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Tails on Trails encourages dog owners to visit town parks

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Zionsville Nature Center manager Mindy Murdock displays the bandana given to participants who complete the program and the “Wag Bag” participants receive by registering. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Zionsville Nature Center manager Mindy Murdock displays the bandana given to participants who complete the program and the “Wag Bag” participants receive by registering. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

By Anna Skinner

Zionsville is encouraging dog owners to leash up their pets and experience the town’s parks and pathways this summer through the inaugural Tails on the Trails event. The program, which runs throughout June and July, features walks to complete alone or during a town-scheduled group outing through eight different parks.

Once the walks are complete and recorded, participants receive a Tails on the Trails bandana and are entered into a drawing to win a year’s supply worth of dog food from Platinum Paws. The walks range in length from .4 to 3.6 miles.

Mindy Murdock, park naturalist and Zionsville Nature Center manager, is coordinating the event. She will also be participating with two of her three dogs.

“I see a lot of people walking their dogs in the parks, and we often overlook people out there enjoying nature and parks with the family pet,” Murdock said. “This is a way to celebrate them and get them involved.”

Registration is free and ongoing through the end of June. The event capacity is 100 dogs, and there is still plenty of space available. Murdock said she hopes to see 30 to 40 dogs and their owners participate in the event’s first year.

Participants may register at the Zion Nature Center 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Registration is also available at Akard True Value Hardware during normal business hours. Upon registering, participants will receive a “Wag Bag” that contains a “Paws-Port” to record all the walks they complete, dog treats and a variety of other materials.

YELLOW DOG PROJECT

Dogs participating in Tails on the Trails will be encouraged to wear something yellow – such as a ribbon, collar or leash – if they are prone to violence, recovering from a surgery or skittish around other dogs. This allows all types of dogs to take part in group walks and warns other participants to be careful or to give extra space to the specific yellow-wearing dog. More information about Tails on Trails may be found at www.zionsville-in.gov or by calling Mindy Murdock at 873-8950.


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