MEDINA – Amy Yeigh squealed when they got out the scissors.
Amy, along with dozens of others in the community, celebrated the ribbon cutting and official opening of Medina Creative Pet Play, a pet spa and daycare.
“I always loved animals and it’s something fun,” she said. “It’s a place where dogs can play and they get cared for.”
Amy, 35, will now work at the center, which employs individuals with disabilities, just like her. The staff has spent the past several months training for the big day.
“We walk them. We play with them. We feed them,” she said. “We’ve been doing classwork, learning about the behavior of dogs and first aid.”
Others like Kevin Martz, 25, of Brunswick is anxious for the opening of the doggy daycare.
“It’s like a new experience,” he said. “You learn different things here, like carpeting, cleaning. I helped build the counters, stuff on the wall.”
Amy and Kevin are two of 20 staff members who will work at the facility, a creation of the Medina Creative Housing program.
The non-profit corporation has helped hundreds of people with special needs find work and homes, ever since the program started 20 years ago, said Dianne Depasquale-Hagerty the program’s executive director.
When it comes to working with animals, Depasquale-Hagerty said it’s an opportunity to offer people jobs and teach life skills.
“If I’m an individual with disabilities, and I have difficulty interacting or connecting with my peers or with other individuals, often times I am able to connect with an animal in a very special and meaningful way,” she said. “And if I can make that connection, that will spill over into my interaction with individuals.”
Depasquale-Hagerty said the doggy daycare helped them use leftover resources from a gardening program. Instead of discarding lettuce leaves, Medina Creative Housing was able to make a dog biscuit, which will be sold at the site.
But as for Amy, she’s grateful the business is giving her a shot at doing what she loves and learn a few other skills along the way.
“What do I hope for?” she asked. “I hope for a wonderful turnout cause it’s a wonderful opportunity.”
Medina Creative Pet Play will board and groom both dogs and cats. It’s located at 4080 Creative Living Way, north of Home Depot on Grand Boulevard.
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