Rain, Sleet, and Snow: Rescue Rebuild Is Always on the Go
By Chris Coulter, Rescue Rebuild Program Manager
Halifax Humane Society in Daytona, Fl was Rescue Rebuild’s second job of a three job tour in the Sunshine State. We started in Marathon, Fl at the Florida Keys, SPCA and ended the three job spell in Pensacola, Fl at the Escambia County Animal Shelter with Halifax Humane being inbetween. Halifax Humane Society proved to be a very challenging build. One that threw us curveballs the entire trip.
Halifax Humane Society was in desperate need of kennel repairs and revamping. The cleaners used to cleanse the shelters are very corrosive. After repeated cleaning, the chain link doors start to corrode and rust. This is a cause of great concern because rusted metal can be sharp and if it continues to rust it will eventually fall apart making it easy for the dogs to become a Houdini and make a great escape.
So, construction began not only with local community volunteers but also with a college group who paid their own way to come from Pennsylvania to help out. The first step was to remove all the kennel doors and tops. Each kennel had a lid on top to prevent those rambunctious dogs from jumping out of their kennel. Removing all the doors and lid was a chore as they had been attached for years and fastened into cement block. However, these dedicated volunteers kept at it and never gave up. Finally, they were all removed and ready for the next phase and prepping the kennels for paint.
With everything out of the kennels, it was now time to prep the walls and ceiling for paint. This meant patching the block walls where they’ve chipped out over time. Previous roofing leaks were all fixed, but the water damage from them was not. Soft sheetrock and water stains adorned the ceiling. We installed new sheetrock in places and painted waterproofing primer throughout. With the primer set, it was time for all new paint in 65 kennels and the ceilings above! It took several days to paint these kennels. You would think that the rain outside wouldn’t hinder painting on the inside; however, we soon found out otherwise. The humidity was causing the paint to dry at a snail’s pace. So, being the problem solvers we are we brought in numerous fans to expedite the drying times.
Due to limited space inside the shelter, we now had to move the construction outside as we had teams making gates, making the lids, and stringing chain-link on the new gates and lid frames. This is where Mother Nature started throwing obstacles our way. From torrential downpours, powerful wind gusts, extreme cold and even snow flurries. Snow was the last thing we were expecting in Florida. For some of us, myself included, this meant an impromptu trip to the local Walmart for a coat and warmer clothes!
We were finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We were ready for the reconstruction of the kennels. We built all 65 kennel doors as well as the new lids! We also took care of new gate latches, hinges, and even installed new guillotine doors allowing the dogs to go inside or outside.
Even though it was raining doesn’t mean that we were done working outside. We wanted to do repairs to their existing play yard and even build another one. So, everyone got out their raincoats and got to work. We set poles, strung chain link, and made double-containment entries.
Although Mother Nature was making things a little tough, the heart of these volunteers were able to improvise, adapt, and overcome. We gave 65 kennels the much-needed restoration they needed making them safer and more usable. Their old play yard was repaired, and we built the new one for them to utilize. This allows more dogs to go out and play longer. Even new ceiling fans were installed allowing better control of temperature and alleviating humidity issues. The dogs are now able to play outside longer while enjoying a much more comfortable kennel while inside!
After shelters receive a Rescue Rebuild, they have reported a 300% improvement in adoption rates. To save the lives of more shelter animals, click here.