Dr. Bryna Donnelly—the co-founder of Rescue Rebuild, an animal shelter renovation program that travels nationally (sometimes, internationally), remodeling and renovating shelters in need—discusses her academic life that preceded going full-time rehabbing shelters. She recounts working as a college biology professor—her field was molecular biology–at a small school, Delaware Valley University, in Pennsylvania, and one day got recruited by a friend to help out at an animal shelter in West Virginia, about an hour’s drive away. Donnelly describes the shelter in the earliest days, when it was quite primitive—dogs were chained, there was no protection from the elements, and so on. The significant improvements that Donnelly, her friend, and others made to the shelter did not go unnoticed by those running other nearby shelters, who asked them to give their facilities a facelift, too. They said “yes,” and thus Rescue Rebuild was born, in 2007. Since then, Donnelly says, the program has averaged three to five renovations (‘builds,” in the lingo) for most of those years, but as of 2015—when Rescue Rebuild aligned itself with Greater Good, and now operates under that organization’s umbrella—that figure has increased to 11-15 builds per year. Far more than that number of shelters seek the Rescue Rebuild treatment each year, and Donnelly explains the criteria they apply for deciding who will be awarded a build, including that government-run facilities are generally favored over mom-and-pop places, chiefly because owning the property is central, owing to its implications for the long-term viability and stability of the operation. Donnelly mentions a project undertook this year (before & after photos are included here), revamping a Cat Colony Room in Pensacola, opening up what had been a cramped, dreary space and transforming it into a warm, inviting, colorful chamber, which you could imagine humans of all ages happily spending extended periods of time, thereby boosting the prospects for more adoptions. (http://rescuerebuild.greatergood.org)
ALSO: I spoke with Kelly Van Nevel, of Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue, about a “Dogust” adoption event happening in Tampa on Saturday Aug. 25, at the Pet Supermarket on N. Dale Mabry Highway. She also explains a bit about Heidi’s mission and history, including how it ended up with “Legacy” in its name. (http://heidislegacydogrescue.com)
COMEDY CORNER: Joe Zimmerman’s “Bigfoot Enthusiast” (portion) (http://www.zimmermancomedy.com)
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play Name That Animal Tune today.
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