The generosity of a local family is making life more pleasant for dogs that are staying at an Orillia shelter.
When Lynda Goldson saw the area beside the Ontario SPCA Orillia Animal Centre, she thought, “What a waste of space.”
So, she made a donation with the hope of turning the tangled mess of trees and bushes into a place for dogs to enjoy. The result is the Happy Tails Parkette, which opened Friday.
“It gives the dogs somewhere bigger to run around in,” Goldson said.
She decided to make the donation because she’s always loved animals and “saw the need was there.”
With the help of Latour Contracting, Area Fencing and others, the area was cleared, save for some trees, and transformed into a pooch’s paradise, with plenty of room for them to run and even an in-ground pool.
“It plays a role in the social aspect of dogs coming here,” said Tom Molloy, animal centre operations consultant. “Generally, when dogs come in here, they’re stressed out. Reducing their stress level is going to boost their health, and boosting their health is going to increase their chances of finding forever homes.”
About two dozen people were on hand Friday to check out the parkette, tour the centre and enjoy coffee and cookies courtesy of Starbucks.
Manager Carol Beard said the parkette provides “fabulous enrichment” for the dogs in the shelter’s care.
“It’s like a slice of heaven for them,” she said.
Beard thanked Goldson for her gift, but noted it’s not the first time she has stepped up for the centre. Goldson also made it possible for a garage to be built on the property and for a front room to be turned into a cat gazebo.
“We are so grateful for what she’s done for the centre,” Beard said.
Want to help the local animal centre? Its annual Friends for Life walk is happening Sept. 22 at Scout Valley. Find out more about the fundraiser here.