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Pilot program will let campers lodge with their pets in some state parks

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A new program from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will allow campers to bring their dogs and cats to some Michigan state parks. The pilot project will launch on November 1st and last for one year.

DNR resource specialist Maia Turek says lots of people like to vacation with their pets.

"Over half of the people who make travel decisions make those decisions with their pets in mind. In other words, they may not take a vacation because they don't have a place to kennel their dog," Turek said.

Turek says the DNR aims to please both pet-owners and regular visitors to campsites. Pets and their owners will have to follow certain guidelines to make campsites comfortable for everyone. That includes keeping dogs on a 6-foot leash at all times and owners cleaning up after their furry companions. 

"We're doing everything we can to make sure we're meeting the expectations of our visitors as well as welcoming our canine and feline friends," Turek said.

Up to two dogs or cats will be allowed to stay in certain cabins in Harrisville State Park, Sleepy Hollow State Park, Lime Island State Park, Leelanau State Park, and Cheboygan State Park. Feedback collected through visitor satisfaction surveys will be used to determine if the program will become permanent. 

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