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Corey’s Puppy Park opens at ARL

T-R photo by Lana Bradstream The parents of Corey Brown, Craig and Michelle, and his older brother, Sammy, were surrounded by members of the Marshalltown community who turned up for the grand opening of Corey’s Puppy Park at the Animal Rescue League on Tuesday.

Roughly 85 people turned out for the grand opening of Corey’s Puppy Park.

Slowly making their way through hallways at the Animal Rescue League and braving the freezing Tuesday temperatures the crowd saw the new park which was built in memoriam of Corey Brown.

Corey died in January at the age of 13 after going missing in a winter storm. The community of Marshalltown searched for the teenager until his body was discovered.

Corey loved dogs and wanted to be a veterinarian. His family requested donations be made in his name to the ARL.

Corey’s parents, Craig and Michelle, and brother Sammy all welcomed friends and family to the open house.

T-R photo by Lana Bradstream Sherry Nodland, executive director of the Animal Rescue League, was all smiles as she opened Corey’s Puppy Park on Tuesday.

Executive director Shelly Nodland told the crowd the ARL had collected $20,601 in donations to create the estimated $30,000 backyard dog park. Labor of building some of the equipment attributed for the rest of the $30,000.

“It has been a dream of mine for a long time to have a bigger park out back,” Nodland said. “A 13-year-old boy and his dog would have loved this kind of thing.”

Amy Weeks attended the grand opening because she is a longtime friend of the Brown family.

“Our kids grew up together,” she said.

Corey adopted a Dachsund named Cooper from the ARL. Cooper was present at the grand opening and was given the opportunity to be the first dog to utilize the park.

Nodland said it is important to note that the puppy park is not open to the public. It is to be used for the dogs in the facility.

Each dog will be able to run around in the park at least once a day, depending on weather conditions.

“It will give people an opportunity to really see their personalities,” Nodland said.

The backyard of the ARL had four additional dog runs added to it. Some playground equipment includes a tire tunnel, hoops for canines to jump through, hurdles to leap over and a bridge to climb on top of or crawl under.

The ARL has 24 dogs at the facility using the new Corey’s Puppy Park. Nodland said they have a no-kill policy and will keep all dogs until adoption.

Driving that point home, Weeks said her family adopted two dogs one month ago who were at ARL for almost a full year. The dogs — Wren and Diablo — are sibling canines who Nodland refused to separate.

“They are amazing,” Weeks said. “We took to them right away.”

Nodland said when Wren and Diablo were adopted they were happy and healthy. The ARL charges an adoption fee of $125 for adult dogs and $200 for puppies. The fees include neuters, spays, microchips and vaccinations. The adoption fee for a cat is $25.

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Contact Lana Bradstream

at 641-753-6611 or

lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.