By NR Staff • 

Volunteers build fence for Buddy

Volunteers with Fences for Fido, a nonprofit organization that provides safe spaces for dogs, built the approximately 132 x 40-foot enclosure at a rural McMinnville residence Saturday morning. Once the fence was finished, Buddy, who had been living in a small kennel, had a chance to release his pent-up energy.

“He didn’t quite know what to think,” said Alan Wetaz of McMinnville, one of about 20 volunteers who helped with the project. “Once he gets used to his new boundaries, he’s just going to have a blast.”

Wetaz has been involved with Fences for Fido for about a year. He held a fundraiser for the organization in November at his business,  Nature’s Pet, asking customers to donate to the cause. The store raised $600, enough to build Buddy’s fence.

Saturday was the second time Wetaz helped with Fences for Fido construction. After the first one, which was in Portland, he was hooked, he said. “It was so nice to see that dog run free,” he recalled.

The McMinnville project was one of two in Yamhill County on Saturday. A dog in Newberg also received the gift of a fenced yard. A trio of dogs in Mac will get a fence in early February.

Fences for Fido volunteers are busy almost every weekend. They’ve built many fences in the Portland area, other parts of the Willamette Valley and southwest Washington, and are branching out to the coast, as well.

Their efforts dovetail with new Oregon laws that limit confinement of pets. (For more about the laws, please see the Happy Tails column in today’s Connections section.)

Fences for Fido started in 2009 in Portland. Its volunteers have built more than 235 fences, said Kelly Peterson, president and co-founder of the nonprofit.

But the organization’s involvement doesn’t end with the unchaining of a dog, she said. Fences for Fido also works with owners to teach them how best to care for their canines year-round. If necessary, it helps with veterinary care, and spay and neutering services, as well. Fences for Fido volunteers make return visits to each dog twice a year to make sure he or she remains unchained, safe and healthy.

At the fence building events, Peterson said, she likes seeing animal lovers work together to help improve the lives of dogs. But her favorite part of each project is seeing the dog released in the new enclosure for the first time.

“The release is always super fun,” she said, describing how the dogs are “filled with lots of zoomies!” 

To volunteer with Fences for Fido or find out more information about the organization, send e-mail to, check their Facebook page at, or go to the website,



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