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CHICAGO (CBS) — A new playground is in the works for Chicago’s dog pound.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports, on any one day at the David R. Lee Animal Center, 2741 S. Western Ave., 300 dogs wait to be adopted.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Lisa Fielding reports
“August is our busiest time. The summer months, we take in a lot more animals,” said city Animal Care & Control executive director Cherie Travis.
Many of these animals have limited space to run and play, but Travis says that’s about to change.
Thanks to a grant from the Animal Farm Foundation, the doggie playland could be completed by the end of summer.
“We’re looking to build four 3-by-100 foot play areas on 5 acres of land that would have some agility equipment, some landscaping, make it really fun for the volunteers to play with the dogs,” Travis said.
She says new space will trigger more adoptions.
“If you can put them in a big play area, let them off leash, let them run around, it’s a lot more fun to let them run around and it’s a lot more fun to interact with them when they are not on a leash,” Travis said.
Travis says the agency hopes potential owners can interact with the dogs and not see the dogs in a cage.
“By having them outside, having them interact with potential adopters, it’s going to be really good for their socialization,” she said. “Our hope is that we’ll get a lot more adoptions from it.”
Dogs at the city pound fall into two major categories: strays and dogs voluntarily given up by their owners, increasingly because they can no longer afford to take care of them.
Strays are held for five days to give owners a chance to redeem them before the city takes ownership. The strays, like the dogs voluntarily given up, are then available for adoption.
The construction project still needs city council approval. Travis hopes to have the project complete by the end of August.