Dogs sheltered at the Stark County Humane Society can now trot alongside volunteer walkers.
NIMISHILLEN TWP. Unwanted, unloved and unwelcome elsewhere, homeless dogs sheltered at the Stark County Humane Society can now strut their stuff in style escorted by volunteers on daily walks on a path that cost nearly $125,000 to build.
"All of that money was raised through fundraising and the generosity of donations," said Jackie Godbey, executive director of the non-profit at 5100 Peach St. NE.
Godbey and about a dozen volunteers and visitors gathered for a ceremonial opening the path Tuesday afternoon. C.J. Campisi of pawzshop.com cut the ribbon, declaring the walking path officially open for the shelter.
"We try to make this place as pleasing, as healthy and as comfortable as possible for all the animals and all the persons working here," said Jim Fidler, president of the local chapter's board of directors.
About 50 dogs a day will use the path with volunteers who come daily to provide canine friends at the shelter with exercise, fresh air and one-on-one socialization.
"It's time to cut that ribbon and let everybody and all the dogs enjoy it," Godbey said. "When you drive down (U.S. Route) 62 and see the people and the dogs, it's heartwarming."
The Joseph A. Jeffries Co. of Louisville constructed the walking path, which measures just under a mile. "It's beautiful," Godbey said.
The path also features five "paw-tios" or patios and poop stations.
The brick patios contain a total of about 100 personalized bricks, paid for by donations that started coming in during February 2018. Godbey said more bricks will be added as more donations come in.
Cambell's Landscaping of Canton constructed the paw-tios, she said.
Dr. Scott Hunter of the North Canton Veterinarian Hospital made two stop signs and five waste stations along the path, Godbey said.
And, she said, James Southerland, an eighth-grader at Edison Middle School in Perry Local, made all five benches as part of his Eagle Scout project.
The walking path also includes a quarter-mile "cut-through" path, a smaller journey for older dogs.
The path runs along the woods, but several feet from the wooded area, a distance aimed at preventing ticks from reaching the dogs, Godbey said.
Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or email@example.com.
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