NONPROFIT ANIMAL HOSPITAL
EASTPOINTE — A new animal hospital started by the same people behind the Detroit Pit Crew animal rescue organization will be opening its doors in Eastpointe in 2021.
Theresa Sumpter, the executive director of Animal Protection and Wellness Services and Detroit Pit Crew, said there was a strong need for a new facility to treat wounded and sick animals, and that Eastpointe was an excellent location to house it.
“When we get dogs who are extremely injured, we need someplace to take them, so we started APAWS, a separate 501(c)(3),” she explained. “It is a distinct nonprofit. There were several reasons we came to Eastpointe. There was available property for what we needed. The building and parking lot were large enough, we have an existing relationship with the city, and we were able to determine it was the best place to fit our needs. It also is on the border with Detroit, so we are still within easy traveling distance of Detroit residents.”
“Being that I was the animal control officer for Eastpointe, I saw firsthand how this area can benefit from having this facility in the community,” added Brian Pylar, a Detroit Pit Crew board member. “We want to make sure residents have the means to get the help they need for their pets for an affordable price.”
Sumpter said a hospital that would always be available for Detroit Pit Crew personnel would greatly help them in their mission to give aid to animals in need.
“As Detroit Pit Crew, it is an emergency street crew, so we pick up dogs off the street that are injured and sick,” she said. “We also assist several police departments in Wayne and Macomb County. We knew for a long time we needed our own veterinary hospital. A lot of the existing animal hospitals close at night or had to reduce hours during COVID-19.”
Pylar said that COVID-19 only made the need more apparent.
“The whole vision was that, during COVID, a lot of vets and emergency vets shut down,” he said. “Even to this day, being reopened, they are still limited on appointments, making it very difficult for people to come in to receive even basic care. Since we are a rescue service for sick or injured dogs, this put us into high gear because we knew we needed a resource to help these animals. That meant opening up our own veterinary practice.”
The facility will be located on Kelly Road near Eight Mile Road. It will be open to the public during regular hours but will not be open to the general public for 24-hour service.
“The resources would be open to not only Eastpointe residents,” said Pylar. “It would be extremely low-cost access to veterinary hospital services, such as spaying and neutering, vaccinations, heartworm protection, dental services, and preventative care. These are services that are very hard to find for low costs.”
“Not only will we be assisting other rescue organizations, we also will be open to the community,” added Sumpter. “We will be doing wellness activities like worm checks and early checkups, as well as spay and neuter services. We will have medical treatment and will eventually have isolation rooms so we can treat dogs for most basic services. Specialty surgery would require a specialized vet, for instance, but we will offer most hospitalization services.”
Cost is often a significant barrier to people getting help for their pets, and Pylar hopes this new facility will help people get around that obstacle.
“It’s hard for people to pay top dollar for veterinary services,” he remarked. “Vaccination can add up and people are even more strapped for cash with COVID affecting people’s livelihoods. We want to make sure all the pets have the resources they need in the community to be well.”
Sumpter said having a reliable facility that can properly collect evidence in cases of animal abuse also will be a huge resource for the Detroit Pit Crew and other animal welfare organizations in the area.
“We want to make sure our dogs are getting the best care and that we can provide all the best evidence collected so it can be presented in abuse cases,” she said. “In cases such as cruelty cases, someone would bring in a beaten dog, we have to take the dog to an emergency vet to make sure they are treated correctly and all evidence is collected. Some such hospitals are very experienced for treatment, but they may not be experienced in gathering evidence for court hearings. To have a designated veterinary service that can cover both parts of that treatment is important.”
The goal is to open the facility by early fall of 2021. More information is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We (know) that when we go to vet hospitals, they already have clients waiting in line,” Sumpter said. “Because of the sheer volume of the dogs we pick up and the severity of their injuries, we knew we needed a specialized center of our own. We needed a place we knew we could always bring our dogs, since we see cases like dogs hit by cars, dogs who have lost limbs, dogs who are at lethal risk.”
The goals of the new APAWS animal hospital in Eastpointe will be to provide an affordable location to treat sick and injured animals, as well as be a reliable and trained facility that can gather evidence in animal abuse and neglect cases.