Sonoma County animal shelter reaches fundraising goal for upgrades

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The play yards at Sonoma County Animal Services aren’t anyone’s idea of a fun place to frolic.

The gravel and grass surfaces are hot to the touch or a muddy mess, depending on the season. Slabs cover holes where dogs have tried tunneling beneath chain-link fences.

“For a potential adopter to come through and see a muddy dog, it’s not putting the best foot forward,” shelter volunteer Katherine Schram said.

Earlier this year, Schram, 63, and a few of her fellow volunteers decided something had to be done about the play yards. Working with staff at the Century Court facility, they devised a plan they dubbed “Field of Dreams” to renovate the space. They then began soliciting donations for the work.

A little more than two months later, the group announced Friday it had reached its goal of bringing in $60,000. Western Farm Center in Santa Rosa was the largest donor, ponying up more than $21,000, including $10,000 in matching grants.

Renovation plans include replacing the surfaces with dog-friendly “woof fiber” and artificial K9-grass, landscape and irrigation repairs and a new meet and greet area under the canopy of two large redwoods.

“It’s about keeping the dogs healthy and increasing their chance for adoption,” Schram said.

Donations are still being accepted. More information is available at the shelter’s online site.

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