Thanks to employees of PPG Industries, the dog kennels at the Humane Society of Delaware County received a fresh coat of paint last week.
“This is our first Colorful Community project for Delaware and Columbus,” said J.J. Wirth of PPG’s Delaware Automotive Division, who was the project manager for the four-day job. “We do these across the world. The Circleville plant has done several.”
PPG calls its “Colorful Communities” program “a 10-year, $10 million commitment to bringing to together PPG volunteers, local nonprofits, government organizations, PPG products and financial support to transform spaces … through the mage of a fresh coat of paint.” At one project in San Antonio, more than 1,500 people volunteered.
“We had about 20 volunteers on Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 26-27),” said Seth Pezzopane, PPG sales manager at the Architectural Coatings (wall paints) division in Columbus. “What we’re doing is re-coating the main kennel area and their isolation area. We coated the kennel floors, halls, and all the exterior walls. Everything will be uniform, and it’s a nice transition. In our line of work, prepping is 99% of the job. We couldn’t have done this without the volunteers.
“We’re very excited to part of it,” Pezzopane continued. “From a PPG standpoint, we don’t normally get together like this, so it was good chance to get to know each other.”
Regular readers of The Gazette may recall that students from Big Walnut High School creatively and cheerfully painted the cat section of the shelter at 4920 state Route 37 E. in the spring. However, the dog area is done in a light pastel gray. Not only is the epoxy a germ barrier, but according to research, the color is good for dogs, and is being adopted by many veterinary clinics.
“A lot of people think dogs are color blind,” said Natalie Yeager, HSDC Canine Program coordinator. “But there’s some colors (such as) bright blue really stands out to them. You wouldn’t want the whole kennel painted like that, it’s like the color of a room affects your mood. So anything we can do that gives them an environment that’s calming and lower their stress, that’s what we’re for.”
The website Dogtime.com states, “the canine color field consists mostly of yellows, blues, and violets. ‘Human’ reds, greens, and oranges are not distinguishable to dogs and instead appear somewhere on their yellow to blue spectrum.” The retina of dog eye thus has superior night vision, but in less detail, so they may sometimes have trouble tracking a tennis ball thrown on a lawn.
A lighter, more consistent color palette is also more soothing to people too, Yeager said.
“When people are looking for a dog, if it’s a dark kennel and a dark-colored dog, people tend to pass them by if the dog isn’t moving or doing something neat,” she said. “If a dog is sitting in a lighter-colored kennel, people notice them more. Plus people can take pictures to show and make it look more inviting and not like a jail cell. It’s a balance between wanting people to feel empathy for the animal and not wanting them to feel sorry.”
Just before PPG arrived, HSDC had a successful “Clear the Shelter” event, said Events and Development Manager Jane Nolan.
“The timing helped us so much on this, because we were able to get down to a very nominal number of animals, and every dog that didn’t get adopted went on sleepovers, which is a great way to socialize them,” Nolan said. “We’re in a 37-year-old building, so we have to be good stewards here. We’re trying to make it last, and update it. This is a huge difference. It’s been so positive, more cheerful — anything that makes it more comfortable when people come through.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.