By Matt Gleason
Mental Health Association Oklahoma
When someone living on the streets, like Melody, doesn’t have a home or access to care, neither does their dog. This darling photo of Melody found her hugging her best friend, Copper. Just before this photo was taken, Melody kissed Copper on the head, smiled and then happily said, “This is my baby.”
Melody and Copper are both homeless but at least they have each other. Trouble is: Melody loves Copper so much that she has actually refused services in the community because she simply could not take Copper with her.
To help Tulsans just like Melody, we created our Pet Project. Its mission is to remove barriers to treatment and basic needs for individuals impacted by mental illness or homelessness by providing short-term care for their pets.
The kennels were specially built by Tulsa area Boy Scouts for the pets of Tulsans experiencing homelessness. The new dog kennels are located outside of Denver House. This allows participants to place their dogs in the kennels so they are safe and secure while the owner is inside Denver House socializing and learning how to connect with critical services in the community, including housing, treatment and job training.
Jacob Regan coordinated and built the Pet Project dog kennels as his Eagle Scout Service Project. Other key Association volunteers involved in the design and implementation of the Pet Project kennels were Katy Inhofe, Vanessa Sanders, Pam Sherman, and Denver House staff members.
In addition to caring for dogs while the owners are in Denver House, Pet Project offers a free Vaccinations and Wellness Clinic every six weeks at Denver House. Dr. Suzanne Hurst, of Kindness Animal Hospital, volunteers to provide on-site free vaccinations and wellness checks. The next clinic is scheduled for Saturday, January 7.
Melody brought Copper to the most recent clinic, where the pup received its vaccinations and plenty of love from Dr. Hurst. When Copper was finished, Melody said, “This means everything to me.”
For more information about Pet Project, call us at 918-585-1213 or email us at email@example.com.