In October 2016, the Ingham County Animal Shelter put out a plea for donated dog houses to give to
people who cannot afford adequate shelter for their pets. In answer to that appeal, an exceptional
volunteer decided to organize a project to build some dog houses using all donated materials and labor.
The first stop was at Home Depot, to ask about a donation to go toward building the dog houses.
Expecting maybe a bit of donated lumber or shingles, she instead got an enthusiastic, “Let’s apply for a
Home Depot Foundation Grant!” She learned that the Home Depot Foundation provides grant money
for building projects in the community. With the help of the Ingham County Animal Shelter Fund (ICASF)
and Shelter Director, John Dinon, an application and plans to build 20 dog houses for the shelter was
submitted. Within a week, approval for a $3,000 grant was received!
Volunteers were then sought from the community, as well as from the Home Depot employees. On
November 19, 2016, thirty volunteers braved cold and snowy weather to meet at the Home Depot in
Okemos, and together managed to build twelve dog houses. Further roofing and painting of the twelve
dog houses was finished by this outstanding volunteer and her husband in their heated pole barn. The
first delivery of these twelve brand new insulated dog houses to the Animal Shelter was made later that
week. Then over Thanksgiving weekend, eight more dog houses were built, roofed, and painted by the
volunteer and her husband, to finish the project.
The inspiration for this project was the understanding of how important it is for these animals in Ingham
County to have adequate housing and somewhere warm to go during our cold Michigan winters. This
labor of love was supported by all the volunteers that participated, as they too dealt with the cold and
snow on the building day. A huge THANK YOU goes out to the Home Depot Team, Home Depot
Foundation, ICASF, volunteers, and especially to the amazing volunteer who coordinated the project and
her husband, for making this dream a reality!