SPCA Has a New Sensory Garden
The SPCA of Texas’ Animal Care Center in Dallas now has a sensory garden that was built with the help of Park Place team members.
The park’s environment allows dogs to use their natural senses, with amenities including a sand pit, swimming pool, rosemary plantings, and agility obstacles.
“Enrichment is what we use to improve our dog’s quality of life by providing them things in their environment that stimulate them mentally and physically,” said Dr. Valarie Tynes, SPCA of Texas Shelter veterinary behaviorist. “Sensory stimuli are just one part of this. Olfactory enrichment is perceived to be especially valuable because of the dog’s excellent sense of smell and the role that olfactory communication plays in their daily lives.”
Tynes also said that environment enrichment can help animals use as many natural behaviors as possible.
“We use the Sensory Garden to do behavior modification for high arousal, jumpy, mouthy dogs,” said Rebecca Woodward, SPCA of Texas behavior program manager. “Essentially, what we started doing was creating a program for these dogs using agility because of this garden.”
Woodward said SPCA staffers are able to decompress the dogs using the garden, and in turn, they are getting adopted more quickly.
Park Place’s “Volunteer Days” program allowed staff members to take two paid days off and volunteer to build the sensory garden.