The facility boasts three fenced-in dog play yards, allowing shelter staff and volunteers to exercise dogs off-leash and engage them in physically and mentally stimulating activities such as agility training and off-leash obedience training. The play time helps dogs shake off some of the stress inherent in being in a shelter kennel, and provides healthy exercise and positive interaction with the well-trained staff and volunteers. The yard itself is asphalt paved and coated with a special custom sealant that allows each run to be sanitized between uses, and coats the asphalt to prevent burns on dog’s paw pads during the hot summer months. A Mother’s Day donation drive funded the play yard landscaping; shrubs, plants, and trees designed to beautify the space, reduce noise, and create visual barriers so the dogs can focus on their human companion rather than shelter activities. The plants are specifically chosen by staff to be non-toxic, edible, and drought resistant.
The construction of the play yard was sponsored by The Animal Farm Foundation and Senator Robert Torricelli and the Rosemont Foundation. Additional funding was provided by “Kitten Days,” student de-stress events hosted by Alpha Phi Omega and Kappa Sigma organizations at Steven’s Institute of Technology in Hoboken.