Welcome To Our New Detroit Home!
The MHS Dresner Foundation Animal Care Campus
Spring 2016 will long be remembered by the Michigan Humane Society as an incredible new beginning. On a mild, sunny mid-March day, hundreds of our supporters, volunteers and staff assembled at 7401 Chrysler Drive – the organization’s Detroit home since 1931 – and lined up for the historic Pet Parade.
Together, we escorted dozens of adoptable animals to our brand-new campus, just two blocks north, but worlds apart in the ability to change animal lives.
Adding to the festivities, the Detroit Police Mounted Unit and Detroit Police Department K-9 Unit took their places at the head of the procession to lead us into the next chapter in MHS history. As we marched closer to the new campus, you could feel the excitement in the air and hear it in the excited barks and meows, while spectators cheered from front porches and the sidewalks. Finally, we arrived at the doors of our brand-new campus in Detroit’s North End neighborhood.
After the parade and a few brief remarks from MHS President and CEO Matt Pepper and Board Chair Paul Huxley, we welcomed everyone inside to get a look at the long-anticipated facility. Not surprisingly, within a short time of opening our doors, Theodore, Faygo, Cowboy, Lenny, Maple and other parade pets were adopted into loving homes. Thousands of additional adoptions will follow in the coming months.
Thank you for helping MHS get to this new beginning! Through the vision and incredibly generous support of those who invested in our $15.5 million “Hope Is Building” campaign, we now invite you to celebrate with us. Join us for the following tour of what will become the epicenter for animal welfare in Detroit … and beyond!
Dresner Foundation Animal Care Campus
In April, we announced that our new animal care campus in Detroit has been named the Dresner Foundation Animal Care Campus, in recognition of the foundation’s $3.5 million signature gift.
“The Michigan Humane Society and all those who work alongside us to save lives will forever be grateful for the leadership of the Dresner Foundation toward making the new campus a reality,” MHS President and CEO Matthew Pepper says. “The Dresner Foundation Animal Care Campus will allow us to provide the animals in our community with the highest-quality care for generations to come.”
The five-acre campus at 7887 Chrysler Drive is easily accessible from several major freeways. Its key feature is a 35,000-squarefoot, state-of-the-art animal care center with separate entrances for the adoption center, animal intakes and veterinary center. Each space, designed by expert animal-shelter architects, stands ready to meet the needs of our community – both its animals and human residents – well into the future!
A few campus highlights include the expanded veterinary center, which will allow greater capacity in caring for pets already in homes; a new home base for our high volume cruelty investigation and rescue teams; multiple secure, spacious shelter dog play yards; and rooms for our pawsitive start in-shelter dog and cat training volunteers to help get adoptable animals started off on the right paw.
“This leading-edge facility will not only ensure the highest quality of care for animals, but will also serve as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization and economic development,” says Kevin Furlong, CEO of the Dresner Foundation, which is dedicated to transforming lives in profoundly positive ways through grants focused on health, youth and animal welfare.
“Many, many people worked hard to make this campus something the entire community can be proud of, and most importantly, to enable MHS to save more animal lives,” says Paul Huxley, chair of the MHS Board of Directors. “At the forefront was the Dresner Foundation, whose signature leadership and gift have enabled not only this facility, but our vision for Detroit as a healthy pet community.”
And community was a key consideration in designing our new Detroit “home.” It has a spacious education center, which already is allowing us to expand our youth outreach and community outreach programs.
Community also made the new campus possible. This milestone project – and subsequent “Hope Is Building” campaign to fund it – all began with a generous gift from longtime MHS supporter Thomas Mackey.
“The incredible $1 million gift from Thomas Mackey allowed us to purchase this ideal site on which to build a new legacy of hope and promise,” Pepper says. “And here we are, starting this new chapter in the Michigan Humane Society’s history.”
Dresner Foundation Adoption Center
Along with the new campus name, through the Dresner Foundation’s support, we now have a new name for our new adoption area: the Dresner Foundation Adoption Center. It is the perfect place to find a new furry family member!
Following the Pet Parade, the animals began exploring their comfy new dog adoption pods and cat condos. A pair of adult cats found a perfect spot to lounge in one of the two large free-roaming rooms. A litter of white kittens, which at first curled up under a box, soon decided it was more fun to climb and frolic in their spacious enclosure.
“The cats and dogs absolutely love their new spaces, but adoptions have been going great so they don’t get to enjoy them for very long!” says Jennifer Rowell, adoption center director. “And that is exactly what we had in mind.”
The adoption center was designed for human-friendliness as well. When visitors step through the adoption center doors, they are welcomed by the friendly staff members in the bright, spacious lobby. Immediately inside the adoption center doors, to the left is another glass door to the adoptable dogs area and adjoining puppy and small dog rooms. The area feels more like a hotel hallway than an animal shelter.
Those coming to check out the adorable cats and kittens will immediately see them upon entering the lobby, through tall glass that surrounds several free-roaming enclosures.
Each of the animal care spaces was designed to house animals in a healthy and comfortable environment – and that leads to animals going home more quickly.
“This is a relaxed and happy place to visit, unlike some shelters of the past,” says Beth Chamberlain, MHS adoption center director. “Everything, from the design of the spaces to the environmental enrichment we employ, is benefiting the animals while they await adoption.”
Grosfeld Veterinary Center
Adjacent to the adoption center is the new veterinary center, which provides the high-quality, compassionate care that your pet deserves. The state-of-the-art facility is now called the Grosfeld Veterinary Center, thanks to a generous gift from the Nancy and James Grosfeld Foundation.
This much larger, well-equipped veterinary center is bright and welcoming with a spacious lobby and separate waiting room areas for dogs and cats. Our dedicated team of veterinarians and other professionals provide care by appointment, Monday through Saturday.
Is your dog, cat or other pet an MHS alumnus? When you adopt at MHS, our veterinary center team can now seamlessly transfer your new pet’s medical records to their practice, providing a beneficial and convenient head start on ensuring his or her best possible preventative and ongoing medical care.
And remember, for one year following your pet’s adoption from any MHS location, that pet is eligible for a 10% discount on all products and services at any of our three veterinary centers. To make an appointment for your pet, give us a call at 313.872.0004
Second Chance Center for Surrendered Pets
No longer will animal intakes share a lobby with the adoption center; our new intake area will help MHS save more lives by providing a separate, private lobby specifically designed for this function.
Owner-surrendered animals come in by prescheduled appointment after speaking with a caring MHS representative who will tell them what to bring and what to expect. Our goal is to provide the safest and best possible experience – both for the owner and the pet for whom they no longer can provide care.
So that we can provide immediate assistance without a prior appointment, all stray animals found in Detroit will continue to be directed to our previous facility at 7401 Chrysler Drive, Monday through Saturday. Those looking for their lost dogs and cats should also visit that location, as well as the new adoption center.
We are here to help the community. If you have any questions about animal intakes, whether owner-surrendered or stray, or about looking for your lost pet at MHS, call 1.866.MHUMANE (866.648.6263).
Shelter Medicine Area
Of the thousands of animals that come to us each year – whether as an owner surrendered pet, a stray or though the work of our cruelty investigation and emergency rescue teams – each needs some level of examination and veterinary care. Even the perfectly healthy ones usually need preventative care, such as vaccinations and spay or neuter surgery.
But thousands of times each year, animals come in who cannot immediately go up for adoption because they need significant levels of medical care over several weeks or months – to heal broken bones, cure illnesses like heartworm disease and mange or to save their lives through challenging surgeries.
Our new shelter medicine area, with dedicated examination, treatment and surgical spaces, is a bustling place of health and healing for the animals in our care. Low-traffic canine and feline rehabilitation areas also facilitate the animals’ recovery.
All of this care is managed by a dedicated shelter medicine veterinarian and a support team of veterinary technicians and animal evaluators whose jobs focus on getting animals ready for adoption and into the hands of our adoption center team.
“The shelter medicine area within the new facility greatly expands our care capacity in Detroit, where we have the most challenging medical cases,” says Shirene Cece, D.V.M., and director of the MHS Shelter Medicine Program at all three MHS locations. “Everything about it was designed and equipped with our mission in mind – so we can save even more lives.”
Visit…Then Tell a Friend
Whether you want to adopt a furry best friend, utilize the veterinary center for compassionate care of your current pets or simply want to see the tremendous impact of your past and ongoing support, we hope you will visit soon!
“Our work started right here in Detroit in 1877,” Pepper says. “We are part of the city’s past and, with you behind us, we will be a vital part of its brighter future.” We couldn’t be more excited to reach this huge milestone in our history with you.
Now, please help us get the animals all the way home by spreading the word!
How You Can Help
Donations of any size are welcome in support of our lifesaving work and will help us advance animal welfare in Detroit and beyond for many years to come.
To make a donation or for information about the remaining naming opportunities within the new building, please call MHS Chief Development Officer Dan Ginis at 248.283.5670.