North Central News

New exercise, play area for shelter dogs

The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) last month unveiled its interactive P.U.P. Park and Walking Path at AHS’ Sunnyslope Campus, 9226 N. 13th Ave. The P.U.P. Park, or Pop Up Pup Park, is a portable dog park that will be used to walk and exercise AHS’ dogs, including those recovering in AHS’ trauma hospital.

Four dogs, available for adoption, were chosen to christen the new Arizona Humane Society P.U.P. Park during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 16. They explored the new area under the watchful gaze of AHS Field, Behavior and Animal Experience team members, from left: Estevan Vega, Melissa Graham and Mik Moeller (photo by Teri Carnicelli).

The project was donated entirely by PetSmart Charities, Inc., and Sunburst Landscaping, which provided the walking path lined with desert-adaptive plants and leveled play area for the dogs.

The entrance to the P.U.P. Park is an innovative shipping container donated by PetSmart Charities Inc., which acts as a secure segue into the park, complete with 340 feet of expandable fencing, three clean-up stations, benches, solar powered lighting and a storage closet. Inside the fenced area, groups of dogs can be off leash and play, under strict supervision by members of the AHS behavioral team.

There also are a number of enrichment activities along the Walking Path leading to the P.U.P. Park, including dog-friendly plants and scent markers the dogs can enjoy while out for a stroll. These markers will have exciting scents like squirrel, raccoon and fox that will be rotated periodically.

The P.U.P. Park is situated at the end of a large, unimproved overflow parking lot at the south end of 14th Avenue. The lot is owned by AHS.

“Thanks to our great partners at PetSmart Charities, Inc. and Sunburst Landscaping, we have a beautiful and enriching site for our dogs to enjoy,” said Debbie McKnight, AHS’ director of Field, Behavior and Animal Experience. “It is because of generous supporters like this that we can take our pets’ experiences to the next level.”

 

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