It's the next best thing to having a dog park in your back yard.

D'Arcy's Arc, an animal rescue centre on Century Street, spent Saturday building a back yard only a dog could love, including a play area stocked with toys, a canopy for shade, a splash pad and even a 'pee pad.'

D'Arcy Johnson, top dog at the shelter, said it's thanks to a contest sponsored by Purina and Evergreen Design.

He said D'Arcy's Arc is the seventh animal facility to win the 'yard make over' from the companies and he is thrilled. 

"It's going to have a large canopy cover for shade and weather, rain," he said. "We've got a new pee pad going in. We've got a play area for the dogs that's going to consist of boxes and hoops for them to jump over."

d'arcy's arc

A dog surveying the work being done at D'Arcy's ARC Saturday seems pleased as the new dog yard takes shape. It will include play structures and a splash pad. (CBC)

As dozens of volunteers worked at the site Saturday, Johnson said the upgrade will help more dogs get adopted more quickly. 

"Having a yard space, having more exercise for them makes them happier, and makes them more adoptable. So chances are they'll get adopted faster which is great."

Johnson said it also gives the volunteers the chance to play with the dogs, and that means the canines get to practice interacting with people, which again helps them socialize and brings them closer to being adopted.