By Charla Hamilton firstname.lastname@example.org
Back in the Spring of 2018, Chelsea Guardian had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing owner of Mikey & Me in Chelsea, Daniel DePew. He graciously welcomed us in, gave us a tour of his property, and let us meet some of the dogs that were available for adoption at that time.
Since then a lot has happened at Mikey & Me. There have been many changes and a lot of growth. Daniel explains a little background information on Mikey & Me: “Mikey & Me is a Foster Care Facility operating out of my converted 120 year old dairy barn in Chelsea. We first opened the doors on December 1st of 2016.” DePew got the idea for Mikey & Me after his dog Mikey passed away. “Mikey was a huge part of my life for most of his 17 years. Mikey died in 2009 at the age of 17, and on that day I promised him that I would provide care for other dogs that needed me because he had brought so much joy and perspective to my life,” stated DePew. Out of this promise, Mikey & Me was born.
DePew stated that they just completed their 153rd adoption and have two more pending. “We’ve had an adoption every ten days, on average, for four straight years,” said DePew. “We work directly with Happy Days Rescue to pull homeless dogs out of city shelters to give them a second chance at living a happy and fulfilling life (unfortunately, we don’t have the capacity or resources to take in dogs that are being surrendered by their owners). We have 35+ volunteers that make our mission possible; a volunteer comes out to walk and spend time with our dogs every four hours, from 7:00 am through 7:00 pm, every day of the year (volunteers must be age 18 and above).”
Since 2018 Mikey & Me has added some additions to the facility: “We have added a large fenced-in, outdoor play area where the dogs can be off leash to experience more freedom while playing outside,” stated DePew. “One of my volunteers also created a wonderful indoor playroom and exercise area for our dogs to use during freezing cold and inclement weather. We also just had a volunteer and her husband donate a high efficiency furnace that should be in place and operating by next fall. Keeping the dogs comfortable in all seasons is important to DePew: “We’ve added ceiling fans throughout the kennel area to help keep the dogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter,” he said.
“We make sure each dog will get lots of love, exercise, excellent care and, with the help of Happy Days Rescue, any medical treatment or training they may need to make them more adoptable (we currently have 2 residents that arrived with Heart Worm disease and we will ensure they get the medical attention they need to become healthy again).
We don’t have plans to become larger because providing one-on-one, attentive care is the most important part of our mission. (By fostering just 6-7 dogs at any given time, we keep the kennels manageable and the volunteer shifts to about two hours or less).”
DePew mentioned he is very thankful to the support from the local community of Chelsea and beyond. He explains how he involves the community and especially younger people: “We like to involve young people, which we believe is highly important for both the dogs and the younger volunteers, we will often host events to allow student groups through Anna’s Kindness, Girl Scout Troops, young families, etc. to walk and spend time with our dogs which helps them become better socialized. We also arrange Meet & Greets for our homeless dogs while supporting social distancing and the use of masks at all times.”
Mikey & Me currently has six dogs available for adoption:
Bailey, a 3 yr. old Golden Lab mix, currently in training for fear based anxiety, 68 pounds.
Bandit, about 12 years old, very mellow, great with other dogs and people, was living on a chain outside for 10+ years.
Bishop, Lab mix, 10-11 months old, very sweet, doesn’t bark much, loves interacting with people 43 pounds.
Duke, a Husky/Shepherd mix, 11 months old, neutered, enjoys people and other dogs, 50 pounds.
Wally, 2 years old, gentle, loving, currently being treated for Heart Worm disease, 46 pounds.
Penny, a 5 month old Golden mix, very friendly, loves to cuddle, currently 29 pounds.
How you can help Mikey & Me: Visitation/Meet & Greets at Mikey & Me are scheduled by appointment only. If you see a dog posted on the Mikey & Me Facebook page that interests you, please submit an adoption application at happydaysdogandcatrescue.org to begin the process for meeting that dog. You can visit Mikey & Me’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Mikey-Me.
If you would like to volunteer at Mikey & Me to help them save more homeless dogs, please send an email to email@example.com.
If you would like to donate to their mission, donations can be made out to Mikey & Me and mailed to:
Mikey & Me
465 S. Freer Rd.
Chelsea, Mi 48118