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Pop-Up Puppy Park Inspired By Non-Verbal Teen With Disability Brings Local Community Together

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Pop-Up Puppy Park Inspired By Non-Verbal Teen With Disability Brings Local Community Together

I hope you're ready to feel things in your cold, dead heart, because I have quite the story. A 19-year-old from Cincinnati, has been hailed as a community 'unifier' after successfully bringing together his neighbours through their dogs, because, well, who doesn't love dogs?

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Troy Melnyk has a rare genetic disorder called Angleman syndrome, which leaves him non-verbal.

Top dog Izzy. Credit: WLWT
Top dog Izzy. Credit: WLWT
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His dad Nestor said: "They will hang out together. She will crawl into bed with him and sleep with him. And he will sometimes gently kind of tease her to get her to play with him."

However, Troy was frustrated by the lack of facilities for him and Izzy to play. When his family spoke to dog-owning neighbours they found that many were going through the same frustrations, so Troy came up with the genius idea for a pop-up puppy park (given the snappy name the Pop-Up Puppy Party, or PUPP for short) where local residents could bring their dogs, socialise and get to know each other and their pooches.

The monthly event has drinks - including beer - for the humans and plenty of treats for the dogs. Sounds absolutely amazing.


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The whole thing has been a massive success - one resident, Claudia Reilly told WLWT: "We've gotten to know people we've never met before and we've lived here since 1991."

The power of pups, eh?

The event has proved so popular with humans and doggos alike that Troy and other organisers are making plans, and collecting signatures, to give it a permanent place in the community.

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Meanwhile, Troy is getting all the recognition he deserves for bringing his community together and his proud family say that 'all they wanted' was for locals to see that Troy is a 'worthwhile part of the community'. I think we can all agree that he is most certainly is.

Got a story for us? Need to tell us about something amazing you've seen or done? Want us to investigate something? Get in touch! Email [email protected] or head to our submissions platform - and you could even earn money for your stories or tips.


Featured Image Credit: WLWT

Topics: Inspirational, US News, Animals

Claire Reid
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