By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 30, 2023.
An investment at the Lethbridge Animal Shelter is going to make life more doggone bearable for the canines staying there.
City council on Tuesday approved an official business motion put forward by Acting Mayor John Middleton-Hope and councillor Jeff Carlson that will give dogs in the facility more exercise.
Council agreed to spend up to $30,000 from council contingencies to build a fenced dog run at the facility to not only give dogs more exercise for their physical and mental health.
The dog run will be about 1,100 square metres in size. It will not be available for public use.
Skylar Plourde, Director of Services and Enforcement at Community Animal Services, said science shows exercise makes dogs more adoptable.
The ability to exercise dogs at the facility is currently limited and a fenced run, said Middleton-Hope, would provide an opportunity for dogs to get some legitimate exercise, socialize and be a safe space for them to bond with potential adopters.
Plourde said this year there have been 54 adoptions of dogs from the facility with their average stay being 37.5 days. This is “quite a jump” from the 16-18 day average stay pre-COVID, he said.
He noted there is less interest in adoptions post-COVID.
In 2022, a total of 339 dogs spent time in the shelter. Not all were adopted, however, Some were returned to their owners while others were sent to other facilities.
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