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Neighborhood Dog Spot gives dogs and owners a treat amid pandemic

Jaime McKnight runs a dog rescue. She wanted to unite her neighborhood and came up with a fun way that dogs and their owners love.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Along 44th Avenue Northeast in St. Petersburg is what looks like a little free library. The hot pink pops. Inside aren’t books but free treats, dog bags, leashes and collars. 

“People at first think it is the reading library and then they’re like, ‘Oh my God! It’s for dogs!’ And the dog parents, of course, are like freaking out because this is like the coolest thing ever.  So, it’s been a huge positive impact on the street.  It’s been a lot of fun,” said Jaime McKnight.

McKnight wanted to do something for dogs during the pandemic.  She created a “Neighborhood Dog Spot” and shared on Nextdoor that everything inside was free for neighbors.

“It has doggie poop bags in it, and it has like little cute treats like banana and cupcake [flavor], all kinds of fancy little treats for dogs to grab as they go by. There are rhinestone collars in there, leashes.  If someone needs a collar or a leash, they can grab it. It’s just a neat little thing and everyone has loved it. It’s a huge hit,” she said.

McKnight runs the non-profit, Pawlicious Poochie Pet Rescue, to save older dogs and those needing critical care.  She says this is a way to reach out to neighbors to let them know she’s here.

“It’s just to be kind and spread kindness. It doesn’t take huge effort, just a simple smile or a wave I think it really speaks volumes now and I think that’s what people really need. We need more kindness,” she said.

McKnight's yard is now a permanent stop on many walks. The dogs look forward to it and her neighbors do, too.

“You know how dogs are. They’re smart. They know that they’re going for a walk. They know their routes. This is like their little stop and I see the dog parents out there like make them sit, they’ll get their treat and then off they go. So, it’s something for them to look forward to,” she said.

This story was inspired by a local resident who reached out to Courtney Robinson on Nextdoor. She’s looking to share the positive stories of neighbors helping neighbors. Click here to see and comment on Courtney’s Nextdoor posts.

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