Soldiers will help renovate PAWS Humane's dog play yard

Large play area was ruined after heavy rains

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comApril 2, 2014 

PAWS Humane executive director Jim Lilli sits with a couple of sibling puppies at the no-kill shelter.

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

The dogs at PAWS Humane in Columbus are getting a much needed renovated play yard this weekend.

Fort Benning soldiers will be volunteering at the 4900 Milgen Road location Saturday morning to do the labor.

The large play yard in the back of the building will provide an area for dogs to exercise and for behavior and other training sessions.

Marketing director Missy McClure said Tuesday that PAWS Humane, an animal adoption center and low-income veterinary service provider, has practically got no use out of the play yard for about four months.

"Heavy rains just ruined it," McClure said. "It's a mess."

She said there is a lot of mud and standing water with tadpoles swimming in it. She is also concerned about possible bacteria.

There are six dog runs of smaller size that are used to exercise the animals, but the play yard in the back of the building is the largest and most vital.

McClure said new drains will be put in the yard. Bricks will be put around it and sand will be added. A gardener will also plant flowers to battle erosion.

McClure said the center is currently home to 50 dogs and 55 cats.

"We are being overrun," she said. McClure said the dogs need the special areas because there are often behavioral issues if they don't get outside for exercise.

The new yard is being named for the dog "Big Mama," a longtime resident of PAWS Humane who died recently.

Most of the materials for the play yard have been donated, but PAWS Humane, which relies on donations, is still $200 short of its $550 goal for the project.

People can stop by the center to make a donation or visit pawshumane.org. For more information, call 706-565-0035.

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