Great news for dog owners! You can now take your dogs with you to Ella Harris Park, thanks to 15-year-old Mullica Hill resident, David Charles and his cock-a-poo, Basil. We caught up with David recently to find out the whole story on “Basil’s Law”:
MHM: I understand you were instrumental in getting this new ordinance passed. What inspired you?
David: Well, my younger brother would have baseball games after school or on the weekends. We didn’t want to leave Basil alone after we had been at school or work all day so someone would have to stay home with him. There were no dogs allowed on the trail, the fields or the playground.
MHM: So, how did you go about trying to change that?
David: I wrote a letter to the township and also got people to sign a petition.
MHM: How many people signed your petition?
David: It was about 125. Mostly people who came into the store [Tori’s Cleaners, the Charles family’s business]. A lot of them knew Basil.
MHM: So then what happened with the letter and petition?
David: I took it to the Township Committee meeting in November. I stood up and spoke to everyone and showed it to Mayor Manzo. They voted and it passed that night.
MHM: And so, the new rule is?
David: Dogs are allowed on the trail and the sidelines. They have to be on a leash, and they will be supplying doggie bags. If it works out, they may consider allowing them at William Wilt too.
MHM: That’s very impressive. Basil must be a great dog to have inspired you to do this.
David: He really helps people to get over their fears when they come in and see him here. [At that, a customer in Tori’s chimes in and agrees that Basil helped his daughter overcome her fear of dogs.]
If you bring your dog to Ella Harris Park this baseball season, you may just run into David and Basil. If so, be sure to thank them for taking action to make a positive change in the community.