Skip to content

Harris County Veterinary Public Health: Orvis Dog Enrichment Grant Report

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

To help increase adoptions, funds had been raised to build the Puppy Playground on the grounds of Harris County Veterinary Public Health Shelter. The playground was built because there is limited space in the shelter for potential adopters to visit with the dogs. The playground is a meet-and-greet area that measures 60 by 125 feet, and is divided into four fenced areas. Even with shade canopies, in the summer months the heat is oppressive. To allow the playground to be used year round, and to ultimately maximize pet adoptions, we installed a water misting system on the fencing to help keep the area cooler.

Besides helping to increase adoptions, we have also observed that the dogs tend to relax and behave differently in a grassy open area than when they are inside the shelter. To celebrate the Puppy Playground, a grand opening was held which resulted in a slew of media coverage, both on the day of the event and leading up to the grand opening. This has helped to promote our location and the fact that we have lots of highly adoptable pets.

How many pets did this grant help?

136 dogs were adopted in the month of October at Harris County Veterinary Public Health.

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

Kit, a 6-month-old terrier mix, was adopted the day of the Puppy Playground Grand Opening. A high-energy puppy, Kit was brought out from the shelter to help showcase the playground and to, hopefully, find her forever home. A visitor to the event saw her running around in the playground and could not resist her “radar ears” and exuberant personality. Kit went to her new home that very day. That’s Kit in the first photo.

Further Reading