October 19, 2018
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Eagle Scout project gives shelter much needed agility course

Judy Harrison | BDN
Judy Harrison | BDN
Nicholas Collins urges his beagle Sophie to go through a tunnel he built for the Bangor Human Society as part of his Eagle Scout Project. Collins, 17, of Holden is a member of Boy Scout Troop 44 in Orrington.

Sam Carruth and Brona, a high-energy shepherd mix waiting to be adopted from the Bangor Humane Society, were anxious Saturday to try out the newly installed agility equipment behind the shelter’s Mount Hope facility.

Carruth, the animal care coordinator at the facility, brought the dog out of the building shortly after the wooden structures were installed.

“This gives them an outlet for some pent-up energy,” she said as she played with Bruna on a platform with ramps to the ground on either side. “It’s also a good activity for them to put their minds to use.”

The agility course was designed and built by Nicholas Collins, 17, of Holden as his Eagle Scout project. It included the platform with the ramps, a larger one with stairs on one side and a ramp on the other, two tunnels and several wooden benches where staff or volunteers can sit and observe the animals.

Judy Harrison | BDN
Judy Harrison | BDN
Nicholas Collins (standing to the right of the steps) poses Saturday for a photograph with members of Boy Scout Troop 44 of Orrington. Collins designed and built agility equipment for the Bangor Humane Society as his Eagle Scout project.

“The stairs especially let us test how they will do in a home environment,” she said. “The course also can help dogs recover from injuries and puppies learn to navigate things like stairs, ramps and other obstacles.”

Nicholas, a member of Boy Scout Troop 44 in Orrington, said he decided to do a project for the shelter because both his family’s dogs, Sophie, 4, and Kodiak, 7, came from the Humane Society.

Judy Harrison | BDN
Judy Harrison | BDN
Sam Carruth, the animal care coordinator for the Bangor Humane Society on Saturday works with Brona, a 3-year-old shepherd mix on the newly installed agility equipment built by Nicholas Collins as his Eagle Scout project.

“I met with [staff] in March and they said what they needed was an agility course,” he said Saturday, shortly after he and his fellow Scouts installed the equipment. “I looked up different courses and came up with some ideas. They said they needed something with stairs and a ramp.”

Nicholas, the son of Karen and Stan Collins, said that he learned woodworking from his dad so he wasn’t worried about building the pieces. He started sawing and hammering in July.

Finding the time to do it with all the other demands on his time was the hard part, he said. In all, Nicholas estimated he spent 50 hours on the project.

Judy Harrison | BDN
Judy Harrison | BDN
Sam Carruth, the animal care coordinator for the Bangor Humane Society on Saturday works with Brona, a 3-year-old shepherd mix on the newly installed agility equipment built by Nicholas Collins as his Eagle Scout project.

The agility equipment was installed Saturday after the shelter’s annual Paws on Parade fundraiser on the waterfront that marked its 25th anniversary.

“The most rewarding thing so far is seeing how happy it’s made the staff and volunteers here,” Nicholas said of his project.

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