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Palm Springs Animal Shelter: Play Yard Renovation Grant Report

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

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

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.

Further Reading