An anonymous $35,000 donation helped Bethany’s CollegeSide Gardens create a space for residents’ pets.
The donor’s money went towards renovating a dog run behind the supportive living centre in Red Deer.
Darlene Grasdal, CollegeSide Gardens site manager, said the anonymous donor is doing “an amazing thing” for the facility.
“It really speaks to that person and their values,” she said. “They aren’t looking for anything in return. They just want the residents’ quality of life to be improved.”
Construction work for the dog run began last spring.
The facility has had a dog run since opening about eight years ago, but the money allowed the space to be renovated. The newly landscaped fenced-in space features seating, a pergola, obstacles for dogs to play on and artificial grass.
“It’s really hard to control the weeds in a space like that, so now we have year-round artificial grass that’s really easy to clean,” she said.
Grasdal said this gives residents and visiting families a place to sit and let their dogs run around off-leash.
“It’s nice, private and quiet. You can just go and enjoy the landscaping, the green and everything around it. We’re perched in a really beautiful surrounding.
“Everyone is so excited for it,” said Grasdal. “It’s going to be very user friendly and it’s not just for people with pets. It’s another place for our residents to go, sit and have a conversation with other people.”
Grasdal said CollegeSide Gardens has always been pet-friendly; there are residents with small to medium dogs, cats and birds.
“It makes it feel more like home,” she said. “If someone has a pet, they’re usually a big part of their life and part of their family. Moving in here and leaving them behind may be too much for them.”
Some residents have already used the dog run, Grasdal added.
Community members are invited to a pet-friendly grand opening Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., where there will be games, food, giveaways, facility tours and more.