LOUISVILLE — Jacob Price is giving the dogs of the Stark County Humane Society another reason to wag their tails.
The GlenOak sophomore has spent the past two years planning, designing and building a canine agility course for the Humane Society as part of his application to become an Eagle Scout. The application process requires Scouts to complete a project that benefits the community.
The course includes stairs, a raised landing, a ramp and a tube underneath, which dogs can use to run, climb and rest. One of the nonprofit’s dogs, Copper, a 7-year-old coonhound mix, demonstrated the characteristics of the course on Tuesday.
Price began brainstorming ideas for the project in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic and a broken leg delayed his efforts. He began building the structure in 2021 and recently completed the final stage of coloring it.
“I wanted to do something different from what my troupe did,” Price said. “I went out and looked to see what they wanted, and when they showed me the ramp for the outside tracks, I was like, ‘This is something I have to build, it would be absolutely perfect. . “”
Serving Dogs, Humane Society
Humane Society executive director Jackie Godbey said Price’s project has many benefits for the dogs, nonprofits and people who visit to adopt the animals.
Some of the dogs the Humane Society receives come from areas where they’ve never been able to use steps, Godbey said, which poses problems if they’re adopted by people who live in homes or apartments with steps. .
Price added steps to the course specifically for dogs to familiarize themselves with before being adopted. The ramp, he said, could be used by dogs who get nervous and want to get off the course more safely.
Additionally, Godbey said the Humane Society also receives dogs that have spent little or no time outdoors and have outdoor anxiety. It used to be that dogs could play and explore in grassy play pens surrounded by a chain-link fence, although there wasn’t much in the pens to stimulate them. With the addition of Price’s agility course, however, dogs have more to do, making them more comfortable playing outdoors.
“It will help us have happier, healthier dogs,” Godbey said. “They’re not just walked around and then put back in a cage. They go out into an enclosed play area, they can play ball, they can go up and down steps, they can run…. It just gives them more to do. , so while they’re waiting for that forever home, they’re not too bored.
Godbey also said that when people come to human society to interact with dogs they potentially want to adopt, they often struggle to get the dogs to engage with them due to the lack of things to do. in the outer enclosure. Now they can use the agility course to strengthen the bond between them and the dogs, making them more likely to adopt the animals.
A long-standing link with the association
Although Price’s project is the largest in the Humane Society, other Scouts in his troop – Troop 1042 – have volunteered to carry out projects that benefit animals as part of their work to become Eagle Scouts. .
Price said he first thought of the idea of building the agility course because one of his troop mates had volunteered at the Humane Society and told Price about the experience. After Price started working on his project, his friend also stepped in and built platforms for the cats to rest and play on.
Another of Price’s castmates intends to complete a project at one of the other playpens, although the details surrounding that project have yet to be decided. Price said he and his fellow cast members found the Humane Society easy to coordinate and work on their projects.
After:Stark County Humane Society staff stayed overnight tending to the animals during the winter storm
Help along the way
In addition to help from the Humane Society, Price said he received help from his parents, his scout leader and his troop members. He also said the cost of supplies for the agility course — about $3,400 in total — was covered by donations from businesses, vets and friends in the Plain Township area.
Matt Sweeney, scout leader of Troop 1042, said Price did a good job recruiting the right people to carry out his project. Sweeney also said that the construction and implementation of the agility course, which he says was one of the greatest projects he had seen during his time as a scout leader, showcased the Price’s leadership qualities.
But Price didn’t want to take all the credit.
“I was able to do this thanks to the help we received from [the Humane Society] and my troop and I’m glad I was able to do it,” he said. “I could never have done it without the donations I received either. The people who donated donated a lot and were very easy to work with, and the people who came here to help made a ton or worked.”
As his troop mates work on their own plans to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, Price repays the favor by lending a helping hand. So far, he has participated in as many projects as he could.
When it comes to his own project, Price has high hopes. Although it took two years to complete, he imagines he’ll be here to serve the Humane Society and its puppies for decades to come.
Contact Ryan by email at email@example.com, on Twitter at @ryanmaxin or by phone at 330-580-8412.