No more burned paws! Rescue U fixes up a Michigan shelter


Rescue U volunteers have arrived at the Humane Society of West Michigan in Walker and begun a massive renovation project! We have a lot of work to do, and only a week to do it. Among our projects:

adoptable dog

Dogs like Emmet will benefit from Rescue U’s shelter renovation.

  • AstroTurf to protect paws: There are some long dog runs in the back of the shelter that have a pea-gravel base. The gravel gets really hot in the summer and burns the paws of the dogs, so we are going to put AstroTurf in the dog runs, which will save paws and be much easier for the staff to clean.
  • A new dog agility course: Thanks to all the generous people who donated via our Groupon Grassroots campaign, we raised enough money to put in a dog agility course and play area in a space that’s currently just a big, fenced-in area. Once the course is installed, the dogs will have plenty of activities to occupy them when they go to the yard to play.
  • Sound baffling to lower stress: Inside the shelter, the area where the dogs are housed is extremely noisy, which stresses the dogs, so we are going to install sound baffling in the kennels to stop the echo and quiet the kennel down.
  • Organizational shelving: We are going to add shelving to organize the shelter’s pet-food bank program, the Kibble Konnection, which helps low-income pet parents provide food for their pets.
  • A new sanitation barrier: To help prevent the spread of disease among cats, we’re installing a sanitation barrier in the cat-intake area. A sheet of plastic resembling a shower curtain will hang between the stacks of cages so that when cats sneeze and cough, they don’t transmit upper-respiratory infections to the cats in the cages across from them.
  • Painting and organizing: We’ll also be painting and organizing the reception/admitting area and the vet clinic.

This build is particularly exciting because most of the students — who come from Rescue U chapters at Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University and Michigan State University — have never been on a Rescue U outreach trip before. Everyone is excited to take the skills they learn here back to the shelters where they volunteer regularly to improve the lives of even more pets.