The October opening of Gigi’s Shelter for Dogs in Canal Winchester and is going to change the face of animal welfare and pet adoption across our state and, someday, across the country.
Since 2012, Columbus Humane has partnered with rural Ohio shelters on an established transfer program. Many rural shelters have an abundance of dogs who need homes but are under-funded and under-resourced. Here at Columbus Humane, we sometimes don’t have enough dogs for the people who want to adopt their best friends! Because of this, we’ve worked with these shelters, most notably Scioto County to vaccinate the dogs in their care so they stay healthy during their stay at the “source” shelter, then transfer a number of them to Columbus Humane to be vetted and adopted. This program has worked wonderfully!
But now this can happen on a much larger scale through Gigi’s, the long-term vision of George Skestos, owner of Trinity Homes. Gigi’s is a state-of-the-art, 15,000-square-foot facility equipped to house approximately 40 adult dogs and puppies. It serves as a midway point between shelters in rural areas that have an abundance of homeless dogs (source shelters) and shelters who have unmet capacity to get dogs adopted into great homes (destination shelters).
Four shelters in rural areas – Scioto, Lawrence, Gallia and Jackson counties – have been selected to be part of the partnership. Additionally, Franklin County Animal Control will be included in the transfer program for a total of five source shelters. Source shelters receive ongoing support such as vaccines, supplies, equipment and coaching from Columbus Humane. Their responsibility is to conduct disease protocol training for staff, utilize immunizations and implement changes that can help keep their dog population healthy from the start.
At Gigi’s, dogs receive thorough medical exams, behavior assessments and any needed grooming. Any medical conditions are treated in the on-site veterinary hospital. All dogs are spayed or neutered and microchipped before they are transported to Columbus Humane (or another future destination shelter) for adoption. Thanks to this program, when the dogs reach Columbus Humane, they are immediately ready for adoption. This means more dogs in happy homes faster!
Gigi’s and our partnership is so innovative that we can’t wait to see the impact it can truly make for more than 1,200 dogs each year across Ohio. Stay tuned for more updates and success stories from Gigi’s!