To leave behind an abusive environment is not as easy as it sounds. There are so many questions and uncertainties that a survivor grapples with and a major one is: “Where do I go?” And that question gets more complicated when there is a pet involved.
In June, the Rescue Rebuild crew teamed up with RedRover to renovate the Next Step Domestic Violence Project in Maine into a more pet-friendly and ADA-friendly space. Next Step accepted pets before the crew arrived on-site, but wanted to add more functionality and enrichment to their services for both the survivors and their pets.
Getting the bedroom painting started
One of our first projects was updating three of the bedrooms. The crew started by prepping the rooms for a fresh coat of paint by first sealing off any cracks and patches in the wall before adding soothing paint colors to the walls.
Then we needed to address the floors, so we used a crew favorite: luxury-vinyl-tile flooring! This flooring imitates hardwood in style but is waterproof and is very easy to maintain and clean so it’s a no-brainer to add into a pet-friendly space.
We're huge fans of LVT flooring like this
A pet-friendly room wouldn’t be complete without enrichment so the team added some cat shelves and a cat bridge strung across a window so the cats can jump and play around the room. To top it off, each bedroom also got a dog crate, as well as a dog bed so the survivor’s four-legged friend has a spot to relax too!
Check out this cat bridge and shelves we installed
With the inside bedrooms coming together, the crew turned their attention to the outside of the building to address the shelter’s needs there. The two main projects outside focused on laying out and constructing a vinyl fence and also digging up and pouring a new concrete sidewalk that will connect an ADA ramp around to the front of the building. The sidewalk and ramp are very important improvements because it allows survivors with disabilities to have the same access to pet-friendly shelters as other survivors.
Adding a sidewalk and ramp will make a big impact for survivors with disabilities
Finally, we set up a new vinyl fence play yard for the dogs. The shelter already had a chain-link fence installed, complete with a “chuck-it” yard so dogs could play fetch with their owners. The new vinyl fence complimented the chain-link area well because it gives separate spaces for dogs to run out their energy within the vinyl-fenced area while kids can play safely within the chain-link fence.
Next Step Domestic Violence Shelter has done exactly what their name implies by taking the “next step” towards better-accommodating survivors and their pets. And the team, along with RedRover, were happy to help! However, completing projects like this wouldn’t be possible without the generous donations of time and money. For this, we thank you!