Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FIDO Quarterly General Meeting Agenda

Hi Everyone,

Open Meeting For South Euclid Dog Park Patrons and Members of FIDO

Date - Tuesday, April 29th 2008
Time - 7:00 pm

Where - South Euclid Community Center

Below is the agenda for the meeting

See You There!!!

FIDO Quarterly Meeting

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008 7:00 pm
South Euclid Community Center

Agenda Items

Open Meeting

Presidents Message

Overview of previous meeting minutes

Treasurers Report

Events and Fundraising report

Old Business –
Ground Cover Report

New Business

Future Projects

Small Dog Area
Water Fountain

Announcement of possible changes to FIDO Website


Auction items on forums

Thursday, February 21, 2008

February FIDO Free Press

Hi Everyone,

I just received my new February FIDO Free Press newsletter today and I just wanted to say that if you haven't read one yet, you should. It is 6 pages just jam packed with entertaining anecdotes, breed information, pictures of fun at the park, and great advice on dog booties to help keep our friends paws warm and healthy.

Thanks to everyone who collaborated on this very informative and entertaining newsletter!!!

If you would like to get on the email list to receive a copy or have any ideas for future content, please send an email to


Monday, February 4, 2008

Congratulations to FIDO's new City Liaison !!!

The FIDO board of directors would like to extend our warmest welcome to Cynthia Hale for becoming our new City Liaison to the City of South Euclid.

Cynthia is also the Chair of the Elections Committee and has done exemplary work on the latest Board member elections in October and at the Annual Meeting in January.

Congratulations Cynthia!!!!


Sunday, February 3, 2008

FIDO Annual Meeting on January 29th, 2008

Hi Everyone,

We had a really great annual meeting last week. Thank you to everyone who participated. It was very informative and really showed that we have a great group of people in FIDO.

Below are the minutes from the meeting. Please let us know if there are any questions.

See you at the Dog Park!

Chuck Berk
FIDO President

South Euclid FIDO Annual Meeting

Minutes from January 29, 2008; 7:00 p.m.
South Euclid Community Center

Meeting called by: Chuck Berk/President of FIDO at 7:00 p.m.

Type of meeting: Annual General Meeting

Committee Chair:

Events /Ashlee Brand; Fundraising/Judy Henderson; Communications/Denny

Hatala; Maintenance Committee/Ken Roehl: Electoral Committee/Cynthia Hale
Notetaker: Laura Berk, Secretary


Active Members: Kevin Wachs, Cynthia Hale, Laura and Chuck Berk, Denise

Hatala, Larry Lewis, Jenn Bartlett, Danielle Merriman, Judy Henderson,
Freddie Conwell, Marianne Reeves, Kari-Ellen Organiscak, Aspasia Sicking,
Merrill Henkin, Amy Biro, Carolyn Wadatz, Marcia and Henry Ungar, Philip
Wolpe, Kenneth Roehl, Ashlee Brand, Lou Pitschmann, Sunny Simon, Nina
Sobel and Julia Berkman.


Treasurer’s Report— Kevin Wachs

Discussion: Kevin was happy to report that we currently have $10,359.27 in our account. This is due largely to the first of our mailings and events like the annual dog walk, Halloween Party and the Holiday pictures with your dog event. The second mailing on the other hand has not proved as successful.

Conclusions: We have reached our goal for the ground cover and hope to begin this process this Spring.

Events and Fundraising—Events Chair, Ashlee Brand; Fundraising Chair, Judy Henderson

Discussion: In 2007, the following fundraising events occurred:

Brick mailing, over $5,000.00 raised
2nd annual Fido Dog Walk raised $437.00
Halloween Party raised $1000.00
Highland Hts. Tag Sale raised $127.00
Holiday Photos w/Santa raised $419.00

The following non-fundraising events were held in 2007: Clean up South Euclid Day, South Euclid Memorial Day Parade, South Euclid Fun Days and the Fall Clean-Up at the park.

Currently the Events Committee is going to meet and discuss the upcoming year’s events on Saturday, February 2nd at Phoenix Coffee on Mayfield. They will be developing a proposed 2008 Events Calendar.

We are going to have a Monthly Coffee House at the Park (non-fundraising). This event will be held the second Saturday of each month from 10:00 am until noon. This event will encourage park patrons to visit the park with their dog for coffee and hot chocolate and conversation. Human and doggie treats will be available also. The dates for the events will be posted on the kiosk, online and in the FIDO newsletter.

Also, on Feb. 17th (Sunday) from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm we will hold a Winterfest Event where we will be serving coffee and hot chocolate and treats for the dogs. It’s a great chance for everyone to get acquainted, dog and humans alike.

Conclusions: Events committee members are always needed. If you are interested in participating, have ideas, or just want to volunteer an hour of your time, we could always use the help.

Communications Committee—Denny Hatala/Chair

Discussion: In July/August an information kiosk went up at the dog park. Chuck Berk and George Iannetta donated their time and materials to build the kiosk. Ken Roehl improved the kiosk by building a locking case and weatherproof frames for the posting of park rules.

In July of 2007 the Fido website was launched. The website was donated. Monthly updates to the site will be provided by the donor indefinitely with a promise of one year’ notice before these funds would be withdrawn.

The website coordinator would like to thank the bloggers: Chuck Berk, Jenn Bartlett, Aspasia Sicking and Kari Organiscak for their excellent contributions to the website.

Beginning in Jan., Mind Vault Solutions, Inc. (our web developers) began to donate 25% of each monthly invoice back to the park. In addition, for every referral that results in a contract, they will donate an additional 5% back up to a total of 50%. We know of one local company that is currently in discussions with Mind Vault Solutions, Inc. to redo their website, and that would bring us up to a 30% donation if a contract is signed.

The dog park was highlighted in the Cleveland Jewish News on Aug. 24th, 2007. The piece was titled "Rediscover South Euclid". We thank Laura Malto, who is a member of the Communications Committee for all the publicity. It can be found at:

The FIDO Newsletter was launched on Sunday Dec. 16th at the Holiday Photo event. Our first edition of 2008 will be out in late February. FIDO plans to release the newsletter every other month. Ashlee Brand is donating her time to be the editor to this wonderful project. If anyone would like to submit an article or has other ideas that may be of interest to our members, please e-mail Ashlee at

Electoral Committee—Cynthia Hale/Chair

Discussion: Elections were held in October, 2007 for Officers of the Board, and this evening the newly elected officers were introduced. They will begin their term of 2 years starting at the conclusion of tonight’s meeting. Those officers are: Chuck Berk/President, Jenn Bartlett/Vice President, Laura Berk/Secretary and Judy Henderson/Treasurer. Thanks to the outgoing interim Officers for their service: Danielle Merriman/Vice President; Carolyn Wadatz/Co-Treasurer, and Kevin Wachs/Co-Treasurer.

The active members then had to elect no more than 4 members-at-large to serve on the Board. Nominations were opened to the floor. Denny Hatala, Carolyn Wadatz, Nina Sobel, Kevin Wachs and Ashlee Brand were nominated. There were 24 members that cast a ballot. The elections Committee counted the ballots and the Chair reported the results. The new members-at-large are Ashlee Brand, Denny Hatala, Nina Sobel, and Kevin Wachs. Congratulations to all.

FIDO/Café Press-Phoenix Coffee Report—Aspasia Sicking/Jenn Bartlett

Discussion: Since June of 2007 Fido/Café Press has made $211.39 for FIDO.

Phoenix Coffee is selling our FIDO doggie treats up at the counter. The treats are made and donated by Jenn Bartlett. So far we’ve made $200.00 profit in two months’ time. . Thanks to Jenn for all her hard work and thanks to Phoenix for providing the opportunity. New Café Press items are available as well, including a new t-shirt design for dogs that was shared at the meeting by Aspasia.

Open Discussion

Question Raised: There have been some times when there is a dog that seems to be aggressive or out of control in the park. This behavior can be a problem for other dogs and their owners.

What do park users do in such situations?

If the owner of the dog doesn’t correct the situation then it is up to any of us as dog park patrons in the park to locate the dog’s owner and ask politely if they would take the dog out or try to curtail the offending behavior.

Question Raised: What to do about the Pit Bull Situation?

Kari Organiscak asked what FIDO and park users could do with regard to the pit bull situation at the park. An active discussion followed with the following points and/or questions being raised.

The question was followed with another question:

Does the park have a pit bull situation?

While there have been some dogs that have visited the park and allegedly displayed aggressive tendencies, the vast majority, if not all of these dogs, were not pit bulls or even pit bull mixes. A discussion of current Ohio law and vicious dogs continued.

Ashlee Brand indicated that the state of Ohio is currently reevaluating the breed specific language in its vicious dog law. Recent court opinions have ruled such language as unconstitutional. Ohio law defines a vicious dog as ANY dog that that has killed or caused serious injury to a person, or has killed another dog.

Julia Berkman emphasized that such an attack must be unprovoked, as a dog attacking an intruder in the dog's own home would not fall under this definition. Such a definition certainly covers Pit Bulls, so there is no need to specify the breed in the law.

Interestingly, it was mentioned that German Shepherds are responsible for more bites than Pit Bulls.

Merrill Henkin noted that municipal ordinances may differ from those of the state.

Denny Hatala stated that the city of South Euclid's vicious dog law was in line with the state's but was, in fact, more open to interpretation.

Those in attendance revisited the previously raised question regarding what to do if a vicious, aggressive or out of control dog (or owner) is at the park and causing problems for others. A general consensus that regardless of breed, addressing the situation and issue politely and with others present is the best way to respond to such behaviors.

Always place your safety and that of your dog first: leave the park if you feel at all uncomfortable. If the problem dog is indeed vicious, as defined by the law, the police should be notified. You can always call 911.

Several area emergency vet clinic numbers will be posted on the kiosk for incidents happening after normal business hours that may require veterinary attention.

The following references were referred to during the discussion directly or indirectly by persons speaking and are provided here for member informational purposes:

Current Ohio law defines "vicious dog" as a dog that, without provocation, meets any of the following criteria:

• Has killed or caused serious injury to any person.

• Has caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person, or has killed another dog.

• Belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog. The ownership, keeping or harboring of such a breed of dog shall be prima-facie evidence of the ownership, keeping or harboring of a vicious dog.

Section 955.11 of the Ohio Revised Code defines a "dangerous dog" as a dog that, without provocation, has chased or approached in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack, or has attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person, while that dog is off the premises of its owner, keeper, or harborer and not under the reasonable control of its owner, keeper, harborer, or some other responsible person, or not physically restrained or confined in a locked pen which has a top, locked fenced yard or other locked enclosure which has a top.
House Bill 366 in Ohio In Ohio, the Ohio House Infrastructure, Homeland Security, and Veteran Affairs Committee heard testimony regarding House Bill 366 in January 2008. House Bill 366 would ensure that dog owners could not be prosecuted under state law due to the breed of their dog or the appearance of their dog.

“Bill Could Change Vicious Dog Law” by Tierra Palmer was published on from the Eagle Gazette Staff on January 20, 2008 regarding the proceedings.

• The ASPCA has information about House Bill 366 and their website has a great deal of information about the ineffectiveness of “breed-specific” dog laws and labeling:

• The American Kennel Club information about House Bill 366:

• Canine Advocates of Ohio & House Bill 366:

Question: Why do we want or should we obtain charitable status?

FIDO hopes 501(c)(3) status will bring in more donations from businesses. Also, such status will allow the organization to apply for various grants. Merrill Henkin made an inquiry as to FIDO’s progress in obtaining 501(c)(3) status. He indicated that FIDO would need to really emphasize its educational goals if serious about applying for 501(c)(3) status.

Bud Unger questioned whether FIDO fell under the umbrella of the city’s tax exempt status
and suggested someone check with South Euclid's Finance Department. In the past, FIDO has used the city’s tax exempt status for the purchase of goods and services, it is not known whether such would extend to tax write-offs for donations.

Question: What do we know about the material used for the groundcover? Is it safe? Have we considered other options?

Discussion & Response:

Scott Bunch raised the question regarding groundcover materials.

Chuck Berk explained that the #9 washed gravel was selected over the crushed limestone used at Tremont and Lakewood because it was not sharp like the limestone and would be easier on a dogs’ paws. He reported the gravel would be installed in the center of the park, over the heaviest used areas, and grass would be left around the perimeter. It is FIDO’s intention to try to have the outer perimeter of grass present.

Scott stated the washing process used to produce the gravel indeed made it rounded and, thus, sharp edges would not be a concern like it is with the product used at the other two parks, but he was concerned that the gravel may get caught in the dogs' paws. He also was concerned that, due to the round and smooth surface of the gravel, it would be slippery when wet, leading to injuries when dogs attempted to run on it.

Jenn Bartlett, a registered vet tech, addressed these concerns. Jenn stated that she had previously consulted with several vets, including an orthopedic vet, regarding FIDO’s choice of groundcover. In summary, Jenn reported that the gravel surface should not create any problems for the dogs; she likened it to walking or running on sand. She did note that there may be some substrate aversion at first, but the dogs should be able to adjust in time. She agreed that the gravel could get caught in a dog’s paw but would be similar to mud getting stuck, thus posing no danger.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:24 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by: Laura Berk
Secretary of Fido

Friday, January 18, 2008


Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 7:00 pm
South Euclid Community Center

Outgoing Treasurers report

Events Committee Report

Fundraising Committee Report

Communications Committee Report

Maintenance Committee Report - TBA

Electoral Committee: Overview of the elections held in Oct.

Introduction of newly elected board members

Open the floor for nominations for members-at-large. Minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 will be taken

Member Vote on Members-at-Large

Report on ground cover

Open Discussion

Adjourn meeting

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Photos with FIDO and Phoenix

Hi Everyone,

Sunday December 16th FIDO had our annual Holiday photo shoot. Even though the weather outside was frightful, inside the Phoenix Coffee House it sure was delightful. We had a great turnout and FIDO raised $419.00 towards our ground cover project. We are getting closer and closer to our main goal.

I would like to thank our wonderful and dedicated FIDO members who helped make the day a true pleasure to work.

First I would like to thank Sarah Wilson-Jones superbarista and CEO of Phoenix, her husband Carl Jones, Liz the store manager, and all their wonderful employees for allowing us to have our event in their Green and Mayfield rd. location. The coffee was a much needed pick me up on a cold and snowy day and the food was great!

I would also like to thank Marianne and Ashlee for taking the initiative to plan and implement the event in such a smooth and effortless manner. They also were able to bring the professional style photography lights to really make the pictures come alive. Kudos to Ashlee's Husband Billy for getting up early to bring the wicker settee for Santa to sit on.

I would also like to thank Denny for furnishing her laptop computer, photo printer and camera.
The pictures really came out GREAT!!! and we had quite a production line going with Jenn taking the pictures, Denny on the computer and Laura drying the pictures after they came out of the printer and producing the packets to give to the happy parents of the photographed pooches.

I would like to thank our interim/elected treasurer Judy for guarding the cash box and taking the donations.

Many thanks to Freddie and Jen for the wonderful dog treats they made. Our girls just loved them!

A big thank you to Rusty for putting up with us and wearing that hot Santa suit for 4 hours, and being so great with the dogs, and Santa's other Little Helpers Kevin, Danielle, and Kari for really getting some great looks from the pooches for their pictures.

I would also like to thank Lou, and Nina for their tireless help with setup and take down of all the stuff we had to bring in to make this all work so flawlessly.....

Thank you EVERYONE for a great time!!!!!


Thursday, December 6, 2007

December Happenings with FIDO

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to get everyone up to speed with the current happenings with FIDO and the South Euclid Dog Park.

The lights are now working after dark. It lights things up pretty well, but it is still a good idea to have a flashlight handy.

The water line is in!!!!! The water is turned off for the winter, but we will have water at the dog park in spring.

FIDO is well on it's way to achieve our goal of getting the ground cover for the dog park. We are just a few thousand away. So far we have raised over 8 Thousand Dollars!!! Our events and fundraising committees have been doing a terrific job. Keep up the great work!!!!

Be sure to check out Holiday Photos with FIDO and Phoenix on Sunday, December 16th 2007, at the Phoenix Coffee House. Their address is 4441 Mayfield Rd. South Euclid, Ohio 44121.
The event starts at 11:00 am and runs until 5:00 pm. Santa will be there from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm. For $10.00 you will receive 2 pictures and the file on CD.

Be sure to check out FIDO's auctions on the forums web site too. All proceeds go to the dog park groundcover fund. Bid early and bid often.

Also be sure to check out FIDO's Cafe Press site for some great Christmas gift ideas for the dog lover in your life.

That is about it for now.....

See you at the dog park........