Courtesy of Alex Hannah
On Friday, April 9 and Sunday, April 11, the volunteer group known as Anna’s Kindness went to Mikey & Me to spread love to foster dogs.
Anna’s Kindness is a program dedicated to 12 year old Anna LeFort, who passed away in 2017. She was known for her charitable goals and her steps to help the less fortunate. When the program began at Forsythe Middle School, the goal was to help teens find volunteer opportunities. Now, the Anna’s Kindness program offers events, sign up sheets, and everything needed to keep things running smoothly.
Mikey & Me is a foster care organization for shelter dogs in need of a temporary home that isn’t as crowded as a shelter, where they can get a better chance at finding their forever home. They help teach dogs behavior skills, and make sure they are healthy. Mikey & Me began with Daniel DePew and his beloved dog, Mikey. In 2009, Mikey passed at age 17, and Dan promised to Mikey that he would provide a safe and caring home for dogs who needed it most until they could find their true family.
DePew remodeled an old milk barn on his farm property to make several spacious kennels for foster dogs. Each dog stays about four to six weeks in his care, and he makes sure they are spayed/neutered, have received all of their shots, and they are socialized with adults and kids. The program gets about 40 dogs per year adopted out, so roughly one dog per every nine days. Volunteers help out by walking the dogs, cleaning the kennels, reading to the dogs (yes, the dogs get mesmerized), and running to the vet for medicine. The dogs get four walks a day, and plenty of love, care, and play time.
There is the milk barn with the kennels on the farm, but the property is very large and full of grassy trails for walking the dogs on. There is a fenced in play yard filled with toys for the dogs.
Anna’s first ever charity work she did was with the Humane Society in Rapid City, where she used to live before moving to Ann Arbor. So, Anna’s Kindness wanted to start with a charity that helped dogs. The connection between these two groups runs deep. Anna’s Kindness’ first ever charity they did was in fact, with Mikey & Me.
The event was a success with the volunteers from Anna’s Kindness.
“The event was special to me because it was a chance to get dogs who never had a real home to interact with different people, people that are regular and ordinary, basically people that could be future dog owners, and have fun,” 6th grader Katelyn Grant said.
At the event there were five dogs living in the barn. Buddy, the goofball bulldog, Cody, a mix awaiting teeth replacement surgery, Rusty, the pogo-stick, Gracie, the shy black lab, and Wall-E, a sweet dog going through heartworm treatment. Every single one of them was social and friendly. Those who are interested can read more about each specific dog on the Mikey & Me Facebook page, where they upload posts about each new dog in their care.
This event was so much fun to do. Anna’s Kindness does provide other events, and Mikey&Me has opportunities for volunteering as well.