Community Foundation Grant for Outer Banks SPCA New Dog Enrichment Center

Remington Schiafo, Certified Dog Trainer and Assistant Kennel Manager with Astrid, one of the well-loved pups currently in shelter. 

We’ve all seen the profound effects of human-animal connections. Many of us have been lucky enough to experience the extraordinary devotion and unconditional love that pets provide. We are grateful there are groups like Outer Banks Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which work tirelessly to help our vulnerable four-legged friends and other creatures in need.

The SPCA was awarded a grant from Outer Banks Community Foundation in June 2023 to complete a new Dog Enrichment Center at their facility. The Enrichment Center is a fenced-off area behind their building and has ample shade and seating for about two dozen people, with more room for pets. The County funded the Center’s permanent shade structure, and concrete pad. Community Foundation support provided the tall fencing; new composite bench seating; stimulation, enrichment, and behavior modification tools and toys; and a shed for storing equipment and supplies.

The Outer Banks SPCA runs the Dare County Animal Shelter, an open admission animal shelter and the only animal shelter in our county. The organization helps pet owners and the community at large with domestic, feral, and wild animal care and safety. They educate the public about responsible pet ownership and offer services to support the human-animal bond, including adoption, low-cost neuter and spay assistance, lost-and-found, vaccine clinics, and animal reporting.

“We bring our dogs outside for exercise, mental stimulation, and emotional connection,” said Executive Director Bill Coleman. “In addition, staff who are professional trainers provide obedience and behavior training to make dogs happier and more adoptable.”

Pet stimulation tools with names like snuffle mats, sniff diggy fun, and woof pupsicles are designed to relieve boredom and support brain health. Rewards for good behavior include lots of praise, playtime, and treats.

“We anticipate being able to offer individual and small group training and activities that enhance behavior,” Bill said. “The new space will also be perfect for meet and greets with dogs and potential owners, and orientation meetings with volunteers and community groups.”

SPCA staff come to work each day dedicated to providing a loving environment for lost, sick, injured, and unwanted pets. There are many ways to be involved and share your love with their animals. Visit for more information.