EMERSON, N.J. — Liberty Subaru on Kinderkamack Road in Emerson is one of the few dealerships with a dog park.
The 12-by-20 plot of land, located next to the quick-service building, is a fenced-in plot of grass with a doggie comfort station and plantings along one side.
Customers can play with their dogs there while their cars are being worked on.
“It’s safe for the animals. It’s pleasant and it does the job," said Wayne Ross, who works in the service department. "We feel good about doing this.
“Some come to their favorite people who work here and wag their tail. We pet them."
The dog park, which opened last fall, is another example of a pet-friendly policy that pervades Liberty Subaru, owned by the DeSilva family since 1977.
As a corporation overall, Subaru of America makes the care of animals, both domestic and in the wild, one of its missions. It supports the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the National Wildlife Federation.
Locally, Liberty Subaru is known for its kindness to animals. There are doggie comfort stations on the premises and sometimes two or three dogs will play with each other in the waiting area.
The dealership donates to several adopt-a-pet services as well as the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Ross said. It also hosts pet adoption events.
“Usually in autumn, we clear out one parking lot and many groups set up tables, including Halfway Hounds, Military Working Dogs, the Bergen County Animal Response Team, and many more,” he said. “The place is overrun with dogs. There’s music and balloons and giveaways.”
Meanwhile, a part of the shop is prepared to host cats during the event.
In January, Subaru of America launched a new line of humorous “Dog Tested. Dog Approved.” advertisements to celebrate its love of pets. The five spots feature the Barkleys, a family of dogs, having funny episodes as they drive their Subarus around town.
The campaign builds on the company’s “Meet the Barkleys” campaign, launched in 2013.