New Developments Help Provide Animal Enrichment

Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth is Building a New Catio and Dog Recreation Area

DULUTH, Minn. – Stepping outside or lounging on the deck is something we humans take for granted.

Now, hundreds of furry friends will soon have the chance to spend more time in the fresh air at Animal Allies Humane Society.

“I can’t wait until it’s done, it’s going to be beautiful! I think the cats and kittens are going to like it,” said Warren Johnson, Volunteer at Animal Allies.

Subtle barks and curious kittens are all signs of something big happening at the shelter.

Staff and volunteers at Animal Allies say communication is key for strong development and enrichment.

“It’s for socialization,” said Johnson. “Animals that are not socialized with people become afraid of people and shy.”

It’s why walls are coming down and rock is now resting as fresh fences go up.

“Some cats will not like to go outside,” said Johnson.

Others, however, will welcome the opportunity with open paws.

“It’s an enclosed, outdoor safe space for cats to be,” said Michelle Sternberg, Marketing and Communications Manager.

Sternberg is referring to the Northland’s newest catio.

“Providing animal enrichment is something that a lot of shelters across the country are focusing on for shelter pets,” said Sternberg.

The project has been a work in progress for multiple years.

“I think it’s going to help a lot. I think it’s going to bring a lot of volunteers in to take the cats out,” said Johnson.

Now, the shelter is at a point of progress. Cost for the project is covered thanks to fundraising and generous donations.

“Picture a dog rolling around in the grass and a cat just taking a nap up on your sidewalk or your patio in your backyard,” said Sternberg.

Dogs at the shelter will soon have a new area to roam free for longer periods of time as well.

“They can be in the sunshine in the fresh air and still be kept safe,” said Sternberg.

Johnson believes that catio will receive a lot of use once completed. A three season structure providing Northland critters with enrichment that’ll last a lifetime.

“Assuming that we have a lovely fall, we will still be able to take advantage of the catio this year,” said Sternberg.

Billman Construction Inc. is contracted to do the work at the shelter.

They hope to have everything completed by the first week in September.

Animal Allies also plans to build training stations for dogs along their walking trails in the future.

Click here for more information on Animal Allies Humane Society.


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