Cindy Underwood has loved animals her whole life. Growing up, her family had at least one dog and occasionally one cat for as long she can remember. They had a hunting dog named Dandy and a border collie named PJ and finally, a St. Bernard named Sam.
Even though, they had pets at home, Underwood had a heart for strays. She would always bring home, or at least care for, any strays that happened to come along.
Once Underwood was able to get her own apartment, and eventually home, she has tried to keep at least one pet around the house. She still finds herself caring for stray dogs, posting and sharing photos of stray and lost dogs. “I try to get them back to their home or in to good homes,” Underwood said.
All of this led up to a great accomplishment: The establishment of Cahaba Dog Park in 2017. “I became involved with starting the dog park at the beginning of a community Facebook post asking if anyone was interested in a dog park in Trussville,” Underwood said. “As interest quickly grew, a post from our former mayor’s daughter, Jaime Melton Anderson, commented that she knew of property that would be perfect for the park.”
Thus, Cahaba Dog Park began. Several women, including Underwood and Anderson, formed a proposal to the Trussville Parks and Recreation board with an agreement to present the idea to city council. These women and others created Trussville Dog Parks Auxiliary, with the hope that more than one dog park would eventually be built in the Trussville area.
The board received permission to build Cahaba Dog Park, with funding from the auxiliary and donations from the community as a whole.
Currently, Underwood serves as president of the board, serving alongside Olivia Mullen Keri Fish, Katie Reese, and Shanna Cleveland. “Each one of them bring their own talents as individuals to make this project a huge success in the community,” Underwood said.