A recent outdoor expansion project at the Lamar Animal Shelter now allows more dogs to get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise on a daily basis. Stephanie Strube, currently interim assistant to the City Administrator, will be the new director at the shelter in a couple of weeks and provided a tour of the new outdoor exercise runs.
“We’ve added these runs working on some limited funding and by using available materials from the city,” she explained. Each of the five runs is made of durable chain link fencing and is spacious enough to allow a dog to do some running around while inside. “Larger dogs go to an individual run, but if we get some smaller and younger pups, they will share one so they can play together. And if we get two or more dogs from the same home, they can share one of the runs because they’re used to each other. This gives them a chance to get out of the smaller, interior cages so they can just lie down on the ground or go inside their dog house,” she added. There’s also a larger common area to the east of the main building where the dogs can enter and exit the runs when a handler brings them in or out. During the visit, the weather was more like late April than early February and the outside dogs were either jumping in the pen to bark a greeting to a visitor, or just lying out and enjoying the ground and the warmth.
A double fence has been built along the outside perimeter, a condition that was required to get the initial financing grant and it also is a safeguard by preventing a dog from digging out from under the fence line. Strube said there are currently five available dogs including a female pitbull/terrier which is very good natured, a seven month old border collie/blue healer, an Aussie and a sixteen month old black Lab which is good sized, energetic and is still growing, “He’s a happy dog, but he’s all outdoors and needs a lot of exercise,” she said. There’s also a small mascot of the shelter which is a black and white pup which seems to have the run of the place and is always at Strube’s heels, when not racing the other dogs in their runs.
Strube is working for additional grants to augment the construction work which has already taken place. She welcomes volunteers to the shelter. “You have to be at least 16 years and you’ll fill out the forms from the city and go for an interview. After that you can work out the days or hours you’ll be able to contribute to the shelter.” The City of Lamar website has the details as well as additional information about how to go about adopting a dog or dropping one off. “We’ve had that happen and it’s better for a person to call us about taking their dog off their hands instead of just abandoning it if they can’t provide for its care.” Call the shelter at 336-8769 or visit the city’s website under Police, under the Departments listing.
By Russ Baldwin
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