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August 20, 2006

Canine Amenities, Beautiful Scenery Give Dogs Plenty to Bark About

Richmond, Calif. — With Labor Day weekend quickly approaching, summer travelers who won’t leave home without Fido can add some special stops to their plans that will have their beloved canines jumping for joy. That’s because PETA—with a little help from hundreds of visitors to the group’s Web site HelpingAnimals.com—has named the Top 10 Dog Parks in North America, and Richmond’s Point Isabel Dog Park has bitten off the number one spot.

The largest off-leash dog park in the United States, Point Isabel has something for everyone in the family. Dogs love sprinting across the park’s fields and trails, rolling in the mud, and swimming in the San Francisco Bay, while their human companions enjoy soaking up the breathtaking vista of the Golden Gate Bridge arching over the water. At the end of the outing, you can scrub down your dirty hound at Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub, a self-service dog wash, and enjoy a cup of delicious vegetarian soup at Mudpuppy’s Sit and Stay Café.

Dog parks perform several vital functions, including providing a place where dogs can exercise and hone their social skills by interacting with other dogs, both of which help reduce aggression and make dogs happier, healthier family members. The rankings were based on the presence of amenities such as full fencing, off-leash areas, double-gated entry systems, swimming areas, available water, agility courses, and separate areas for small and shy dogs.

"Everyone needs to be ‘unleashed’ occasionally, and that’s particularly true for dogs," says PETA Director Daphna Nachminovitch. "Adding a stop at Point Isabel Dog Park to your travel plans will do wonders for every member of the family."

Rounding out the top 10 dog parks are Millie Bush Bark Park in Houston; Shaggy Pines Dog Park in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Rocky Top Dog Park in Princeton, N.J.; Totoredaca Leash-Free Park in Mississauga, Ontario; Quiet Waters Dog Park in Annapolis, Md.; Indianapolis Humane Society Pet & People Park in Indianapolis; Warren G. Magnusun Park in Seattle; Riverside Park in New York City; and Bea Arthur Dog Park (next to PETA headquarters) in Norfolk, Va.

For more information, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.