"When people come in to adopt, oftentimes they have a dog at home, and we need to do a meet and greet," Ito said. "Before they can have a potential pet, [they can] make sure the dogs get along before the adoption process can continue."
The play yard's name comes from the name of television show host Phil McGraw's dog Maggie, Ito said. The host of "Dr. Phil" donated $10,000 as lead money to get the project moving. A volunteer with the society also worked for McGraw, Ito said.
"When he was looking for nonprofits to donate money to, she recommended us to him, and he liked what he saw and he liked what we do," Ito said.
The play area was formerly sun-baked asphalt that could get so hot, it would burn paw pads, Ito said. Monrovia-based Wildrose Landscaping Services was called to transform the barren landscape into an oasis.
"They described to me everything they were after, and I put it in place," company owner Charlie Phillips said.
The new grounds feature decomposed granite, which looks like grainy sand, as well as a grass, a dog-sized pool, a shade area, trees, and floral, garden-like murals adorning side walls.
"That's what we went with to create a park-like theme as you walk in," Phillips said.
In exchange for his work, Phillips adopted Gidget, a Labrador retriever.
"She's a wonderful dog, and it was well worth it," he said.
The park, which is for Glendale Humane Society use, was inaugurated Sunday with scores of community members, and their pets, of which there were many Humane Society alums, said Star Mangasaryan, the director of operations.
Glendale Humane Society, a nonprofit, continues to offer $100 commemorative bricks, which celebrate loved human and canine family members alike. The bricks form a bone pattern in the center of Maggie's Barkyard.
"It's a haven in there," Ito said. "It's just wonderful."