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PetSmart takes pop-up park to Downtown Detroit

Retailers are really taking notice of how valuable pop-up shops are as a marketing tool, including PetSmart, which has partnered with the City of Detroit and the nonprofit community organization Detroit Dog Park to set up a portable, pop-up dog park in a vacant lot in Detroit.

Billed as the first official dog park in Detroit, the pop-up park — or P.U.P. — provides more than 10,000 sq. ft. of space for pets to play in. It’s called PetSmart P.U.P.’s Detroit Dog Park, and it is located at the former Macomb Playlot at 2301 17th St. at Rose St. The park is near the Michigan Central Station in the city’s historic Corktown neighborhood.

PetSmart’s P.U.P. is a shipping container that holds everything that can be deployed to create an interim dog park, including 340 feet of fencing, three Oops clean-up Stations, three moveable backless benches, lighting on and inside the container (powered by a solar panel on the roof of the container) and a storage closet. The shipping container serves as the park’s point of entry and exit. PetSmart provided all the equipment required to set up the park, and Detroit Dog Park will maintain it.

“At PetSmart, we believe in enriching people’s lives through the power of pets, and this is centered on giving back to the communities where we all live and work,” said David Lenhardt, president and CEO, PetSmart. “The PetSmart P.U.P. will provide the pet parents of downtown Detroit with a much-needed place to let their pets run and play while improving the community by repurposing vacant land.”

“Detroit Dog Park is thrilled to partner with PetSmart and the city of Detroit to build the city’s first official dog park,” said Mary Lorene Carter, president of Detroit Dog Park. “With so much vacant land in the city, we are pleased to put Macomb Playlot back to use as a park for dogs and their people. Providing Detroiters with a place to socialize and exercise their dogs is part of our mission, and we thank PetSmart’s P.U.P. program for helping us realize that goal.”

“The City of Detroit is a great place to live and build a community. The good work Detroit Dog Park and PetSmart have done with the City is another example of how we can truly meet our residents’ needs,” said Lisa Howze, director of government affairs at the City of Detroit. “We are excited for this park and look forward to our residents using it for years to come.”

There are currently two other PetSmart P.U.P.s (Pop-Up Park) in the country, both located in Phoenix, Ariz., where PetSmart is based. PetSmart hopes to bring the P.U.P. to four more communities throughout the country by the end of 2014. Specific locations have not yet been finalized.

PetSmart’s P.U.P. is one of several national programs PetSmart runs under its community relations program, PetSmart Gives Back.