One of the biggest problems with rescuing animals is trying to find a place to house them until they can find a forever home. While some dogs can be brought in and find a new family within a week or less, others take some time to find the perfect family. Because of this, we try to provide our animals the best and most comfortable conditions while they are with us.
In the fall of 2009, Cathy Oakley, the owner of Bark Avenue Pet Resort, helped establish Peace, Love, and Animals. Cathy started using a horse barn that was on her property to house dogs, with the intent to restore it into a permanent rescue home. This barn was like any other barn, with dirt floors, no insulation, basic roof, and little electrical power. With generous support from local businesses and help from our volunteers, we have been making a lot of progress. Through months of effort, what started off as just a regular barn is about half-way to becoming a fully functional rescue facility. Bare dirt floors were transformed into a concrete slab with installed drainage, sidewalks were poured outside where there was just grass, and a new roof was installed to keep the rain out. These were just some of the steps that were taken in a short amount of time. Framed walls to include the addition of a few new rooms (future puppy room and cattery), insulation, and ceiling fans were installed during the late winter and early spring to help with combating the heat of summer.
|Interior of the barn. Left is before renovations and right is the current state.
As anyone who has lived in or visited the southeast can attest, summer can be a rough season here. The heat can be unrelenting, the humidity can be suffocating, and the bugs will be everywhere. We are limited to how much electricity we can use due to the lack of an adequate power supply. During the hot days, the only way to keep the barn "cool" and not blow the circuit breaker is to run some ceiling fans and some big floor fans. To remedy this, we recently had a new power pole installed, which we will be able to hook up to once we are able to get a new breaker box installed and rewire the barn.
During the day, our "barn" dogs are housed outside in outdoor kennels. Most of these runs were put in the grass along the backside of the barn. Being in the grass has a lot of downsides. The heat and humidity of summer can turn the grass into a hot mess, it can be hard to clean up after the dogs, and some dogs like to be dogs and dig. To help remedy this, we recently had a large 20 foot by 75 foot concrete slab poured to put some of our kennels on. We also installed shade cloth along the tops of the runs to ensure that the dogs can get out of the sun and stay relatively cool. Not all of our dogs were able to upgrade to the new outdoor commodities, but the ones that did love the new space. We've even discovered that some of the dogs like trying to eat the water spray coming off the hose during cleaning!
|Our new concrete slab and outdoor runs
|Buppy tries to "eat" cool water from the hose
Work continues on the barn and outdoor areas every week. Painting the ceiling, covering the walls with a plastic "dog-proof" material, installing indoor runs, and acquiring some form of air conditioning, are currently at the top of our to-do list, along with a permanent cover for the outside areas.
All of the work we have done and will do in the future is built upon the generous contributions from our amazing community. Please continue to support us, any help towards our efforts is greatly appreciated.