Bend Named Dog-Friendliest Town in America


Celebrations slated for August 4 at Pine Nursery Dog Park & Crux Fermentation Project

Bend is going to the dogs — and that’s cause for celebration.

Bend has been named DogTown USA —the nation’s dog-friendliest city — in the September 2012 issue of Dog Fancy magazine. The city was selected based on Bend’s abundance of canine-friendly recreation opportunities, businesses, restaurants and off-leash areas.

“The application process was extremely involved, and we were thrilled to work in cooperation with groups like DogPAC, Bend Parks & Rec, and the Humane Society of Central Oregon to submit Bend as a contender for this title,” explained Visit Bend CEO Doug La Placa. “We’ve seen a big upswing in tourists seeking dog-friendly travel opportunities, and it’s an honor to have Bend recognized for all the hard work locals have done to make the city welcoming for dogs and their owners.”

The DogTown USA title comes with a large donation of pet food for the Humane Society of Central Oregon and a $5,000 check that will be awarded to DogPAC at a public ceremony at 10am Saturday, August 4 at Pine Nursery Dog Park in northeast Bend. During the ceremony, Parks & Rec will unveil signs renaming the park as the Bob Wenger Memorial Dog Park.

“Bob worked passionately to make Pine Nursery Off-leash Area a fun and welcoming place for dogs and their guardians, and he passed away while walking his dog there earlier this year,” explained DogPAC President Kreg Lindberg. “We know he’d be pleased to see the community turn out to celebrate the DogTown USA honor.”

The DogTown USA application was submitted in memory of Bob Wenger, and included materials Wenger personally developed for the 2011 application. A photo of Wenger and his dog appears alongside the article in Dog Fancy.

Dog Fancy publisher Ernie Slone will travel to Bend to present the award at Pine Nursery Dog Park. Afterward, Bend’s newest brewery, Crux Fermentation Project, will host a public after-party from 11:30am to 1pm. For $10, guests can enjoy burgers, brats, a relish bar, and side salads, with a portion of the proceeds going to DogPAC. In celebration of the DogTown USA honor, Crux is permanently renaming one of their most popular brews Off Leash” Northwest Session Ale.

“Best of all,” explained Crux co-founder Paul Evers, “guests can celebrate with us as we dedicate our own dog park— a quarter-acre parcel directly behind the brewery  to provide a place for our two-legged friends (with beer in hand) and four-legged friends (with ball in mouth) to play. We’ve been working in tandem with the local non-profit group, DogPAC, on planning this project, and look forward to completing it with their support later this summer.”

Leashed dogs are welcome at the 11:30am Crux event, and are also encouraged to attend the 10am ceremony at the Pine Nursery Dog Park.

DogPAC is a community volunteer organization focused on advocacy and on-the-ground enhancement for off-leash recreation. DogPAC’s mission is to promote the health and enjoyment of dogs and their guardians through the provision of off-leash recreation opportunities in Central Oregon.


Tawna Fenske, Visit Bend, 541-382-8048,

Doug La Placa, Visit Bend, 541-382-8048,

Kreg Lindberg, DogPAC, 541-617-8878,

Paul Evers, Crux Fermentation Project, 541-585-2100,


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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