Council approves funding for dog run at Animal Shelter
The Lethbridge Animal Shelter will soon be adding a fenced dog run on its property to provide new opportunities for exercising, training and socializing dogs available for adoption.
On Tuesday, Lethbridge City Council voted to approve up to $30,000 in one-time funding from Council Contingencies for Administration to move forward with the new on-site amenity, which will be nearly 1,100 square metres.
The Animal Shelter property, which regularly operates at capacity, is currently not conducive to these exercise and social opportunities due to a lack of trails, pathways and fenced areas. Shelter staff have seen 54 adoptions of dogs thus far in 2023, not including those reclaimed by their owners, and the average stay is 37.5 days, up from pre-pandemic levels of around 16-18 days.
“Socializing, exercising, and getting to know a pet are essential components of a successful adoption process, including bonding, walking, and playing together,” says Acting Mayor John Middleton-Hope, who co-sponsored the motion with Councillor Jeff Carlson. “This dog run will provide a much more human approach to providing some exercise for dogs that are in kennels for the majority of the day.”
“These animals are staying in our facility longer and it is getting harder to encourage people to adopt,” says Skylar Plourde, Director of Services for Community Animal Services. “Thank you to Council for bringing this motion forward and supporting it. This will be very beneficial to the dogs on the property. This space will add very valuable enrichment for these dogs, which will make them more adoptable.”
A timeline for construction and opening will be announced at a later time. The space will not be open as a public dog run.
Ahead of its opening, shelter staff will create updated rules and guidelines for public visitation of prospective adoptable dogs.