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Eagle Scout Project + Play Yard = A winning combination.  

Written by: Debra Calandrillo

Photos by: Tara Urbanovitch

Thanks to local Eagle Scout candidate, Ricky Keenan from Gates Scout Troop #94, The Play Yard at Rochester Animal Services now has two new agility-like obstacle structures for the dogs to romp and play on this summer.

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Members of the play yard team networked last fall to secure volunteers to help build enhancements to the play yard. These efforts led them to Ricky Keenan who was looking to partner with a local charity to fulfill the requirements for his Eagle Scout project.  After observing a play group session, Ricky an animal lover and outdoor enthusiast determined that the play yard project was a perfect fit.

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Throughout the winter Ricky worked on the design and project management components of the project and approvals were received from all parties involved. Fast forward to early spring and Ricky and his team were ready to get to work! After several days of construction and assembly, the play structures came to life and under the bright blue skies of downtown Rochester, the canine agility play structures were installed.  The dogs have been having a blast on them ever since.

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The addition of the agility structures gives the volunteers just one more tool in their toolbox of ways to meet the emotional well-being of the dogs who find their way to the shelter.  While the majority of dogs enjoy time out in the play yards; socializing with other dogs; some simply prefer 1:1 time with volunteers.  Engaging with this equipment will increase the dog’s confidence levels as they work through obstacles and challenges and build connection and trust with humans.

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It is shaping up to be a great summer at the play yard and we extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Ricky Keenan, members of Gates Troop 94 and the leadership of Mark Angelo and Dale and Doreen Cook for their expertise guidance and support of this life-saving project.

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