Play Yard Renovation Grant

South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was put towards our play-yard renovation.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant gave us the opportunity to make the play yard safer for our pets; we were able to level out the ground, fill in holes and add play equipment for them.

How many pets did this grant help?

Around 100 so far

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Diamond (first photo) was a cruelty case who came in scared and protective and had barrier issues. Our being able to gain her trust and get her out into the yard with other dogs in playgroup has helped her tremendously. She has blossomed into a wonderful dog who is now one of our go-to playgroup rock stars! Meet Diamond here.

Vanderburgh Humane Society: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money will be used to pay for installation of donated turf in our dog play yards. This project took longer than anticipated due to us having to wait for donated rock (to spread under the turf) and then getting onto the landscaper’s schedule for turf installation, which is often weather-dependent. It should be completed within two to three weeks, since we have already been on their schedule for a couple of weeks as of today.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This turf will increase the quality of life for the dogs, who won’t have to potty on just rock anymore, and will help with the overall aesthetic and maintenance of our dog yards. It will provide a more positive experience to adopters and save staff time spent weed-whacking and grading rock.

How many pets did this grant help?

950

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

The turf has not been completed yet. After it is, I will gladly send some photos and videos of dogs playing on it! I have attached a photo of Isabella, shown standing on our bare dirt/gravel yards right now (first photo). There is also a photo of our dog yards taken a few months ago, and some dogs in playgroups in the yards in their current state.

Humane Society of Wicomico County: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We installed a huge outdoor play yard.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We can take 10 to 15 dogs out at the same time for exercise, and they are loving every minute of it. Before, we just had small play yards, and we have turned those into meet-and-greet kennels.

How many pets did this grant help?

40+

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

We have a very special girl, Cola (first photo), who is terrified of people but absolutely loves other dogs. She is our go-to girl when it comes to playgroups. She has not gotten her forever home yet, but only because she hasn’t found the right person. Cola says thank you to the Petfinder Foundation. Meet Cola here.

Lee County Humane Society: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This funding was used to divide our large upper play yard into two smaller yards. We also added support fencing to prevent escapes and catch pens to aid in introducing new dogs to groups. We purchased oversized sun-shade sails to add much-needed shade to both play yards.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant has enabled us to expand our playgroups and also provide afternoon play sessions as well as morning sessions. Our ultimate goal is to have at least one day per week where the public is invited to see our playgroups in action. This will promote DPFL and our adoptable canines, and help educate our community on the importance of play and socialization.

How many pets did this grant help?

60

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Our superstar staff favorite, Jake, was with us for 346 days. He was semi-dog-selective and had a very high prey drive and an extremely rough, rowdy, and vocal play style. He was introduced to groups with a muzzle and was reluctant to participate at first. Slowly he realized that he could interact with the other dogs even with a muzzle. We received a sponsorship for Jake to attend a very concentrated two-week training session, which helped him learn very essential manners and also helped him curb his intense prey drive. We were slowly able to introduce him into groups without a muzzle. We watched him blossom under this new freedom and enjoyed watching him roughhouse with all his doggie friends. Jake was adopted on August 17, 2019, after almost a year in our care. Jake is a true example of success through the Dogs Playing for Life program!

Texas Humane Heroes: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The generous $4975 grant went towards our new play yard at our Leander Adoption Center. The prior fencing was deteriorating and was deemed unusable for our dogs. It was devastating to have the land and space to have playgroups, but be unable to do so because of the condition of the fencing. This grant allowed us to tear down the old and unusable fencing and to install a brand-new play yard for our dogs to enjoy! The play yard has two double-gate entries, as well as a fence with a gate in the middle to separate into two play yards if desired. Our staff, volunteers, and, most importantly, dogs are already loving the new play yard! We use it every day and we couldn’t be happier with the result!

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The most rewarding benefit this grant provided was to improve the lives of the dogs in our care. We are now able to have multiple playgroups daily in a safe and secure environment. The play yards were also built at a far enough distance from the kennels that we can also give dogs a quiet place to play and relax. This grant truly helped us improve the quality of the lives of the Texas Humane Heroes dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?

A limitless number of dogs will benefit from this grant! Texas Humane Heroes pulled over 1,500 dogs into our program in 2018. We are on track to do the same, if not bring in more, in 2019. All the dogs who are currently in our care and all the dogs that come into Texas Humane Heroes moving forward will have the opportunity to enjoy these play yards. Whether in be in playgroups, during quality time with staff and volunteers, or during meet-and-greets with potential adopters, these play yards will be enjoyed by all the dogs who enter Texas Humane Heroes.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Meet Lacey (first photo)! Lacey is a 6-month-old mixed breed with a heart of gold. Her favorite thing to do is to participate in playgroups in our new play yard! Her second favorite thing to do is play in the dog pools and to chase after water from the hose in our new play yard. She LOVES water! We know that Lacey’s fun and loving personality will get her adopted quickly, but as of now she is currently available for adoption. You can see her on Petfinder here.

Humane Society of Taos, Inc. DBA Stray Hearts Animal Shelter: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Construction of fencing/gates for more play areas in order to expand our Dogs Playing for Life program.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The grant helped to better establish and broaden our Dogs Playing for Life program. We now operate the program at least two days a week (Tuesday and Friday) and more dogs are participating. We believe it has directly led to more pet adoptions since the dogs are less stressed and more sociable.

How many pets did this grant help?

At any given time, about 50% of our dogs participate in playgroup. Since our average dog census is about 60 dogs, approximately 30 dogs participate in a given week.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Tamira was an older puppy who came to us at about 6 months of age. She had never been socialized and was very shy and fearful of other dogs. She initially was put in a playgroup with only one other dog who was an older, gentle dog. As her confidence in interacting with this dog grew, she was moved to a more active group of older puppies who actively played. She then advanced to a mixed-age dog playgroup. Shortly thereafter, she was adopted into her forever home. We believe the three playgroups that she participated in over a two-month period made a huge difference in helping her to be adopted.

Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the full amount to add double-gate entries to our different play yard entry points, gate openings to blend yards together, and a large fence with a gate to divide a large yard.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

With these modifications, we are able to run more dogs at a time, as we have created an additional play yard. We are also able to safely enter dogs into group with the double gates as well as assess the dogs’ response to coming to group.

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 2,000+ a year

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Erma (first three photos) is a 4-year-old pit mix who came into the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter (CCAS) back in October 2018. While Erma has always been a playgroup player, we discovered some new challenges with her during the play-yard renovation process. While our yards were being modified, we moved our daily playgroups into our garage. Erma, being the smarty pants that she is, figured out there were treats stored high on shelves in the garage. Even though she couldn’t get to these shelves of treats, she knew they were there and guarded them from other dogs during playgroup. So during the couple weeks the renovation was happening, Erma would come into the garage alone for playtime while we were setting up. Now that the renovation is complete, Erma is back to playing with friends and a much happier pup! Meet Erma here.

Humane Educational Society: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to update our existing play yards to better meet DPFL recommendations. We extended the smallest yard by 20 feet. We updated an existing fence line with sturdier and safer fencing. We added gates between the three yards and put catch pens at the entrances to each yard. We also got new gates or refenced existing gates.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant helped the pets in our organization by making the play yards safer and easier to use. The dogs can now be safely collared and let into the yards. The catch pens are also a benefit for getting the dogs out or even separating dogs that may be having difficulties. The gates between the yards help me manage all three yards more safely and efficiently when I am the only leader. We are now able to bring out more dogs each day we do playgroups. The dogs love coming out to groups. The staff love the better fencing and the catch pens. Several staff and volunteers have asked me, “How did we ever do anything without the catch pens?!”

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 150 as of now.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Two dogs who came to the shelter very fearful are George McFly (first photo) and Marty McFly (second photo), a bonded pair. We have had them in playgroups since before we did the play yard renovations. When we first tried them, we quickly learned they are gate-darters. Almost every time we opened the gates to let other dogs in or out, these two would try their hardest to run through the open gate. It was frustrating to the volunteers and made doing playgroups very difficult. We had to chase the McFlys around many, many times. Now that we have the catch pens, though, we haven’t had to chase them at all. If they do try to get out, they go right into the catch pen. It sounds like a small thing to be thankful for, but it has saved us from chasing them around many times. It has saved the dogs from getting hurt running around or even escaping the shelter. Since they are fearful of new people most of the time, having them get out of the facility would have made it impossible for us to catch them again. The volunteers and staff are all thankful for the new fencing, gates, and catch pens! I have included photos of the McFlys hanging out in the yards with a whole bunch of their doggy pals. Meet George McFly here. Meet Marty McFly here.

Stray Hearts Animal Shelter: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Fencing, gates

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant helped us to divide a large play yard into smaller play yards for safer integration during playgroups.

How many pets did this grant help?

<1000

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Willow was a feral Great Pyrenees who had to be trapped and brought to our shelter. He had to be medicated to handle. Eventually, he was able to be leash-walked to the play yard and was integrated through the fencing until he got used to the others. He was taken from the smaller yards to the larger one repeatedly until he became comfortable with the entire playgroup.

When the public came to watch our playgroups, a local rancher witnessed Willow’s ability to interact with the other dogs without incident. Willow was successfully adopted and is now an integral part of the working dogs on a ranch.

This dog had a zero chance at adoption, but with assistance from smaller play yards, his experience being socialized was made so much easier!

Longview PAWS: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Our grant money was used for an additional fencing section so that we could properly introduce the dogs when they enter our play yard. The additional fencing has allowed for a much smoother transition for our staff and volunteers and the dogs when entering the play yard for playgroup. It allows for a secure barrier for dogs to meet through the fence. Playgroup leads can easily assess body language and look for any signs of agitation or aggression safely.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We run playgroups one to two times a day while we’re open to the public for adoptions. It gives potential adopters the ability to see dogs be dogs. It showcases personalities and play styles that can’t be seen within a kennel. We adopt at least one to two dogs out of our Saturday playgroups each weekend.

How many pets did this grant help?

50+

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Meet Canada. Canada came into our shelter on Jan. 2, 2019, as an owner surrender due to her “not liking children.” Her previous owners had a baby, “didn’t feel comfortable” with Canada’s size and brought her to us. She was a 10-month-old, 48-lb. Catahoula mix whose world was shattered. She didn’t understand what she did or why she was here and just completely shut down. She was quiet, reserved, and closed off — never aggressive, just sad (first photo). She didn’t want to come out of her kennel. After a couple of days, she began to understand that our staff and volunteers wanted to help her. Her head lifted a bit. She’d walk with a little more confidence during her leash time, but would look for her people any time she was outside.

After she’d been in the shelter four days (during which we had some extreme weather), we brought her out for playgroup. Her demeanor changed and her spirit lifted. She was curious. She was interested in the smells, fresh air and the sun on her face. She didn’t play a lot at first. She cautiously walked the yard and said hello if approached. The other dogs respected her boundaries and let her slowly put her guard down. She just laid down and watched. That was okay by everyone. It was cold, so Play Yard Day 1 (second and third photos) was short but satisfying.

Play Yard Day 2 was so much better (fourth, fifth and sixth photos). She remembered what she had done the day before and actually looked forward to entering the yard. She immediately interacted with the other dogs. She had a trot in her step and held her head high. She began to play. She’d even gotten over her biggest hurdle: She didn’t look for her people this time. She just enjoyed her surroundings and her new friends. Her daily playgroup time was the highlight of her day. She continued to improve each and every day.

One of our daily Facebook videos of playgroups featured Canada, and caught the attention of one of our local rescues. On Jan. 11, 2019, Canada was pulled into Big Dog Rescue Project out of Little Rock, AR. She has since been adopted through the rescue. The final two photos show Canada in her new home. Without her playgroup exposure, this sweet, deserving young lady would not have had the opportunity to trust, relax and just be a dog.