Charitable grant provides air conditioning and hangar for Cedar Rapids animal shelter

Dogs still able to replace inefficient window unit and maze of floor fans in a ‘cleaner, greener’ overflow building

Dogs Forever, 809 Rockford Rd. SW, is a volunteer “guaranteed adoption” shelter. The outdoor play area was enlarged after the derecho damaged the shelter. This improvement and others were made through a grant from the Miccio Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports projects in Iowa that improve animal welfare. (Photo Dogs forever)

CEDAR RAPIDS – A Cedar Rapids volunteer animal shelter and shelter not only received a grant of $ 2,348 to provide air conditioning for its overflow kennel, but was also able to purchase a shelter for outdoor equipment, which will room for more furry friends.

Lisa Carrara, Secretary of Dogs Forever, said the Miccio Foundation, a nonprofit that supports projects in Iowa that improve animal welfare, has provided more funds for the adoption guarantee shelter. of Miccio’s “Cooler-Cleaner-Greener” project. The secondary building and shelter kennel had only one inefficient window unit, and several floor fans had to be used in an attempt to cool the building in the summer. The Miccio grant allowed the shelter to install a central air conditioning unit and eliminate fans and the “maze” of extension cords for a “cleaner, greener” environment.

Carrara said the grant provided so much because the shelter’s furnace died on Christmas Day last year, which was replaced by the landlord, but the lease didn’t allow for further improvements unless the tenant was paid by tenant – Dogs Forever.

“Miccio has supported us so much,” Carrara said. “They provided grants that helped us expand our dog routes and helped us recover from derecho in 2020.”

The entire outdoor exercise area at the shelter was damaged, along with its main building at 809 Rockford Rd. SW, during the storm, Carrara said. With that same grant from Miccio for storm damage, the shelter also purchased a gasoline generator for future blackouts and LED lighting.

Carrara said the recent air conditioning grant also provided enough funds for the shelter to add an outdoor shelter, so that all equipment – lawn mower, snowblower and other tools – can be moved out of the building. secondary to make more floor space for the dogs. They ordered the hangar in the summer, but due to supply and shipping delays they are still waiting for it to arrive, she said.

The secondary building kennel kennel area typically holds about eight dogs at a time, Carrara said. They also use the building for training and socializing the dogs with volunteers and it also serves as a meeting place for staff and when the shelter is open to the public every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for visits.

Dogs Forever employees are all volunteers. They have around 65 to 70 of them throughout the year.

Carrara said the shelter saves homeless, abused and neglected dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages, but is also known to welcome “more difficult to place” dogs such as senior dogs or dogs that must be abandoned because that the owner is ill, moved to a nursing or nursing home, or is in financial difficulty.

Dogs Forever also offers foster homes for dogs awaiting adoption. Because it is a “guaranteed, no kill” facility, the animals stay there or in foster homes until adoption. Carrara said that sometimes it could take two to three months or more. They have a strict screening process to ensure that dogs find their forever home with the best match.

Carrara said there are now around 20 dogs in foster homes. The shelter is always looking to add more foster homes to care for the dogs while they await adoption. For more information, visit dogsforever.org.

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