This year marks Pro Playgrounds ten-year anniversary. In an effort to say thank you to the local community that has contributed to our growth and success we raffled off a 13’ commercial hyperbolic umbrella shade to a local organization in Leon County, FL.

The results are in, and we are happy to announce that the Tallahassee Animal Services Center is our lucky winner. This organization is dedicated to a unique cause, making way for positive growth within our community each and every day.

In conjunction with the City of Tallahassee and Leon County, the municipal animal shelter provides housing for animals and other animal-related services to the citizens of Leon County. Services include low-cost rabies vaccinations, micro-chipping, and free pet identification tags.

In 2016, the center initiated a training program for canines called “Dogs Playing for Life”. “The program allows the shelter dogs supervised time out of their kennels to run around with other dogs, roll in the grass, dip in and out of wading pools, and basically act like regular dogs”, explains Michael St. John, Assistant Director of the Tallahassee Animal Services Center. “The program is morale-boosting for the staff, volunteers, and the community as it lets us improve the quality of life for dogs during their stay in the shelter and enables staff and volunteers to gather more behavioral information about each dog to provide to adopters,” St. John says.

“Dogs Playing for Life” enables visitors to observe the dogs’ behavior as they play freely outdoors and interact with one another. After play sessions, stress levels in the dogs are greatly reduced, resulting in a calmer demeanor in the kennel. Lower stress levels and improved behavior both in and out of the kennel greatly increase their chances of being adopted, a win-win for all.

The dogs play in two fenced, partially shaded doggie play yards alongside a viewing area. The umbrella shade sponsored by Pro Playgrounds will provide additional coverage and much relief to the dogs, staff and volunteers working with them.

Umbrella shades cool protected areas by up to 20 degrees, greatly reducing the risk of overheating in people and dogs. Shade is also vital to avoid overexposure in people from the sun. In fact, the number one recommendation by health professionals to protect skin from overexposure is to seek shade.

Post installation, the center anticipates the new shade will enable dogs and staff to spend more time playing outside and offer potential adopters a more comfortable space to view them. The overall impact? Lower stress levels, better behavior and more adoptions.

Learn more about the importance of shade. Explore different options to best shade your recreational space.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Local Shade Giveaway. We truly appreciate the community support we have received over the years and look forward to continuing to serve the recreational needs of Leon County, FL and beyond.