Winnipeg shelter gets dog yard 'make over'

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

D'Arcy's Arc winner of $10K in upgrades, including splash pad

Volunteers help build a new dog yard at D'Arcy's Arc Animal Rescue Centre on Century Street in Winnipeg Saturday. The shelter won a $10,000 contest sponsored by Purina and Evergreen Design for the make-over, which will include a splash pad and play area for the dogs. (Mike Fazio/CBC)

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."

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.