With the onset of frigid winter weather across Alberta, the Stettler District Agricultural Society has opened their doors to Stettler’s canine residents.
Due to the temperature dipping below -30 C when windchill is factored in, making it unsafe for people or dogs to be outside for any extended length of time, the Stettler District Agricultural Society is welcoming dog owners into their riding arena to exercise their canine companions.
“They are welcome to bring a Frisbee,” said agricultural society administrator Marj Savage.
“People can come get some exercise with their dogs where it’s warm.”
According to Savage, the agricultural society has opened their doors for this kind of activity when the temperatures have dropped over the last three winters due to a drop in their membership riding when it gets so cold.
“We don’t see a lot of our membership riding,” said Savage.
“So it’s free for people to walk their dogs.”
If members do happen to come in to ride while dog walkers are in the facility, Savage indicated that the dogs and owners would be moved over to the Agriplex instead of being asked to leave.
The agricultural society does ask for a $5 fee to go towards cleaning and staffing of the arena before and after the dog walkers go in.
According to Savage, even some groups that meet regularly at Stettler’s off-leash dog-park are taking advantage of the indoor exercise option for their dogs, having a private booking on Dec. 29, 2021.
The plan is to keep the indoor exercise option available to Stettler and area dog owners as long as the temperatures remain bitterly cold.
“It’s hard,” said Savage.
“You don’t like to see them cooped up all day. It just isn’t safe (outside) for anybody, man or beast.”
While only Dec. 28 and 29 were originally planned for dog exercise before the new year, Dec. 30 was also added for dog exercise at the facility, and more days will be announced soon.
Additionally, the possibility remains, according to Savage, that the agricultural society board may block off ongoing time slots in the arena for dog exercise going forward, but that is yet to be confirmed.
Future dog exercise times in the new year will be posted to the society Facebook page.
For more information, check out the Stettler District Agricultural Society Facebook page or call the society at 403-741-6288.