Garden City Animal Shelter's dog yards to be upgraded

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
The first shovel-fulls of dirt are turned during a ceremony last week to kickoff the expansion at the Garden City Animal Shelter by the Finney County Humane Society. The work is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

The Garden City Animal Shelter is in for an upgrade. 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week for dog yards and a catio at the Garden City Animal Shelter. 

Nikki Spanier, director of the Finney County Humane Society said the project has been in the works since 2017 when they took over operations from the city of Garden City. 

While cleaning the kennels they realized the dogs only got 10 minutes of time outside twice a day, which is not enough, Spanier said. 

"We clean them once a day so they go out while their kennel's getting cleaned in the morning, then in the afternoon they go out as well, because we only have four yards currently," she said. "If you take the 70 dog kennels that we have and you divide that for each of them to be able to go out it takes a while. 

Also, all four of the Human Society's dog yards have holes in them, so smaller dogs can't be let out, they have to stay inside. 

So, the idea to renovate the dogs yards came from a couple of staff members talking, Spanier said. They mentioned it to the board and just went from there, but it took awhile to get the right design, they went through about 40 different ones. 

Once completed, there will be 48 outdoor dog kennels, six play yards/adoption yards for meet and greets and play time with the dogs at the shelter and a catio, which is similar to the dog yards to allow the cats to have some outdoor time as well but but is fenced in on all four sides. All of the yards and the catio will have shading.  

Spanier said the yards, while there will be more of them, will be the same size, but there will the same amount of kennels inside that they'll have outside.

"Ultimately, we'll have, I think we have 70 inside, we'll have 50 outside so they can spend more time out there and they'll also have additional yards as well," she said. "We only have four yards right now that they can run and play in, or when we have adoptions and stuff they can go out and meet and greet in the yards, only we have four of those and we'll have six."

Once those are in place Spanier said they'll be able to work on play groups with the shelter animals and give them more interactions with each other instead of being separated.

"I'm very excited," she said. "I can't wait for it all to be completed."

The project will be conducted in three phases. 

Phase one will take about three weeks to complete which is the construction of the adoption yards with catio.

Phase two will take six weeks and is the start of the dog kennels in the outdoor area on the north side. 

Phase three will take 10 weeks and will be the east yards that will be completed with the majority of the kennels to be set up. 

Construction is set to begin Sept. 29. 

Spanier said they are always looking for volunteers, especially with socializing and playing with the animals. 

"We always have community service that's available as well, we have dishes that need to be washed, we drive transport once a week that we look for volunteers to do as well," she said. "There's always something to be done."

Anyone looking to volunteer can call the Finney County Humane Society at 620-277-3725.