A Message from Jack Frost, Our Shelter Director:
The pandemic has been good news for homeless pets and for organizations like ours that
save them. We finished 2021 having rescued 1,015 homeless cats and dogs, up about 35%
from what we were able to do in 2020. Adoptions in 2021 reached 980, also a jump of more
than 30% from 2020 figures. In fact, beginning in mid-March of 2020, when the
lockdown began, we have not been able to catch a breath. The demand for family pets has
skyrocketed. And we’re happy to report that we are seeing very few returned pets. Adoptions
seem to be lasting.
The increase in rescues and adoptions has required increases in staffing. We now have 10
full-time and 4 part-time employees. Fully 70% of our labor hours are devoted to the care of
the homeless pets in our shelter. The remaining 30% of labor hours go to the adoption process
and administrative activities.
It brings me a lot of joy to realize that ARP is definitely a going concern. We are here to stay.
We’ve established ourselves as a trusted source of family pets in the Southwest Michigan
region. We’re proud of the work we do. We run a tight ship. Cleanliness and organization are
everything, and we’re fortunate to have a group of employees who are neat freaks as well
as big-hearted pet lovers. We love bleach at ARP! At a time when other organizations are
struggling to retain or recruit employees, we’re also blessed with a loyal workforce—people
who care deeply about the mission of our organization and who get deep satisfaction knowing
that the work they do is life-saving for animals and life-enhancing for their human companions.
Our shelter at 219 Peekstock took quite a beating in a late-summer storm. A tree alongside
the building was taken down by the wind and crashed through the roof of the “big room,”
which houses 20 or more dogs. The tree also destroyed a new gutter that had been installed
only weeks before the storm, and it crushed the fencing in a play yard alongside the building.
Everything has finally been repaired, and we’re operating at full capacity.
But the shelter itself is badly in need of renovation and expansion. We’re in a 6,800-sq. ft.
facility that is composed of four separate buildings, added over time to a small structure
that once was a bagel factory. We’ve made do with the space we have, and we really like the
location on Peekstock, but we need a building with greater functionality, better ventilation,
better insulation, and better heating. And boy would it be nice to have air conditioning during
We hope to launch an effort to fund a renovation project sometime in 2022. ARP is, in my
humble opinion, a precious jewel in our community, and it deserves a better home than it
We are grateful for all the support we receive from our community. Our only source of support
is from our donors—individuals and businesses in the Kalamazoo area that believe in our
mission and are moved to support it.
We’re looking forward to a better 2022 —
more lives saved, and more families blessed with new