FAIR HAVEN, Vermont (WCAX) — Mayor Murfee is a doggie politician with a plan. There he bites the ribbon announcing the opening of his latest fundraising effort, the Fur Haven Dog Park.
“He was the head of our dog park committee. He flogged me all the time…I take care of my dog park, you know,” says Linda Barker, chair of the dog park committee and owner of Murfee.
Murfee is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who served two terms as mayor of Fair Haven. While the role of pet mayor is largely symbolic, Murfee and his owner Linda Barker have spent his terms raising money for a playground, and now, this dog park.
Murfee did not run again this year and was replaced by Mayor Elsa, a goat.
“So many people in town supported the idea and once we found the location which was the hardest part, we got a dog park,” Barker said.
There were a few delays along the way because the wetland permit took time to be approved by state regulators. But Sunday marks the official opening of the effort, which is one hundred percent funded and run by volunteers.
Barker says the fence cost around $16,000 and they spent a little more money on benches and tunnel ramp structures. But the rest of the details for the dogs in this park have largely been given away.
“That one was a children’s play structure, we repurposed it, a high school art class painted it shiny for us,” Barker said.
“She needs socialization so it’s really nice to have something like a dog park to see other dogs.” said Mike Green of Castleton.
And now that all the finishing touches are intact, the dogs and their owners are enjoying a project that the entire community was able to complete.
“You can meet and have as much fun as their dogs.” said Shaula White of Fair Haven.
Dog owners have been telling WCAX’s Melissa Cooney that they’ve needed something like this in town for a long time. And just based on turnout on Sunday, demand is strong.
“We used to go to the one in West Rutland and now that it’s here I’m so excited,” said Illissa Williams of Fair Haven.
And now Mayor Murfee’s work is largely done, but his legacy will live on through the hard work of volunteers and community members.
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