It started out covered in mud, but a shelter volunteer has raised enough money to transform the Georgetown SPCA's shelter yard into a landscaped sanctuary.
A fundraising campaign that exceeded expectations has transformed the outdoor area where dogs and their prospective adoptive owners often first meet.
As an SPCA shelter volunteer, Linda Palmer was dismayed at ankle-deep puddles and mud covering the shelter's yard.
"It was just such a mess. So I decided I wanted to do something," Palmer said. "I started the Facebook page for the fundraiser on Jan. 11 with the goal of raising $5,000."
Palmer's nephew, Brian Rowe of Rowe Property Management in Selbyville, soon started small with the goal of making the yard a happier place. Soon his heart took over, and he was laying underground irrigation and sod.
Before all the funds were raised, Palmer said, "He told me he just couldn't do the cheap version."
Work was underway, but Palmer continued to seek donations. In the end, she raised $9,000.
William Troyer of T&T Contracting in Maryville donated the concrete walkways and was later hired to improve the yard's fence line.
Palmer also ordered kennel platforms so the dogs will be off the ground in areas where sod was not put down.
"Everybody loves the walkways," Palmer said. "The grass looks great and the dogs just love to roam around and play fetch."
The changes have made the Georgetown shelter a cleaner, friendlier place for humans and animals alike, she said.
"It's a huge transformation," Palmer said. "I just can't believe it. It's amazing, and I truly have to thank the community for their support. Everyone was very generous with donations, and I especially want to thank Michelle Esposito, who brought in many donations and Leslie Fritz, who connected us with the concrete supplier."