He sees a need in Dallas that has not been met and is working doggedly to make his dream of a dog park come to fruition.
Atkins said larger dogs need a chance to run and play. Even though smaller dogs do not engage in as much roughhousing as the bigger pups, they still need socializing, as well.
“I think animals deserve a place,” he said. “They are important to us.”
With the closest dog parks in Kennesaw and Marietta, Atkins has set out to create one in Dallas at Coleman Camp Park. He began his effort six months ago by approaching the city of Dallas.
“Dallas took the ball quickly and ran with it,” he said about the city council approval.
“Now we have to come up with money for equipment and fencing.”
One county resident has donated a water pad, which is a concrete pad installed in the ground that shoots water into the air for dogs’ amusement.
Atkins, who is an area physical therapist, said he believes some of the fencing and all of the manpower will be donated, which will decrease the overall cost of creating the park from an estimated $300,000 to between $70,000 and $80,000.
In addition, through several events and efforts he organized, Atkins is trying to raise $40,000. The first fundraising event — an arts and crafts show — is set for Saturday and Sunday in downtown Dallas at the Courthouse Plaza. Vendors selling wreaths, jewelry, clothing and more will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.
The next event is a variety show set for April 25 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Dallas Theater, featuring musical acts by locals, from youth to adult singers. Admission is $15 but Atkins is offering senior and family discounts.
Finally, a concert May 30 featuring the Jason Earl Band, as well as an acoustic opening act, will be at the Dallas Theater at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for this show will also be $15.
In addition to the events, Atkins is raising funds through brick sales for a memorial walk way at the park. Prices and brick sizes range, but begin at $50.
For more information on the events, to purchase tickets or to volunteer, Atkins can be reached at (770) 714-6626 or search Dallas Dog Park on Facebook.