Reducing shelter stress one play group at a time.
What are playgroups?
Our behavior team has 90 dogs out for play every morning, in different groups by play style. People don’t realize the work that goes into running the groups. We take a whole section of dogs out of the kennels first thing in the morning, the kennels get cleaned and the next section comes out. We have color coded collars to know who goes into which group. Runners that spend all morning running dogs from kennels to play yard and back. 30 minutes in playgroup is the equivalent of a 2 hours walk. This we do Monday-Saturday, every dog, every day, rain or shine. Young adults, puppies come out and play in the afternoon. We believe that it is our duty to keep dogs well socialized, stimulated and happy while they are waiting ( sometimes a long time) for a home. We make enrichment toys out of peanut butter and treats. In the summer we have frozen “pupcicles” even. Kong, Nala bones etc. The dogs are safe at the Ark, but a shelter is no substitute for an actual home so we do all that we can to make their stay as joyful and comfortable as possible.
We recently received the Play Yard Renovation Grant from the Petfinder Foundation that replaced our 4ft fencing with 6 ft fencing. This opened up 2 play yard for our dogs to enjoy play time. If you are interested in seeing how our play groups work or volunteering for the Behavior Team, please attend an orientation. We would love to have you join our team!!