Play Yard Renovation Grant

Harbor Humane Society: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to purchase items to upgrade our play yards. We participated in Dogs Playing for Life in June 2017. The funds paid for the following:
Walkie-talkies for playgroup staff
PetSafe Spray Shield Animal Deterrent
Pet Corrector Air Horns
Five gates between our play yards
Storage containers
Shade screens
Ball bungees for shade screens

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

It helped us make our play yards easier and safer to use. The gates were by far the best investment we made. The gates between the play yards allow us to manage playgroups better by being able to make it easy to combine groups of dogs. The sun shades have been a great addition to allow some shade on hot days when the pea gravel in the runs heats up. Also, it has been great to have the storage containers with the Dogs Playing for Life tools in each play yard. Also, the walkie-talkies have made it much easier and safer for our staff to communicate with each other.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant will help thousands of pets, and we have only just begun. Playgroups are an essential part of what we do, and we have noticed a definite reduction of stress in dogs who enjoy participating. It has been a great way for us to really see what the personality is of the dog and for staff to get to know the dogs better as well.

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

Bear and Lexi (first photo) are a bonded pair who love playing with other dogs. At first, we were unsure how they would accept another dog into their pack. Through playgroups, they made friends with Katniss, who was very scared and shy. Lexi and Bear showed Katniss that people are fun and not scary! Katniss has been adopted but Bear and Lexi are still waiting for their forever homes.

Meet Bear: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39553197
Meet Lexi: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39362114

The Humane Society and Animal Rescue of Muskegon County: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the funds to build a 100′ x 50′ play yard for our dogs to enjoy playgroups.

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

It has made a tremendous difference in our shelter dogs’ enrichment, training, and behavior. We have been able to exercise and socialize our dogs together. This has allowed the dogs to use the pent-up energy they have in the kennels, reducing the “kennel crazy” factor in our shelter. It also allows for our dogs to socialize, which is so very important for their adoptability factor: Adopters are able to see how they interact with other dogs and they are able to be adopted into homes that have other pets. This has by far been a huge factor in increasing our adoptions and reducing our returns. This renovation will indefinitely help our entire dog population.

How many pets did this grant help?

200

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

Our sweet deaf boy Kaid has been with us for almost one year. He is a staff and volunteer favorite but has yet to find his forever home. He is like our mascot for this new play yard because he shows all of our new dogs how to interact in there. He runs WILD in there, looking like the happiest dog in the whole world! Before this yard, he would mainly be leash-walked, but now he can SHINE. We added a dog tunnel and some agility equipment to the yard and he is an absolute star on all of them. He teaches our new dogs how to play tag, run through tunnels, pause on the tables, and even jump the jumps! Kaid gives us hope at the shelter because, although he has called us home for too long, he couldn’t be happier in this yard with his friends. Meet Kaid: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36627951

Sacramento SPCA: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The grant funds were used to renovate a large Frisbee yard into three distinct play yards. This consisted of grading the yard to remove grass and weeds and route drainage to avoid flooding of the yard. New gates and barriers were installed to separate the yards and to allow for safe and easy entrance. Fencing was repaired or replaced as needed to ensure the yards are properly enclosed to avoid the possible escape of dogs.

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

This grant is instrumental in helping reduce the stress of dogs in our care by allowing them time out of the kennels to run and play with other dogs. It also offers insight into their true personalities by allowing them to interact with other dogs in a social setting. Behaviors and interactions are noted on each dog’s record for easy retrieval when working with staff, volunteers, or potential adopters.

How many pets did this grant help?

We do not have a solid number at this time, as the playgroups were implemented in late August 2017.

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

Buffalo is an energetic 1-year-old terrier who has been with the Sacramento SPCA since Aug. 18, 2017. Buffalo is a healthy, energetic “linebacker” who LOVES to run. While in the renovated play yard, he can often be seen running and jumping with his tongue hanging out. The play yard provides an opportunity for Buffalo to show off his football skills while working through the excess energy 1-year-old dogs tend to have. Buffalo is still at the Sacramento SPCA, but we are hoping he finds his forever home soon! Meet Buffalo: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39325661

Palm Springs Animal Shelter: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Shade cover for our play yards (second photo) and fencing improvements, including an additional catch pen.

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

We have a robust dog-enrichment program and have had Aimee Sadler come three times to strengthen our Dogs Playing For Life skills. We have seen our number of volunteers grow each year. However, the lack of shade structure has limited our play group during the May-through-September time frame, when temperatures become extreme and play groups must be completed before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m. This grant allowed us to construct shade triangles, which have extended our play group times and allowed for more outdoor enrichment activities. This was especially important for the large breeds, who were limited in indoor enrichment due to space restrictions. Small dogs had the luxury of using our community room to play in and learn new skills when necessary.

How many pets did this grant help?

Our large-dog population is approximately 50-60 dogs at one time. This, of course, varies over the course of the year. Last year we had more than 1,300 large and small dogs come into the shelter, and on average that would mean 800 large-breed dogs using our play yards per year.

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

Lilly Pad (first photo) had a high arousal rate and needed extended work in the yards with other dogs. Her primary trigger was other dogs while she was on-leash. She would get overexcited and actually redirect towards the handler — biting up the leash and being very difficult to control. We couldn’t work with her without the safety measures and shade provided by the grant, as having multiple dogs walking in the yard to trigger her and train her out of it safely would not be feasible without the yard improvements. After weeks of daily training to reduce her redirection, she went to a foster-to-adopt home. Her foster even had other dogs at the home, and they got along fine thanks to the time our enrichment team put in, and the play yard that allowed it to happen. We are pleased to say that her foster home became her permanent home on Aug. 22, 2017.

Young-Williams Animal Center: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To install a shade structure in our largest outdoor run so that our pets can enjoy comfortable outdoor play all year round.

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

Outdoor play is so important to the health and well-being of homeless pets during a stressful time in their lives. Dogs Playing for Life has had so many benefits for our shelter dogs, but our outdoor runs are concrete and can get very hot during the summer. We try to hose down the ground and provide a water tub for playing and cooling off in, but we desperately needed more shade. The Petfinder Foundation has enabled us to add a shade structure that meets the aesthetic guidelines for our city-owned building and prevents us from having to cut play sessions short due to the heat.

How many pets did this grant help?

651: the number of dogs who have played in the shade so far.

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

Wilbur is not the typical animal that benefits from a shelter play yard, but we turn no animal away and do our best to provide the highest quality of care possible. Wilbur is a baby potbellied pig who was feeling a little stressed in the livestock pen. We decided to provide some human interaction as enrichment for this little guy, and the shady outdoor run was the perfect place to do that. This extra enrichment let us learn more about Wilbur, including the fact that he loves belly-rubs, to help us make the perfect match with a forever family! ​

Animal Compassion Team: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The grant funds were used to cross-fence our large play yards, add gates, and install paving stones in the entries and along the fence line. A shade canopy was also added.

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

As we are a no-kill rescue, dogs in our care sometimes stay for prolonged periods of time. Our staff and volunteers make their quality of life a priority. Two years ago, we implemented the Dogs Playing for Life program at our little shelter and we love it! Prior to the renovation, we were limited to two very large play yards to run groups; it was difficult to supervise groups of dogs in such a large area, and only two groups of dogs could be out at a time. As part of the renovation made possible by the Petfinder Foundation grant, we created multiple smaller yards (connected by gates) and reinforced their boundaries. Now, with a team of trained volunteers, we can get out almost all of our 50 large-breed dogs at one time! That means more dogs get play time, and their sessions last longer. We’ve got happier, healthier dogs (which translates into more adoptable dogs), and it’s also given our volunteer program a boost!

How many pets did this grant help?

ACT houses at least 50 large-breed dogs at any given time. All of them use the various yards created with the renovation grant each day. Of course, as dogs are adopted, new dogs take their places in the kennels. Since the renovation, several hundred dogs have enjoyed our Petfinder Foundation-sponsored play yards, and we look forward to many years of play in the future!

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

Playgroups (and the Dogs Playing for Life program) help our rescue’s inhabitants in many ways. For some dogs who come in scared, shy and lacking socialization, regular dog-to-dog interactions are a lifesaver. Charlie, a petite young pit bull, came to us terrified and virtually hairless due to a bad case of demodectic mange. Addressing his medical needs was the easy part. At first, the little guy only wanted to hide and had to be carried out of his kennel, frozen in fear. After several days of play group with friendly, easygoing dogs, Charlie started to loosen up and gain confidence. By the end of two weeks, he would dash out of his kennel, eager to play with his buddies, and he would greet new people at the fence with a grin and tail wag. Charlie’s new family fell in love watching him frolic in our yard, and now he’s got a home!

For other dogs who come to us already friendly, playgroup is the only way to keep them physically and emotionally healthy. Mel, an Australian shepherd-pit bull mix (pictured), is an outgoing, bouncy, rough-and-tumble kind of guy. Without regular sessions in the yards with his friends, Mel would, without a doubt, suffer from severe kennel stress. But because he gets out into the yards every morning and afternoon, Mel stays calm and approachable in his kennel. Because our volunteers spend time with him in playgroup, we’ve also been able to get to know Mel well, and can advocate for him with confidence. We have faith that his forever family will find him very soon!

UPDATE: Mel has been adopted!

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used for the construction of a play yard consisting of five pens with connecting gates.

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

This grant for the construction of the play yards has helped our dogs enormously by giving them a chance to run off tension and excess energy in a safe, monitored environment. The play yards also provide an opportunity for dogs to socialize with other dogs, which enables employees and volunteers to make more accurate behavior assessments of these animals. Potential adopters are also able to view the dogs interacting in a more relaxed environment, making them better able to judge a dog’s character and personality. Many dogs have been adopted straight out of the play yards.

How many pets did this grant help?

The number of pets that this grant has helped is literally hundreds, if not several thousand, since they were constructed. All able dogs are introduced to the play yards on a rotating basis, so the yards are constantly in use.

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

Rogue is just one of the animals helped by this grant. Rogue is a large mastiff mix who was dumped by her owners. She was, at first, very aggressive with people and unfriendly to dogs. During playgroup sessions, and with the supervision of an employee who took an interest in her, Rogue became a superstar. She is now very friendly to people and interacts playfully with other dogs in playgroups. Rogue even became the play-yard mediator, calming other dogs when they became too rambunctious. She was adopted by a family with three other large dogs and has adjusted extremely well. Rogue is now vacationing with her new family, and according to updates from them, they are all having a grand time.

Animal Care Centers of NYC: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) is truly grateful for this generous grant from the Petfinder Foundation, which was used to install a roofing structure at ACC’s Brooklyn Care Center’s outdoor play area to facilitate dog play groups and dog-to-dog socialization. This roofing structure is essential for the comfort of our dogs. ACC runs playgroups daily to provide the best possible quality of life for the dogs in our care, but inclement weather such as rain and snow as well as the hot sun can remove some of the benefits that dogs receive from this lifesaving program. The newly installed roofing structure at our Brooklyn Care Center ensures the efficacy of daily playgroups in a healthy and stimulating environment for NYC’s shelter dogs by providing high-quality enrichment and valuable socialization, which reduces stress and illness and ultimately increases adoptions.

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

ACC is one of the largest animal-welfare organizations in the country, taking in more than 35,000 animals annually. We are different from other rescue organizations because we never turn away any homeless, abandoned, injured or sick animal in need, including cats, dogs, rabbits, small mammals, reptiles, birds, farm animals and wildlife.

The generosity of the Petfinder Foundation has enabled us to achieve our goal of providing the tens of thousands of dogs we care for each year a healthy, positive environment with the greatest possible chance for placement. Each year, on average, our Brooklyn Care Center cares for more than 3,500 dogs. For years to come, each dog now entering the Brooklyn Care Center will benefit directly from this roofing structure.

How many pets did this grant help?

3,500 yearly

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

Orchid, a 7-year-old mixed breed (first photo), was found abandoned and tied to a pole in Rockaway Beach, New York. She was then brought to ACC’s Brooklyn Care Center by a Good Samaritan. Orchid immediately became a staff and volunteer favorite, as she was so sweet and always wagging her tail! Overweight (yet that much more to love) at 78 lbs., Orchid would become very hot and winded during playgroup. Once the roofing structure was installed with the generosity of the Petfinder Foundation, she learned how to stay cool in the shade, which enabled her to spend more time out in playgroup, socializing with other dogs and letting her true personality shine. Orchid was placed with one of ACC’s dedicated New Hope rescue-group partners.

Belleville Area Humane Society: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The grant money allowed us to purchase 1,000 square feet of turf to be installed in our play yard over the existing concrete.

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

This grant provided an improved play yard surface for the puppies and dogs in our care. The turf surface provides a way for us to decrease the injuries to paw pads that we frequently experience from the rough concrete surface as well as from the surface becoming very hot in the summer. The new turf was also installed over a drainage system that can be easily cleaned and sanitized.

How many pets did this grant help?

Fifty. This turf will be enjoyed by all of the puppies and dogs who come through our shelter!

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

Penny is a 1-year-old, reddish-brown pittie mix. She is a darling girl — so affectionate and playful. After she spent nearly two months at our local animal control facility, she joined our population. However, her time on our concrete play yards was short-lived. Penny was playing too rough and has been diagnosed by our vet with two luxating patellas. We were so upset to find out this news for such a young girl; however, her sweet personality will win someone over and a potential surgery may be in her future.

Penny is one of the lucky ones who plays on the turf yard and absolutely loves it. While she needs to maneuver the yard slowly and carefully for the time being, we are so grateful for the quality-of-life improvement the turf has made. It provides shock absorption, is elevated on drain tiles and boasts a bright green color in the middle of winter to show off to the public as they drive by the Belleville Area Humane Society. The BAHS has been serving the community of St. Clair County for close to 70 years and has seen many improvements. The AstroTurf play yard has been a saving grace for many of our animals, especially during the cold winter.

The turf play yard is one of Penny’s turn-out areas. It is amazing how much she loves the feel of artificial grass. Just a week ago, we turned her out on the turf and went inside to observe; after she exerted a little energy, she was rolling and scratching her back on the turf; it was a lovely sight. Today, the sun was shining in Belleville and there’s Penny, just lounging around in the sun, scratching her back on the turf.

We realize the Play Yard Grant is for activity and stimulation, which it is of course also used for daily; however, we wanted to share Penny’s story and how much she enjoys being out on the turf. It is the perfect gentle surface for the injured, the older or the young and playful. We know we couldn’t have afforded this improvement without the Petfinder Foundation, and BAHS was due for a facility improvement. Thank you for making a difference in the dogs’ lives at BAHS and improving the quality of Penny’s life specifically.

In 2016 we adopted 694 dogs and are so excited for the dogs of 2017 to enjoy their new turf play yard! Meet Penny: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37204865

Friends of the Cleveland Kennel: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Play-yard expansion for Dogs Playing for Life program at Cleveland Animal Care & Control

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

This grant help us to fund the play-yard expansion that was needed to get more dogs involved with Dogs Playing for Life. In 2016, our organization has spent $15,000 on building runs for the dogs at CACC to have time out of their cages off-leash; this grant helped tremendously to make this expansion possible so more dogs can benefit from this wonderful enrichment program.

How many pets did this grant help?

Over 100 dogs so far

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

The first photo shows a group of dogs goofing around in their new play yard! Success stories: Willow (second photo) was at CACC for more than 200 days and somehow got labeled dog-aggressive — I think because she was so out of control and excited at the end of the leash. She was a great playgroup dog and just loved playing with other dogs. Based on that new info, County pulled her and she was soon adopted.

Gavin (third photo) was a dog who escaped out of his kennel and was such a great playgroup dog that, instead of running away, he ran right out back to the playgroup yard! He has been adopted and the photo shows him enjoying life in his new home.

Celeste (fourth photo) was a very shy, puppyish dog who had a lot of fear/lack-of-confidence issues. She grew so much by playing in playgroup and became just really self-assured and has since been adopted.