September 2021

Dear Fur-iends,

Every day at the Cleveland APL is different, not just because of all of the amazing programs and services they provide, but also because of the new areas that are opening as construction is completed! Two of those very important areas are the groom room and a dog isolation area.

For pet parents, grooming is a basic part of caring for their furry friends. I know, because my mom and dad give me baths even when I think my muddy paws are a fashion statement! And whether it’s to help make animals feel more comfortable or simply to help them look and smell their best for new adopters, the Cleveland APL has wonderful volunteers who dedicate their time to grooming the animals (typically dogs, but the occasional messy kitten as well) in their care.

Before construction began, the grooming station was in the same room as where Animal Care Associates washed food bowls and prepared our food. It also served as a major access between the dog holding areas and the hallway leading outside, a check-in station for all dog walkers, and even held desk space for one staff member. It was a REALLY busy place. Can you believe one room did all of that? This was another example of how my friends at the APL used every spare inch of every room and why this renovation is so important for the animals and staff.

That room was the first to be cleared out when construction started and is now the APL’s central, high efficiency laundry and food prep room. But animals still needed to have baths and get groomed. My friends at the APL are great at finding creative solutions and caring for us animals; they always put us first! So, the amazing APL volunteers came up with other, creative places to groom my friends for a few months! But not anymore. Now, the volunteers and animals have access to a very nice groom room that is dedicated to providing the best care possible!

To some people, that might not seem like much. But for some of my friends who have arrived at the APL with pounds of filthy, matted fur or for my friends who are saved by Humane Agents from filthy situations, this care is critical! Even though I don’t always think I need a bath, I have to admit, I like how good I feel and how nice I smell after one!

As for the dog isolation area, that’s an important step toward stopping the spread of contagious diseases—something that is so important for a shelter. Before, the APL had two choices for dog isolation in their very busy shelter. The first was a room containing a few outdated kennels and one low-walled area that only worked for small dogs who wouldn’t jump out. The other option was to rope off the far end of their dog holding area so that dog walkers couldn’t walk healthy and sick dogs past each other. It wasn’t great, but, again, my amazing friends at the APL always make the very best of what they have.

Now, there is a dedicated dog isolation area with nine nice, new kennels. As it’s a smaller space, it’s also less stressful for dogs in treatment. This helps the APL to fulfill their goals of reducing the spread of infectious diseases—like kennel cough—AND providing a fear-free place for animals to stay and recover. At the end of the day, less sickness means less time spent waiting to be adopted! It’s win-win if you ask me!

The final part of the construction is all about helping animals stay happy and healthy while they wait for their perfect families. The APL team has just $1.2 million left to raise to reach their $13.5 million goal to complete this project, so now’s your time to help animals!

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