The Valley Dog Network no longer needs the umbrella of the Mad River Path Association to exist and is holding a community meeting to discuss its future.


The Valley Dog Network (VDN), also known as “the Dog Committee,” will meet August 30, 7 p.m., at the Wait House to discuss its future. Anyone interested in dog issues is welcome to attend. 

At an August 17 Mad River Path Association board meeting, it was agreed to accept Laura Brines’ recommendation to disband this ad hoc committee.  Brines, chair of the dog committee, feels that many of the goals that were established over a year ago have been met and it is no longer critical for the committee to be under the umbrella of the MRPA as an ad hoc committee. 

Brines and the MRPA board hope that the Dog Committee/VDN will now launch as an independent group, i.e., the Mad Birders, to continue the good work that has been done over the past year.

The ad hoc committee was chartered by the Mad River Path Association in May 2010 to investigate, identify and execute solutions to dog-related challenges for the Mad River Path and the community at large. It has been a group of pro-active volunteers who will hopefully carry on the work that has begun and set new goals as well.

Here is the status of the goals set when this committee was formed:

• Develop official off-leash paths and parks for dogs:  research and ground work has been done and two sites have emerged as potential off-leash areas. 

• Reduce dog waste left on the ground:  10 dog waste stations have been installed and a crew of volunteers maintains them.

• Educate community about dog owner opportunities and responsibilities:  a successful Wags for Bags campaign included a “doggie decorum poster contest” co-sponsored by The Valley Reporter and culminated in a successful and extremely fun Wags for Bags Dog Show & Festival at Lareau Farm. 

Foster an ownership mentality within the dog-owner community:  The Waitsfield Select Board is revising its dog ordinance and may adopt a new ordinance soon.

• Create a vehicle to handle future challenges as they arise:  Dan Holtz set up the Valley Dog Network online blog.