AC agency ‘presents’ HVAC system to animal shelter

Kirby shelter staff attended the December 17th city council meeting and expected to learn about the cost of installing a heating system for the shelter’s large kennel area.

Jon Wayne Service Company employees stood behind the council chamber podium Thursday, describing the type and size of heating and cooling system the city would need for the kennel.

In the audience sat Kirby Animal Control Officer Ashley St. Denis, waiting to hear the cost – and assess the council’s reaction. But instead of watching the Council, it was the Council that was watching her.

“They showed up and made their presentation. At the end they said: “We would like to give this to you as a donation.” That was it, that was all it took. I started crying, ”said St. Denis.

Jon Wayne officials surprised the shelter’s staff with the announcement Thursday and worked hard the next morning to install the full $ 15,000 HVAC system.

David Herrera, an engineering specialist at Jon Wayne, said the company’s marketing team first reached out to Kirby to sponsor some guard dogs “so they could adopt them a bit faster,” he said.

While representatives from Jon Wayne were visiting, the shelter staff inquired about air conditioning and warmth in the kennel.

“I got involved. You asked me to take a look at the website, ”he said.

While reviewing the scope of such a contract and speaking with the animal control officers, Herrera said the decision had been made to proceed with the free installation.

“We have a lot of animal lovers working at Jon Wayne, so we thought it would be just a great idea to give them the entire system,” he added.

First, according to St. Denis, the staff considered buying some gas heaters to be placed outdoors to “bring some heat” into the kennel and keep the dogs warm.

When Jon Wayne’s representatives arrived for that first meeting, St. Denis said, “I thought, ‘Well, it wouldn’t hurt to get an offer to see if a system would actually be put in place for the dogs. ‘That way we wouldn’t have to worry about the gas heaters going on. “

She didn’t know how much her request meant to Herrera and his staff.

“It was definitely not our original plan,” said Herrera. “What really touched us was the animal control officers. They are very committed to what they do and they have been extremely gracious.

“I remember them saying they thought the dogs deserved better than what they had,” he said. “At night, when it got very cold, they just wanted them to have some relief. That really touched us, and that really made us want to do this for them. “

The office, the lobby as well as the doctor and cat rooms of the animal shelter were already heated and air-conditioned – only the large dog pen remained without heating and cooling.

“It’s a wide open bay that is cold and concrete,” said St. Denis. “And it’s definitely suffocating out there in summer. We’re trying to get fans out there. We put buckets of ice in front of the fans to try and make it cooler for them. “

Herrera said the initial intent is to see if a smaller unit would be enough.

“They thought that maybe only a very small system could be used. It would be something really simple, really easy that we could put in place for them,” he said.

“But when I got there, I realized that this was going to be a very big job. It is a very large building with no insulation on the walls or ceiling. It would take a very large system. “

The next morning, workers arrived to begin installing an HVAC system that St. Denis said was far from certain would be outside of the shelter’s price range. Jon Wayne’s staff worked late Friday night to get the job done.

Now St. Denis can put those buckets away and keep the ice cream in the freezer where it belongs this summer as their “hot dogs” will now be “cool canines” thanks to Jon Wayne.


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