GM workers help build play space for dog rescue

Volunteers for K-9 Stray Rescue League and General Motors pose for a photo in the gravel enrichment area. Photo by D. Vaglia

By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
Volunteers from General Motors came out to K-9 Stray Rescue League to help finish a new enrichment space on the morning of Wednesday, July 21.
“Kennel life is hard for any dog,” Debra Pullen, Interim President of K-9 Stray Rescue League, said. “[The enrichment area] was made for dogs to have major play time.”
Replacing a section of kennels, the expanded enrichment space is a lowered open-air area filled with pea gravel where dogs can run around. The gravel space adds to an already built, covered concrete play area, giving dogs ample room to roam around. Agility equipment and various other mind-working games will be placed in the gravel area.
“We found that 15 minutes of working a dog’s mind is as good as a 30 minute walk,” Pullen said. “It is different; it is not just taking a dog for a walk every day. There’re pools that set up here, there is a pool that has balls in it, we hide food; all of that mind work is very important for a dog.”
That morning’s work focused on filling the pit with gravel and moving a covered kennel that was shifted by the wind the night before. Prior work involved fencing off the area, with the labor and supplies for fencing being donated by Ashby Fencing Equestrian Solutions. The $2,600 for gravel was raised by an Oxford Community Schools student through a virtual 5K run.
According to Paul Boor, a GM engineering group manager and the organizer of the company’s volunteers, the automaker has a long history of volunteering in the greater Southeast Michigan community and challenges employees to complete 25 hours of volunteer work a year. But beyond that, Boor has a personal connection with K-9 Stray Rescue League.
“Five years ago my wife and son were desperate to get a dog,” Boor said. “I was out of town on a trip, and K-9 Rescue League had a pet adoption fair at Petco. I had gotten a call saying ‘Dad, we found a dog’ and I went ‘Oh my gosh, I am never leaving town again.’”
K-9 Stray Rescue League, and all their dogs, are located on Metamora Road in Oxford Township.

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