The legacy of Cosmo, Gilbert’s famed first police K-9, has begun to draw major canine events to the town and its new dog park.
Cosmo Dog Park opened near Greenfield and Ray roads in July and includes a beach and statue of Cosmo.
On Tuesday, Gabriel’s Angels, a group that uses 84 dogs and one cat to provide therapy to abused children, asked the Town Council for help in
hosting its annual Walk for Kids and Doggy Beach Park at Cosmo Park.
Michelle LaFlam, president of Southwest Association Management that is helping to plan the event, asked the town to waive a $2,200 fee they were quoted for rental of the park for the March 31 event.
“We think the environment of family and pets are stronger in Gilbert,” she said.
The event includes a walk by children who raise money for the organization, dedicated to teaching children traits such as trust, compassion, empathy and nurture. It also will include beach-related fun and contests for dogs.
Earlier this year, the council approved $1,000 to help Friends For Life to host Barktoberfest in Gilbert in October. That event was moved from Mesa to the Civic Center grounds.
LaFlam said Gabriel’s Angels is seeking to double its attendance at the new site, closer to south East Valley families who may not currently attend. The event has previously been held at Tempe’s Kiwanis Park.
Town Councilwoman Joan Krueger said the dog events will provide more healthy activities for families with, or without, pets.
“A lot of people in Gilbert enjoy their pets,” Krueger said. “People see them as an integral part of their family.”
She asked that the topic be placed on the Dec. 19 agenda. Mayor Steve Berman asked town staff to investigate the quoted cost, and whether it is too high for events.
Gabriel, a Weimaraner and the namesake of the group, still works as a therapy dog.