(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 29, 2013)
Andy Didorosi, founder of the Detroit Bus Company, Paper Street Motors and other cool Ferndale-based projects, was honored Thursday at the Oakland County Commission meeting for another cool idea: providing air conditioning to a sweltering animal shelter.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson sent out a press release back in July when Didorosi donated a 20 ton air conditioning unit to the Oakland County Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills after learning of crowded, hot conditions. And as the animals and staff enjoyed cool air during “the dog days of summer,” Patterson felt that a more formal proclamation was appropriate.
Director of Public Services Mark Newman presented the proclamation. “This summer we had some extremely warm days at Animal Control. These animals come to our facility not because they want to, but they’re there and it’s our responsibility to take care of them while they’re there,” Newman said. “And during this extreme heat Andy saw an opportunity to help, and he so graciously was able to obtain very large 20 ton air conditioning unit, had it, at his expense, brought up to the facility..and had the air conditioning piped into the building. It made a great difference for a period of time when the heat was very high.”
Didorosi recently became interested in animal rescue after saving his dog from homelessness in Detroit. “After I rescued Mel off the street, I dug into the stray dog issue and found it to be a huge problem with no easy solution. When I heard the shelter was having a hard time, I found I had the resources to help and made a difference on the spot. That’s a rare chance,” he said. “I was truly honored to be recognized for my little deed. I thought I was just tinkering with heavy machinery but it seems to have resonated with some people up top so maybe a long term fix will come down the pipe.”
At the meeting Didorosi thanked the over 300 people who donated over $10,000 within a three day period to help offset the cost of getting the equipment and hauling it across the county. He also thanked the staff who stayed until 10pm on a Friday night to help get the equipment installed.
Something else wonderful happened while he was at the shelter, he fell in love again. He adopted two animals that were there, a pit bull brother and sister. “Both young, both brindle, both ridiculously adorable,” he said. “Since I spent so much time at the shelter, I spotted Cass, the girl, and she looked just like Mel. I was a total sucker and had to adopt her. Once I had her, I felt terrible about separating her from her brother so I went back and got him. The process was super simple and seamless. They’re real pros at the shelter.”
The air conditioning unit is only a temporary fix, and there are other improvements that need to be made to the facility. Plenty of public discussion has been happening over the adoption center’s policies and needs. One thing that is generally agreed upon, however, is the need to promote pet adoption through the county-run program. The Oakland Pet Adoption Center is where strays and abandoned animals from all over the county go to be placed in new homes.
“They have so many breeds and so many interesting animals that you can’t not find your ideal buddy for life,” Didorosi said.
For more information visit http://www.oakgov.com/petadoption/Pages/default.aspx.
To see adoptable animals and read other pet and animal related stories, visit http://oaklandcounty115.com/category/pets_animals/.
For more on The Detroit Bus Company, go to http://thedetroitbus.com/.