Chambers’ leadership class unveils new dog play yard |

Chambers’ leadership class unveils new dog play yard

Sandi Hoover

When Margie Quirk joined the Carson City Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Leadership Class, she knew she wanted the group’s project to be a new play yard for the dogs at the city’s animal shelter.

“I knew the shelter had no funding for extras, and I knew I wanted this to be my project,” she said Saturday at the unveiling and ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I fought and fought and fought for it. I stood my ground.”

The class raised more than $2,000 to buy materials by selling raffle tickets and soliciting donations from individuals and businesses, said class member Steve Lasco. The project goal was to renovate the yard and build a new wood fence along two sides – to create a place where people wanting to adopt dogs could get to know their new best friend.

Improvements included a smooth surface of decomposed granite provided by the city, a couple of red fire hyd-rants, a large covered walk-in kennel so the area can be used even during inclement weather or if visitors need a place to sit in the shade.

To a rousing chorus of dogs barking in the background, Quirk and Mayor Bob Crowell cut the ribbon to the play yard and invited the dozens of people who attended the event to explore the amenities of the new enclosure.

Crowell praised the leadership class.

“I know you always hear me say that we’re a real community here, but that means we have pride in our community, and this is an excellent example of that pride,” he said.

The bulk of the money raised went for fencing, which cost $700, and the kennel cost was $400.

Quirk, project leader for the class and owner of Lone Mountain Veterinary Clinic, said everyone took part in the project.

“Capt. Clay Walls of the sheriff’s department came in here like ‘Tim the Tool Man’ with all his tools,” she said. “This class rocked.”

On Sept. 25, 17 class members and about 25 other volunteers, including several students from Western Nevada College, gathered at the shelter at 8 a.m. and built new fences and a large dog run, painted, pulled weeds and performed other landscaping chores. They then spread 60 cubic yards of decomposed granite to provide the new, pet-friendly surface on the play yard, replacing an aging asphalt slab that covered the 60-foot-by-60-foot area, said Lasco of Lumos and Associates in a newsletter.

Quirk explained the problems.

“The area needed a makeover. The asphalt was tough on dogs’ paws, and the noise from the kennels made it very difficult for prospective adopters to meet and visit with an individual dog,” she said in the newsletter.

Gail Radtke, Carson City Animal Services’ new director, encouraged animal lovers to pay a visit to the new play yard.

“The public can come out here in a contained area to get to know a dog or they can bring their own dogs for a meet-and-greet with a new dog,” Radtke said. “It’s also for our volunteers who come out here to walk dogs and play with them.”

Denise Bauer with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office dispatch explained why she enjoyed being part of the class.

“I liked meeting everybody. Everyone came together to do what they do best. Even if you didn’t know how to paint, you could push dirt around,” she said.

And Roberta Harris of Freeman & Williams CPA said she was pleased with the outcome.

“It really needed to be fixed up,” Harris said. “I drive by here a lot and this improves the look of the community. People who want to adopt a dog need to have a nice place to take the dog out and bond with it.”

The 17-member 2010 Leadership Class included Susan Anderson, Denise Bauer, Mitch Burns, Marty Espinoza, Danny Fierro, Roberta Harris, Darcy Houghton, Howard Houghton, Steve Lasco, Katie Leao, Jim Manning, Margie Quirk, Christina Santos, Rose Smith, Clay Wall, Day Williams and Stacy Woodbury.