park costs about $50,000.

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