Agility Equipment for Dogs is Designed, Built, and Donated to Farley Foundation
West End, NC—November 3, 2016. When Troye Curtin, a 14 year old Pinecrest Freshman and member of Boy Scout Troop 223 in Southern Pines, saw how happy his grandmother was after adopting a dog from The Farley Foundation, he had an idea for his Eagle Scout project that would help the local animal rescue group. The lucky dog, a German Shephard mix named Lacy, was likewise happy that Mandy Hambel of Seven Lakes gave her a forever home. Troye arranged a meeting with Farley Foundation Co-Founders, Betsy and John Ficarro and the concept of creating an agility course was born.
Prior to undertaking the design of the agility equipment, Troye consulted with veterinarian, Dr. Dana Vamvakias, owner of Vanguard Veterinary Hospital in West End, to determine the right type of equipment suitable for the shelter environment. He did not want to build anything dangerous or too difficult for the average dog and, at the same, provide a challenging physical and mental experience for the dogs. Dr. Vamvakias also made recommendations as to the most suitable types of animal-safe materials and paint to use on the equipment. Troye then recruited Nick Vamvakias, a leader with Troop 223, to be his Boy Scout project coach to help him through the administrative process.
Troye raised the necessary funds through a GoFundMe campaign, by contacting local businesses and obtaining other donations. He also needed someone to guide him through the construction process and found the perfect mentor in Jeff Boody, owner of J & L Home Services of West End. Jeff donated his time, experience and workshop to guide Troye through the construction and installation phases. Troye worked diligently throughout the summer, travelling to Jeff’s workshop nearly every weekend to build the obstacles which included: a crawl box; a sway bridge with two ramps; and a ramped dog walk with stairs and a tunnel. Several others helped with painting and priming the pieces, including Troye’s family, as well as other boy scouts and scout leaders. In the aggregate, the project consumed over 300 man-hours of time for all those involved.
Troye explained his motivation: “I have always had a passion for animals. When it came time for me to choose an idea for my Eagle project, and because I grew up with two dogs in our family, helping homeless dogs was my primary focus. Coincidentally, my grandmother was looking to adopt an older dog and found Lacy, a fantastic dog that The Farley Foundation had saved from being euthanized. I did research on The Farley Foundation and realized that they gave Pinecrest High School students hands-on experience by providing the opportunity as volunteers to bathe, feed, and walk the dogs. Being a Pinecrest student, I thought this was an amazing idea. During my meeting at The Farley Foundation facility with Mr. and Mrs. Ficarro, I noticed that it was very clean and that the dogs were all happy and healthy. I was thoroughly surprised and impressed that they have high standards of providing all of the veterinary care that each dog requires. These many positive characteristics proved to me, without a doubt, that the Farley Foundation was the one I wanted to help.”
Eric, a lively hound rescued by the Farley Foundation, masters the agility course.
Betsy Ficarro added: “Troye is a remarkably competent young man and his efforts have provided a wonderful and challenging experience for our dogs, making them happier, healthier and thus more suitable for adoption. John Ficarro concluded: “This is another ‘win-win’ result for The Farley Foundation and our community to help address the local animal overpopulation crisis; and a result created by an unusually bright and caring 14 year-old member of this community.”
This story appeared in the December 11, 2016 edition of The Pilot available here. For more information about The Farley Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, please visit its website: www.FarleyFoundationNC.com, or call John Ficarro at 910-315-3052.