The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 9, 2013

MCHS receives grant to renovate kennels

Marion County Humane Society (MCHS) has received a grant of $2,000 from the Miccio Foundation to assist with the remodeling of 15 dog kennel doors. This remodel will be an upgrade to a more durable material that will be designed to reduce stress and increase the adoptability of the dogs.

Currently, the adoptable dog area at MCHS consists of 22 dog kennel runs capable of housing up to 29 adoptable dogs. Fifteen of these runs face each other, causing stress and frustration for dogs who see the other dogs nearby but can’t access them to greet appropriately. This leads to increased barking and anxiety for dogs housed in those kennels. In addition, this constant state of stress can cause lowered immune system response and increased levels of disease for the animals. Since the high levels of barking during the time that dogs are being walked through this area can be heard throughout the shelter, this affects not only the dogs in this particular area, but the cats and other dogs throughout the rest of the shelter.

The new kennel doors will be more durable and will include a privacy panel that prevents dogs from seeing the other dogs around them and becoming frustrated. By reducing the stress in the facility, the shelter’s animals will become more content and more adoptable. When they are not feeling anxious, dogs will be able to display more socially appropriate behaviors to visiting potential adopters. Reduced levels of barking in the facility will also entice adopters to spend longer amounts of time visiting with the dogs, making it more likely that they will connect with and adopt a dog.

The grant from Miccio Foundation will allow the shelter to complete eight of the fifteen kennel doors they need to replace. MCHS is seeking support from other foundations and the community to complete the remaining seven kennels. Donations for the project may be sent to P.O. Box 655, Knoxville, IA 50138, marked “kennel renovation”.

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