Canine Development Center Update

By Rachelle Kniffen

Published in: Update - Issue 2 - 2016 »   

The new puppy area can house up to 10 litters in
dual-sided puppy bays, three of which open up to
outdoor play areas. The low walls allow the puppy
care attendants to see and hear the puppies to
ensure their health and safety.

On June 7, we were thrilled to announce that we had reached our $14.5 million campaign goal for the Canine Development Center!

We were able to reach this goal through hundreds of donations, large and small, from our generous supporters. The Lions made a big fundraising impact with donations, pledges and grants totaling $2.43 million. We were taken to the top by a grant from the Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Foundation.

Any additional donations received beyond the $14.5 million goal that are designated in support of the Canine Development Center will be utilized to support the ongoing operations of the Canine Center.

Naming opportunities are still available. Please contact Melissa Weisse, CFRE, chief philanthropy officer at 248/659.5029 to learn how you can make a lasting impact for the Canine Center.

Phases 1 and 2 are complete!

Dog Care Attendant Mike Johnson takes full
advantage of the large, open area in village 2 to
play with a group of dogs in for training. The
area offers ample room for staff and volunteers to
groom, practice T-Touch (specialized dog massage)
and interact with the dogs, which helps to lower
their stress levels. The housing suites on the
perimeter of the room are large enough to house
two dogs per suite when the dogs show a
preference for cohabitation.

With the recent completion of Phase 2 of the Canine Center, we are now utilizing our new veterinary clinic, puppy area, breeding stock area and five housing villages for our dogs in training.

Phase 3

Construction continues

We were excited to start demolition on the final phase of construction before the end of May. This is the most critical phase of the project because this wing of the building sits over a basement and there are limits on the equipment that can be used to remove debris during demolition. Immediately after demolition in each bay is complete (there are nine bays in all), construction crews will start installing new walls, ceilings and floors. This means that demolition and construction will take place simultaneously in a very confined space.

We anticipate the final phase will be complete in October 2016.

To view more pictures of the facility, go to

Dr. David Smith, director of canine care, and Roseann Follebout, veterinary technician, prep a dog for surgery while Dr. Kelly Wilson, assistant director of canine care, completes an operation in the surgical suite. The new veterinary clinic is 35% larger, allowing for needed space to simultaneously conduct dog exams, dental procedures and surgeries.

The larger clinic includes a dedicated endoscopy room. Our veterinarians can do upper endoscopies, colonoscopies, bronchoscopies and gastroscopies. In this photo Dr. Smith is aided by Breeding Specialist Stacey Booms and Breeding & Puppy Care Attendant Rachel Webber during a transcervical insemination procedure.

Veterinary Technician Kristen Harmon ensures that the dog she is X-raying is properly positioned and safe during the procedure.