Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Dominion Energy Provides New Enrichment Area For Peninsula SPCA Dogs

NEWPORT NEWS—On Wednesday, June 28, volunteers from Dominion Energy brought trucks, tools, equipment, materials, and volunteers to create a new “enrichment” area for the temporary residents of the Peninsula SPCA.

This marks the second partnership between Dominion Energy and the Peninsula American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to create more useful and usable spaces for the animals.

Last year, Dominion Energy built a ramp and play area for the goats in the barnyard (petting zoo) area, in addition to a fenced-in area outside the main building so potential adopters could spend time interacting with resident animals to get them away from the noise inside the building.

The effort was made possible by some individual donations that were earmarked for the project, but a majority of the funding was provided by Dominion Energy.

“We try to build relationships within the areas where we work and live,” said Terri MacIntyre, who is not only a projects compliance coordinator for Dominion Energy, but also a member of the board of directors for the Peninsula SPCA. “This particular project will help to reduce the stress of kennel life, but it will also create an area where employees and volunteers can go to relax and enjoy some time with the shelter animals.”

The new enrichment area will have some open, painted concrete areas for running and playing, as well as dog-friendly Astroturf to provide a soft spot to relax. In addition, there will be a soothing waterfall, a pool to cool off in, and a sunshade to keep the heat of the day off the animals and their handlers during the summer months. There will also be some landscaping to help make the area even more cheerful.

“Honestly, the volunteer hours are priceless,” said Peninsula SPCA’s executive director Megan Steele. “There is no way we could have done this project on our own. A lot of planning has gone into making this happen, and we’re really excited.”

According to Steele, the Peninsula SPCA is not affiliated with the national organization, so they rely heavily on partnerships like the one they have with Dominion Energy.

“Everything that we’re able to do, is through community support and donations,” said Steele. “We would absolutely love to have anybody else’s support to do projects like this. We think it’s a win/win for everyone involved, especially the animals.”

The new enrichment area was expected to be completed by the end of the day, but Steele said they still needed to move a few things around and do some painting. The area is expected to be ready for use sometime in the first week of July.

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