Pooches lap-up their new play space

LAPPING up the new outdoor play space at Animal Aid Gippsland, in the form of a 12 metre by four and a half metre steel frame yard, kelpie Timmy really came out of his shell.

Left at the pound by owners who didn’t want to bear the cost of getting him out, the normally shy dog played fetch and ran around in the lockable pen to the amazement of Animal Aid Gippsland operations manager Debby Goddard and volunteer Robyn Lucardie.

The yard was specially designed and constructed by Mrs Lucardie and her husband Denis, who helps out with yard and maintenance work at the centre, to give the dogs more space.

“I made sure they were big enough so the dogs could have a little run in there, and we can play ball or tug-of-war with them,” Mrs Lucardie said.

A volunteer at the centre for more than two years, Mrs Lucardie understands how much space and walking big dogs require, having two of her own.

“I just wanted to give them some freedom and space to let off some energy,” Mrs Lucardie said.

Ms Goddard was rapt with the work.

“The yards have been fantastic,” Ms Goddard said.

“They give us a big area where we can play with the dogs; we’ve never had that area before.”

“It gives the dogs time to come out and chill and have a bit of a play if they want to and they can interact with people more than they can do inside.

“It’s just made their lives much more pleasant while they are here,” Ms Goddard said.

“It’s really good because we can take adoption dogs out for people to watch them play and run  round with them a bit.”

This Sunday marks the start of Animal Aid Gippsland’s dog walking club, to be held monthly at locations around the shire.

Starting at 10am, the first meeting will take place at Lake Guthridge, Sale.

Membership is $20 a year.

Ms Goddard said all money raised would go to supporting the animals at Animal Aid Gippsland.

“Money collected goes to funding things such as more yards like this, hot water services we use for dog washes, all sorts of things that we need,” Ms Goddard said.

After the meeting there will be a sausage sizzle for owners, and dogs, can get to know each other.

For more information or to become a member, people can phone Animal Aid Gippsland on 5144 5940 or email the centre at aag@animalaid.org.au