Fence project helps shelter dogs enjoy yard

Published 2:42 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

More dogs will be enjoying outdoor fun at the Humane Society of Chilton County thanks to a donation of fencing and community members volunteering their time to put it up.

Animal Shelter director Jennifer Fesmire said an anonymous donor gave funding for the fencing project in memory of United States Marine Corps veteran Martin Smith, and the shelter was able to reduce cost of the project by having volunteers install it.

The first work day saw 18 volunteers working on the project.

“We have five large fences that we can only house two to three animals in at a time (for safety reasons), and it is a lot of wasted space for just a few animals,” Fesmire said.

The fencing is being used to create “14 smaller but adequate areas, which can still hold two to three dogs depending on if they get along,” Fesmire said.

This will allow more dogs to be outside at the same time.

“This will also allow the dogs inside that do not get out as much to get enrichment from the play yards,” Fesmire said.

A walkway near the fenced in areas will also allow the fence to become an added safety feature for shelter staff, so animals are not jumping on to them.

“We can also separate the animals, if needed for feeding to prevent dog bites, which puts the employee at less risk and also the dogs at less risk,” Fesmire said.

Volunteers will continue installing the fencing on Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fesmire said additional volunteers are welcome.

At the last project day, “we had some elderly (volunteers) be able to go into the laundry room and fold linen and organize sheets and towels. We had kids play in the hay, spread hay in the muddy spots that it needed to be put to,” Fesmire said. “… There is really something for everyone, every age to kind of help out with.”

Bone’s Backstreet BBQ has also joined the effort by donating lunch for the volunteers and staff each day of the fence project.

Once the fence project is complete, the humane society will place dog houses in each of the areas.