Detroit Dog Rescue opens new shelter on Detroit's west side

The Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR) has found a new home on Detroit's West Side, thanks to the support of the community. 

After years of dedication and hard work, DDR's executive director, Kristina Rinaldi, is taking a few minutes to look back while celebrating the opening of the 11,000-square-foot building on Grand River Avenue near Telegraph.

The building was donated by a veterinarian and, despite challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, DDR persevered and successfully raised $1.6 million for renovations.

"I saw that it had great bones. It was a vision we kept at it and then Covid hit, so we weren’t sure it was going to happen. We weren’t sure if we were going to fundraise the money, we weren’t sure if we would have builders to renovate the building, but we just kept at it. We never gave up," Rinaldi said.

The extensive renovations included updating mechanical systems, plumbing, flooring, and more, to meet the rigorous standards set by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Rinaldi expresses gratitude for the community's overwhelming support, as individuals, businesses, and organizations stepped up to contribute to the cause. The collective effort made the new shelter four times larger than the original location on the East Side.

"To see them explore all the resources from the senior lodge center to the maternity room for pregnant dogs the bigger backyard the wider kennels it’s all really exciting," Rinaldi said.

As the soft opening takes place, dogs are moving into their new home, and everyone is adjusting to the expanded space. 

Looking ahead, DDR plans to offer valuable resources to pet owners, including vaccine clinics, training classes, and more. Rinaldi also hints at upcoming adoption events, encouraging the community to stay engaged. She emphasizes that this shelter belongs to everyone who wants to contribute their time and support.

"This was an effort of a call to action and everyone showed up and that’s why I’m so proud of it the shelter belongs to our dogs, but it belongs to everybody who wants to come and give their time," she said.