The Almost Home Animal Shelter will be closed to the general public starting today for some deep cleaning.
Shelter Director Renee Drown estimated the shelter would remain closed for about 10 days. Dogs can still be dropped off and picked up from the boarding facility, and pending adoptions will still be processed during this time. Additionally, the public can visit the shelter during the closure from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday for open adoptions.
"The only difference is, the general public can't walk in and browse, or submit new applications," Drown said.
Spencer Batcheller demonstrates how the staff will scrape hair and other dirt off the sides of the trough and then scrub it with a brush, inside this large dog pen at the Almost Home animal shelter.
This is a routine deep-cleaning to keep the shelter looking its best, she said.
"This facility has been open for two and a half years, and we have never gone through and done a top-to-bottom intense cleaning," she said.
The shelter will be fully staffed during this time, she said, and animals will receive the same top level care they get every day.
People may not realize how much cleaning goes on every day at the shelter.
"There's the laundry. We sanitize the toys every day, and sanitize the dog dishes and cat dishes," she said. "The cats, their litter boxes are completely cleaned out on a daily basis. We don't just scoop the litter, it is completely emptied, the boxes are sanitized and replaced new."
This week will see a lot of scrubbing, then.
"It's a lot of scrub brushes and elbow grease. We have disinfectant that we use on a regular basis on the entire place, as well as bleach, anything that's animal safe we can use. Nothing with heavy fumes," Drown said.
Shelter Manager Spencer Batcheller showed how the larger dog runs are cleaned out, while the dogs are kept outside. The walls and floors are scrubbed every day, he said, and the floors are sloped so urine and hair go into a trough.
This week, the workers will be scraping dirt out of that trough with ice scrapers and scrub brushes, he said.
The workers will also empty out some rooms that are being used for storage now. They were originally built as meet and greet rooms for dogs and potential owners.
"If somebody is interested in a dog, they can have some one-on-one time, because the dogs obviously act very different when they're outside of their cage," she said.