A lot has changed at the Cleveland APL since my last column in Pet Patter—the biggest change is the completion of the Animal Resource Center Lobby. This new, fancy part of the building is home to the several very important departments: Animal Admissions, Foster, the Animal Welfare Clinic, TNR, and project CARE. That’s a lot in one area!
I think the part of the APL that most people visit and are familiar with is the adoption area, where animals leave the shelter and go to their new homes. But let me tell you, this new area is just as important! It’s where animals come into the Cleveland APL, whether they need new homes, a short visit for veterinary care, or where their families can meet with our team and get the help they need for their beloved pet. Because of the breadth of these services, the new resource center lobby will see just as many animals, if not more, than our adoption area.
Now, this part is really great! The new, larger lobby has separate waiting areas for cats and dogs, which will make for a much more Fear Free visit for my feline friends. Then there are separate, private consultation spaces for clients to discuss their needs with an APL team member. Not too long ago, clients would be in an open lobby speaking to a staff member over a counter—no matter what their needs were. And because the wonderful folks at the APL served one person and pet at a time, others waited their turn on a ramp outside. Those days are over!
There are three new exam rooms that make it easier for animals in need to get the medical care they deserve. When I came to the Cleveland APL through the Intake area, the Clinic was much farther away, and for a dog like me who could barely walk that trip seemed very long. Of course, my APL friends gently helped me! With the new exam rooms, the Admissions department is literally connected to the Clinic—animals in need can go into an exam room and the Clinic team can come examine them and have everything they need to provide care right there!
And don’t get me started on the new spaces for the Animal Welfare Clinic, which cares for the cats that come through our Trap-Neuter-Return program, animals from other shelters and rescues who need spay/neuter surgery, and project CARE clients, who need help with their pets. Before the remodel, clients for these programs entered through a door in the APL’s garage and were taken care of in a room called the Sally Port. It was where trucks used to pull in and was the last space available. It was better than nothing, but eventually, it just wasn’t enough. Now the team has an actual office and access to the same private, personalized consultation spaces that the Admissions team uses.
Plus, there are new Cat Holding and Dog Holding “pods,” which will make it even easier for the APL to quarantine and treat different illnesses and separate the feline and canine populations. This will help the team treat all kinds of infectious diseases and provide a quieter space for animals to decompress when they enter the shelter. In my last letter, I shared how the APL is now treating parvovirus in house, and now they will be able to treat so much more – and safely. That means even more lives saved!
I could go on and on about what a big difference this new space makes. But the most important thing is that the people and animals who come to the Cleveland APL will get the care, attention and fear-free introductions to this amazing team that they deserve. No more small waiting rooms or side doors connected to garages—now every animal that comes to the APL in need, no matter their story, will experience the exemplary care of our team from the moment they set paw through the door.
We still have at least eight months of construction to go, so there’s still time to become a part of this lifesaving Capital Campaign project and help Unleash the Dream!