August 22, 2014
The paint was dry, the expanded cat colony rooms were ready, and the new furniture was moved into place. All that was left before the August 20th “grand reveal” at AHS’s Golden Valley location was to cut the ceremonial ribbon and open the doors. And when AHS President & CEO Janelle Dixon did the honors, and dozens of curious customers streamed through the front door, the reimagining of the adoption process at AHS was finally a reality.
“The renovations to the adoption center and cat housing will have a dramatic impact on the customer experience and the lives of animals, not only while they are in our care but enhancing their opportunities for placement,” Janelle said after the celebration.
The renovation was the result of ongoing work by AHS staff combined with a timely grant from Purina Cat Chow. We’d been working for some time on creating an adoption experience that would have a fun, celebratory feel and be comfortable, informative, personalized and efficient. Then in May, Purina offered a $50,000 grant to renovate the cat adoption areas, with the single stipulation that the work had to be completed in August. AHS decided to contribute another $150,000 to the effort and make changes throughout the shelter, allowing us to realize our vision sooner than expected.
A score of Purina Cat Chow representatives here on hand for the event, spending most of that morning helping prepare for the event, including cleaning up the landscaping in front of the building. “We owe Purina big thanks for partnering with us on this effort,” Janelle said.
The grand reveal celebration included a wide range of activities, such as face painting, balloon twisting and a photo booth, as well as door prizes and giveaways.
Many friends and supporters of AHS attended the event, including members of the AHS Board of Directors. “Kudos to those who had the vision to see what a difference opening up the adoption area would make,” said Maureen McDonough, board secretary. “It feels much more friendly and inviting, and it is a more efficient use of space. I love the three display windows to show off the kitties right as you walk in. We owe thanks to Purina for their generosity and to Target for their assistance with the merchandising -- and especially to the staff of AHS for working so hard to make it happen in a short amount of time.”