Thursday, September 9, 2010

Georgia Dog Owner Wins Dream Dog Park Contest

/PRNewswire/ -- For Atlanta-area resident Pat McNeely and his dog Koda, doggie dreams really can come true. Today, McNeely and his four-legged best friend were crowned Grand Prize Winner of the Beneful® WagWorld® Dream Dog Park Contest.

To celebrate the special relationships we have with our dogs, the first-of-its-kind contest invited dog owners across America to answer the question: If you had $500,000 to create the ultimate dream dog park for you and your best buddy, what would you do? In addition to submitting a video that showed the many creative ways they would create their dream dog park, contest entrants were asked to write a short essay explaining how the makeover of a neighborhood dog park would enhance their daily adventures with their dog.

McNeely's winning entry will help serve as inspiration for a $500,000 renovation of the Newtown Dog Park in Johns Creek, Ga. In addition, McNeely won $5,000 cash and a year's supply of Beneful® brand dog food. The Beneful WagWorld Dream Team, led by dog lover, design expert and television host Jason Cameron, will manage the transformation of the dog park to create a dream dog park for the entire Johns Creek community to enjoy. Also on the team is pet expert and bestselling author Arden Moore, who will help manage the renovation from the dog's point of view. Plans will be reviewed and approved by the City.

"We were amazed by the creativity and quality of the entries we received in this contest - dog owners really know how to dream big," said Cameron. "While we received many outstanding entries, Pat McNeely's entry rose to the top and I am excited to manage the transformation of his neighborhood dog park into the WagWorld Dream Dog Park for his entire community to enjoy."

At a hometown celebration event today in Johns Creek, Ga., Cameron unveiled a preliminary blueprint design for the dog park renovation in front of a local gathering that included: McNeely and Koda; Johns Creek city officials; Mayor Mike Bodker; and members of the local dog community. A climbing structure, plastic tunnels, a doggie splash pad, lots of grass and shade trees, and running trails are some of the exciting features that will be included in the Newtown Dog Park makeover.

The contest entries were narrowed down to 10 finalists by an independent judging panel based on the following criteria: creativity of the dream idea (60%); feasibility of bringing the idea to life (20%); and demonstration of how life is better together with your dog (20%). Cameron and Moore then judged the 10 finalists using the same criteria, with their judging accounting for 90% of the final total score. In addition, the public was invited to vote for their favorites among the 10 finalists with the voting rank accounting for the remaining 10% of the final score. The nine runners' up each received a year's supply of Beneful® brand dog food.

"The Beneful brand recognizes that life is better when we are with our best buddies and we are delighted that so many dog owners across the country wanted to share their dreams for the ultimate dog park," said Joe Chatman, Beneful brand manager. "Going to the dog park is a fun adventure for many dog owners and their four-legged friends, and for one lucky community this adventure just got even better."

The much-anticipated unveiling of the renovated Newtown Dog Park will take place in Spring 2011. For more information on the contest and winning entry, please visit

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