Anamosa Eagle Scout’s project benefits dogs at AWF shelter


Cain Appleby, 16, of Anamosa, built an agility course as his Eagle Scout Project and donated it to the AWF shelter in Monticello. As a lover of dogs, he knew he wanted to do something that benefitted dogs in some way. (Photo by Kim Brooks)

Appleby gets a kiss from one of the AWF shelter dogs as he introduces his new agility course to the dogs. (Photo submitted)

A shelter dog tries out the jump bar with two different levels on it. Appleby made the jump bar and a jump hoop using PVC pipe. (Photo submitted)
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     An Anamosa Boy Scout chose to turn his Eagle Scout project into a benefit for the dog and cat rescue shelter in Monticello.

     Cain Appleby, 16, of Anamosa, a member of Boy Scout Troop 67, researched, designed, and built agility equipment for the dogs to use at the Animal Welfare Friends (AWF) shelter.

     Appleby started his project in late July; it only took him two weeks to build and deliver his project to the shelter.

     “I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do for my project,” he admitted. “I knew I wanted to find a beneficiary.”

     As a lover of dogs himself (he has Rat Terriers at home), Appleby said he never knew there was an animal shelter in Monticello until he started doing some research.

     “I knew I wanted to do something for dogs, to teach them and stimulate their brains versus just running around outside.”

     That’s when Appleby decided to build an agility course for dogs. After having done some research, he saw other dog shelters that have outdoor equipment, but nothing at AWF.

     Appleby got to work noting what structures to incorporate into this agility course: a jump hoop, a jump bar with different platform levels, steps, and a ramp.

     “I added two shade platforms because it can get hot outside when the dogs are running around,” noted Appleby.

     Each aspect of the agility course is a separate piece of equipment, making it easy for AWF staff or volunteers to dismantle and put together themselves.

     “I made sure it was easy to put away in the winter,” Appleby said. “Two people can do it together; it’s easy to move and mow around.”

     Appleby used lumber, PVC pipe (for the hoop and jump bar), and shingles (for the shaded platforms) to build his project, having purchased some of the materials at Spahn & Rose Lumber Company in Monticello.

     He was able to build the agility course inside his scoutmaster’s garage, even testing the equipment out on his scoutmaster’s own dog.

     The Glass Tap (owner Matt Kumley) and Citizens State Bank (president Audrey Savage), both in Monticello, donated everything Appleby needed to fund his project, a total of $700. With the remaining money Appleby didn’t spend on his project, he bought outdoor dog toys and Petco gift cards to AWF as well.

     “I planned on donating outdoor toys anyway,” he said, wanting something fun for the dogs to play with while spending time outside.

     Appleby said the shelter could possibly use the Petco gift cards to buy blankets and food for the animals for the winter.

     “It makes me feel good doing a project like this,” Appleby said. “I had a dog that passed away right before I started this project, so it felt good to do something like this. I just love dogs so much.”

     Assisting Appleby in his project were a few of his fellow Scouts and some adult helpers.

     “This is the first time I’ve built something like this,” he said of his handy work. “I’d like to do more.”

     Appleby took a construction class at Anamosa High School, and gained some of the necessary skills needed to build the agility course.

     “I think the dogs will be very happy and excited to have this,” he added.

     When Appleby delivered his project to the shelter, he said everyone was surprised by how well put together it was.

     “It was a real pleasure working with Cain,” said Cindy Bagge, president of the AWF board of directors. “I was impressed with his design work and organizational skills.”

     Appleby brought his project sketches to Bagge and the board for their approval early on.

     “AWF so appreciates the equipment; finances are especially tight this year, so there is no way AWF would be able to purchase (a piece of equipment like this). It will offer some wonderful opportunities for our dogs as they wait for their forever homes.”

     Appleby said the day he delivered the agility course, one of the shelter dogs was brought out to try it out first-hand.

     “It was nice to see a dog test it out,” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of compliments.”

     Appleby has been in Scouts since he was in fifth grade. This week he started his junior year at AHS.

     Scouts is something the runs in his family, as his older brother also earned his Eagle Scout Award in 2015, and was even named Eagle Scout of the Year because of his project.

     “He redid the archery range and built a shed at Camp Wyoming,” shared Appleby of his brother’s project.

     Appleby enjoys Scouts, especially the camping trips he’s been able to take part in.

     “I love being outdoors,” he said.

     Being a Scout has taught him about what it means to be a good leader, to be kind toward others, and to always lend a hand.

     Appleby is the son of Stacy and Shannon Appleby of Anamosa.

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