In an effort to enhance the quality of life for long-term dogs in our care, we recently installed artificial turf as phase one of our outdoor rejuvenation project. This initiative was driven by the desire to reduce stress and boredom among the dogs during their stay, providing them with the best possible experience. The introduction of this specially designed space has proven to be an invaluable addition, offering a range of activities and opportunities for the dogs to engage with staff and enjoy their time off-leash.

A Welcoming Playground

The newly installed artificial turf serves as an off-leash playgroup for the dogs, allowing them to socialize and interact with their fellow canines. Here, they can frolic freely and engage in playful activities, fostering a sense of camaraderie and companionship among them. This vibrant atmosphere promotes mental stimulation and physical exercise, essential components for a dog’s overall well-being.

Personalized Attention

The designated area also facilitates one-on-one time between the dogs and the dedicated staff members. These individual interactions help build trust and strengthen the bond between the dogs and their caretakers. Staff members can engage the dogs in various stimulating activities, such as fetch, training exercises, and simple games. The artificial turf provides a clean and safe environment for these interactions, ensuring the dogs’ comfort and enabling them to fully enjoy their playtime.

Social Integration

During lunch breaks, the staff members invite the dogs to join them in the designated area. This not only encourages the dogs to socialize with humans but also exposes them to a variety of enriching experiences. The artificial turf offers a soft and inviting surface for the dogs to lounge on while they observe and interact with the staff during their meals. This shared time promotes positive associations and helps alleviate any feelings of loneliness or separation anxiety.

Playgroup Equipment

To further enrich the dogs’ experience, the area is equipped with specialized playgroup equipment. This equipment is designed to engage the dogs’ natural instincts, providing mental and physical challenges. Dogs can explore agility tunnels, conquer ramps and bridges, and navigate through interactive obstacles. The artificial turf beneath their paws offers traction and comfort, allowing them to freely and confidently enjoy these activities. The stimulating environment encourages their natural curiosity and promotes a sense of accomplishment as they navigate through the equipment.


The installation of artificial turf in the designated outside area has undeniably enriched the lives of long-term shelter dogs. By providing a vibrant playground for off-leash playgroups, facilitating one-on-one time with staff, encouraging social integration during lunch breaks, and incorporating playgroup equipment, the dogs now experience reduced stress and boredom during their stay. This thoughtful initiative has truly transformed their time in the shelter, ensuring they receive the best possible care and attention while they await their forever homes.

The Karen & Peter Turkstra Family Fund at Hamilton Community Foundation has played a significant role in supporting the Enrichment Program for dogs at the HBSPCA. Their generous contribution has not only contributed to the program but has also facilitated the renovation of the dog runs, providing a more comfortable and engaging environment for the shelter dogs. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Karen & Peter Turkstra Family Fund for their commitment to improving the lives of animals and their invaluable support.

In addition to the generous support from the Turkstra Family Fund, we would also like to express our gratitude to AGL. Their partnership and contribution have been instrumental in making the renovation of the dog runs possible. AGL’s dedication to animal welfare and their generous assistance have greatly enhanced the dogs’ living spaces, creating an environment that promotes their well-being and happiness.

The collaboration between the Karen & Peter Turkstra Family Fund and AGL exemplifies the power of community support in making a positive impact on the lives of shelter animals. We are immensely grateful for their commitment to our cause and their belief in the importance of enriching the lives of these deserving dogs.

Thanks to the Karen & Peter Turkstra Family Fund and AGL, the HBSPCA is able to provide an enhanced and nurturing environment for the dogs in their care. Their contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of these animals, ensuring they receive the love, care, and attention they deserve as they await their furever homes.

Get Involved

You can make a difference in the lives of shelter animals like these deserving dogs. Your support allows us to continue providing the love, care, and attention they need while they wait for their furever homes. Make a donation to help us enhance their quality of life and ensure their well-being. Together, we can create a brighter future for animals in need.