A Helping Hand with Rescue Rebuild
Boehringer Ingelheim team members helped transform a local shelter.
Sometimes, building the human/animal bond means just that – rolling up your sleeves and grabbing a few power tools in the process.
About 60 Boehringer Ingelheim team members recently took time out of their busy schedules to help GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Rebuild program at an Atlanta shelter. Rescue Rebuild helps build and rebuild animal shelters, wildlife refuges and pet-friendly family violence and homeless shelters, and is a partner of the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation, an independent nonprofit based out of Connecticut.
Included in that group of Boehringer Ingelheim team members was Randolph Legg, head of the U.S. pet veterinary business at Boehringer Ingelheim’s U.S. Animal Health business. Although Legg has participated in numerous volunteer projects through Boehringer Ingelheim partnerships over the years, the Rescue Rebuild project was a first of sorts. “This was the first time for me volunteering in a shelter/rebuild project,” he said. “So I didn’t quite know what to expect.”
Legg spent his time with the Rescue Rebuild team finishing up a project that had been started by an earlier team building fences and spreading rock for outdoor play areas. Once that part was complete, they moved on to building catwalks, enclosures and boxes for cats to play in. Other teams built shades for the animals, cubbies, scratching posts, more catwalks, and some innovative play areas.
The building inherited for the shelter was a standard warehouse-type environment. “The work we did transformed it from a very quiet and antiseptic environment to a little more lively and engaging place – both for the animals and also for the prospective pet owners that would be visiting,” Legg said. And as a bonus, volunteers got to witness a few inspiring dog and cat adoptions.
Indeed, the environment when they walked in versus when they left changed dramatically. “It made us proud to see the before and after and know that not only will the animals be happier and healthier in an environment like that, but it also provides a better opportunity and environment for those new pet owners looking to adopt through a shelter like this.”
“We can’t do what we do without companies like Boehringer Ingelheim stepping up and being willing to get their hands dirty to help shelter pets,” said Zach Baker, the Rescue Rebuild program director. “Their team worked tirelessly to provide great enrichment for both the dogs and cats alike. With their hard work, the lives of shelter pets will be improved and they’ll find their forever homes even faster.”
Boehringer Ingelheim team members showed up in different waves throughout a week to complete the work, whether team members took a half day or a full day. “We tried to make it as flexible as possible,” Legg said. “Obviously encouraging and empowering our teams to take time away from work to volunteer is important. It was not something we asked them to take vacation for, but we find it a healthy part of our culture to encourage volunteerism.”
Photos from GreaterGood.org