Volunteers of Muskegon County Animal Control (dba Pound Buddies): Play Yard Renovation Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Play yard renovation for additional room for our furry friends to play safely.

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

The playgroup program is the MOST beneficial and important enrichment and stress-reduction program we offer. Rather than one animal, this helps (literally) EVERY, SINGLE DOG that is housed at the shelter. The fencing provides more opportunity for us to get dogs out to be social and to reduce stress. The additional fencing also allows us more meet-and-greet areas for potential adopters to interact with the dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?

We take in an average of 1,500 dogs annually.

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

Belle came into our shelter as a stray after good Samaritans found her at their glass patio door trying to get into the house in the middle of a harsh Michigan blizzard. During Belle's first time out in playgroup, she was highly reactive and displayed dog-aggressive behaviors. Our staff members worked with her for a couple of weeks but were still unable to get the muzzle off her in playgroup. Eventually, Belle started to make slow improvements, which quickly turned into steady daily progress.

Incredibly, we now use Belle often as a greeter dog and she has certainly earned the title of Playgroup Rockstar! She has become very well-socialized and encounters a wide range of dogs and varying play styles at our open-intake, high-volume shelter. Belle is currently still up for adoption and she continues to be a helpful assistant in our playgroup program. Not only has she won over the hearts of our entire staff with her silly and social personality, but with every new playgroup day, she gains more four-legged friends too. Meet Belle: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40510791

From our Executive Director, Lana Carson: "To limit this response to one dog I feel would be a gross understatement of what this fencing provides for the animals! Again, literally every single dog will benefit from this grant! We do have dogs who are timid and some are a little more rambunctious than others, but once they are introduced properly, they soon learn to play, play, play."