Couple donates money to help build dog park in honor of son

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STRATFORD -

A Stratford couple donated money to help build a dog park in honor of their son.

Jared Levine died two years ago at the age of 36. His parents, Karen and Robert, say his love of animals started at an early age -- he was a volunteer at the Audubon Society and adopted dogs, cats and reptiles.

He graduated from Bunnell High School in 1998 and later started his own home improvement business. Robert Levine says he was injured by a drunken driver in a 2014 crash.

The father says his son’s body gave out after a couple years of fentanyl patches, oxycodone and injections into his spine to manage the pain. Jared died in his sleep. Robert says a doctor called it respiratory distress.

When his parents got settlement money from the accident, they wanted to put the funds toward different causes, including a large donation to make Stratford's first dog park a reality. Town leaders voted to name it Jared's Dog Park.

The goal is to open the park in the fall on 1.5 acres of land in Roosevelt Forest.

The organization behind the park is still looking for donations for maintenance. More information can be found at the Stratford Dog Park Action Committee's website.

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