Lifelong dog lovers and animal advocates, George and Tina Skestos saw the difficulties that hardworking staff faced in rural Ohio shelters as they tried to give dogs what they needed to be happy, healthy and placed in a forever home.
In 2016, George saw firsthand what rural shelters were facing:
- A higher number of dogs than adoptive homes
- A need for vaccines to fight and lower the spread of disease
- A need for surgical intervention in certain cases
- A method to identify and address behavior problems
- A facility with built-in quarantine areas for ill dogs
Any one of these challenges made it more difficult for rural dogs to find a forever home and many shelters faced all of them. George quickly realized that all of these factors create additional expense to the dog sheltering process.
An idea was born.
CONSULTING THE EXPERTS AT COLUMBUS HUMANE
For years, George and Tina had known and respected animal welfare expert Rachel D.K. Finney, CEO at Columbus Humane.
They knew she had the background and experience to set the dream in motion. From the first call, Rachel and her team at Columbus Humane have been an integral part of the Gigi’s model.
Together, they designed a new approach and pathway to save dogs not only in Ohio, but for those around the country who implement the same model.
BUILDING THE DREAM
As the founder of Homewood Corporation, a successful residential home builder, George was no stranger to building homes for people.
What if he could transfer those skills to building a facility for dogs?
He mobilized his capable team to build a first-of-its kind campus devoted to shaping the future of how to best address dog homelessness.
The result? A 15,000 square foot facility devoted to high quality care, efficiency, disease control and stress reduction to give rural dogs the best possible path to adoption.