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Mikey & Me Celebrates 200 Adoption Milestone with Slideshow

Photo by Lisa Carolin.
Courtesy photo. Dan DePew and Mikey.

By Lisa Carolin

Who would have expected Mikey & Me, the Chelsea area dog foster facility started in 2016, to have surpassed 200 adoptions this year?

Certainly not its founder Dan DePew.

The seven spacious kennels located in a heated barn built in 1900, with both an indoor and outdoor play area, ten acres of walking trails, and 48 volunteers, is experiencing a level of success DePew never dreamed of.

“We have an adoption every ten days on average,” said DePew. “All applicants are thoroughly vetted and all dogs are spayed or neutered, given heart worm tests and vaccines before they leave here.”

Facebook is Mikey & Me’s only source of getting the word out. DePew works under the umbrella of Happy Days Rescue, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, but is in the process of applying to establish Mikey & Me as a 501(c)(3).

“I want to keep Mikey & Me going even beyond what I’m doing here,” said DePew. “As a 501(c)(3), we can do more fundraising and grant writing and branch out to dogs who need special care as well as to sponsor more spaying and neutering for families who can’t afford it. I want to pass Mikey & Me down to generations as its own entity here in Michigan.”

Happy Days Rescue sends DePew notices about dogs in need of a home, and as soon as Mikey & Me has a free kennel, a dog is chosen to move in. DePew says they take all breeds and have never had a dog they couldn’t adopt.

DePew got his first dog as an adult when he bought his home and property in 1994. That dog was named Mikey, a Corgi mix who lived to be 17.

“I made Mikey a promise that I would take care of other dogs who needed me and would do it in his name,” said DePew. “This whole thing is dedicated to Mikey.”

Mikey & Me works with trainers to help dogs with special needs along with a much appreciated group of versatile volunteers, who walk, feed, groom, play with, and take the dogs on field trips to help them acclimate to a home environment.

Andrea Pawlowski and her husband started volunteering at Mikey & Me in 2018 after the death of their dog.

Photo by Lisa Carolin. Dan DePew.

“Dan had made a request on Facebook for agility equipment for the outdoor play area, and we told him that we wanted to donate agility equipment to honor the memory of our dog Chewie,” said Pawlowski. “Dan showed us his operation and talked to us about how it got started and we were hooked. We knew we needed to be a part of Mikey & Me, which has become a second family to us.”

“It is heartbreaking to see the dogs come in scared, cowering, shaking, and some even in poor health; However, the reward of seeing them slowly decompress and come out of their shells is just incredible,” said Pawlowski. “Watching them gain confidence and wag their tails with excitement is so rewarding. To watch them get adopted into their forever homes is an indescribable feeling. Most of these dogs were at risk of being euthanized, not because of anything they did, but because they were in an overcrowded shelter.”

Pawlowski is also Mikey & Me’s artistic director. DePew calls the volunteers Mikey & Me’s backbone.

“I give my volunteers the credit for making Mikey & Me a thriving place,” said DePew. “There are a lot of people and families in Southeast Michigan that want to make a difference, and Mikey & me has given them a platform to donate, volunteer, and adopt. I was going to foster a couple dogs, but I literally sat back and guided Mikey & Me and watched it all unfold and turn into what it is today. It’s the people that joined me who are responsible for these 204 adoptions.”

For more information about Mikey & Me, go to: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=mikey%20%26%20me

 

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