Want to have a visible, positive impact within your dog park communities? Want recognition for the contributions you already make daily in your dog parks? Want dog walkers to be seen as the professional assets we are rather than be sneered at by people who presume we are otherwise?
COLA is acutely aware of the difficulties of the dog walker community when using Seattle Off-Leash areas, and we are sympathetic to those professionals who work to preserve the best traditions of the profession. We come to you led by Charlotte Bontrager, the Steward of Woodland Off-Leash Area (and fellow dog walker since 2002), hoping to form a true coalition of dog walkers, named WOLF.
WOLF: Walkers are Off-Leash Friends. WOLF has come together in partnership with the Seattle Parks Department and our primary dog park supporter, the non-profit COLA (Citizens for Off Leash Areas).
The goal of WOLF is to benefit our individual dog walking businesses, our reputation as an industry as a whole, and to give back to what is not only a primary place of work for many of us, but also a public space.
If you wish to become a member, it’s quite simple. In return, your business will get recognition for your contributions of funding and volunteerism. Your business card will be posted prominently at your park(s) of choice, you will receive a vest to make your commitment to excellence known to the general public, and monies raised will go directly toward a project in each park that is visibly marked as, “A gift made possible by WOLF dog walkers.” Finally, if you donate $100 or more per year, you will get a free advertisement on the COLA website!
Who decides how this money is spent?
All member ideas are welcome. However, final approval will be made by the Parks Department since they ultimately own and are responsible for the dog parks. This program is intended to show (in a plain, simple, and sustainable way) that we support and give back to our off-leash areas. WOLF members pay dues with a giving spirit and no strings attached. Regardless where the money goes, there will be full transparency in the COLA annual report, so you can trust your donation is wisely spent!
Follow these 4 easy steps to become a WOLF member:
1) Annual Donation.
Please give a yearly donation of the amount you feel you can and should give. Any amount above $100 per person makes you a WOLF pack member. Recommended amounts are based on pack size and days per week that you use the park. However, what you donate is up to you. WOLF dues apply to individuals. For businesses with employees, please donate for each employee and consider how many dogs each brings to the park.
For instance, if you have a group size of 5 or less or if you frequent the park 2 days per week or less on average, your donation might be $100. Those of us with 5-10 per pack or more than 2 days per week at the park may donate $200 per year. Those who average two trips per day to the park or more than 10 dogs per day may donate $300 per year. If you wish to split your dues into payments, there is an easy auto pay plan that will take a percentage of your donation out of your bank account each month. Set it and forget it!
Go to https://seattlecola.org/register-business/ to make your tax deductible WOLF annual donation. On the general COLA sign up page, you’ll see a button for WOLF. Click on that, and add-on options appear. Select the add-on amount that best reflects your pack size and use of the park as described above. You will then have the option of uploading your logo or business card to the COLA business advertisement page.
If you wish to pay by check, please make it out to COLA and mail your check to: Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA), PO Box 17469, Seattle, WA. 98127. Note that it is for WOLF!
Your “donation” will be your dues. Once you’ve made your donation, WOLF representatives from each park will ensure your business card is posted prominently on the WOLF display at the main entry to your park or parks of choice.
Each member will be asked to sign an agreement on the COLA website upon registration. This agreement states that you are licensed and insured, and agree to follow to the best of your ability, the Seattle City rules for OLA’s and WOLF best practices. This will be based on the “honor system” only. Although the general public is always watching us, there will be no official monitoring of WOLF members.
COLA will provide a card for you to keep your pack’s licenses handy, in case Animal Control is around — just keep it up to date and carry it, simple! We expect Animal Control to recognize WOLF members by this card, and realize quickly that these dog walkers are valued members of the dog park society!
3) Community Service
WOLF members are encouraged to volunteer a minimum of 3 hours per month. This can be achieved through becoming a COLA committee member, serving at the animal shelter, cleaning at the dog parks, participating in the COLA Ambassador Program, or performing administrative tasks for WOLF.
4) Bi-Annual Fundraising Event
Finally, members will be encouraged to participate in the WOLF bi-annual fundraising campaign. Twice per year, we’ll provide a postcard describing our program asking for donations. Just send or leave this card for your clients. Easy!
How will this help you to be more visible?
Your business card will be visibly listed in your dog park(s)!
- For $100 or more per year per person, you will receive a WOLF vest that will bring POSITIVE attention to your service to the dog park anytime you wear it! And you get a FREE advertisement on the COLA website! This website will reach over 10,000 people annually!
Your participation in WOLF will help to promote dog walkers as contributors rather than users. It will spread a positive image about us as a whole. You will experience fulfillment and pride knowing you are giving back to your park, worksite, and community.
Note the disclaimer on the WOLF mission and best practices page. WOLF is not designed to serve as an endorsement for our individual businesses. It is not to serve as a reflection of how we treat our dogs, clients, or about running our businesses. WOLF is simply an organization designed to foster giving back to our park and to help spread a positive image through visible contributions.
Questions? Comments? Please contact us! I hope to see you on the WOLF display soon!
Thanks for your consideration!
WOLF Director, COLA Steward, and Professional Dog Walker