A person directs a construction machine on the Underdog campus.
[Courtesy photo]

Local nonprofit Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab recently upgraded its puppy areaand got a boost from the Moab community to do it. 

“Our challenge was creating a safe place for puppies. Litters of puppies are a little bit high maintenance,” as well as susceptible to disease, said Katy Gullette, the founder and CEO of Underdog. Underdog currently has around 116 dogs in care, half living at the ranch and half in foster homes. 

At the Underdog ranch, dogs are housed in outdoor yards as opposed to indoor kennels. The yards were dirt-floored, but that can cause serious problems for puppies. 

“If dirt is contaminated with something like Parvo, it’s very long-lasting in the soil,” Gullette said. Parvo is a highly contagious virus that can be deadly to puppies. 

[Courtesy photo]

“It’s so heartbreaking to lose a puppy to a preventable disease,” Gullette said. “So that area, specifically, we wanted to do with concrete. We also wanted to put a water source there, so we could more easily clean and sanitize between litters.”

Underdog poured eight concrete-floored puppy runs and paved other high-traffic areas. Gullette said a generous donor contributed about half of the cost of the project and workers from Emery Telcom under Jed Lawley pitched in to dig the ditches for the new water lines. 

“It was very labor intensive, so it’s amazing that Emery Telcom would step up and come over with their equipment and do it in a couple of hours, saving us thousands of dollars,” Gullette said. “We’re very happy with the support we get from the Moab community.”