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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: It is the mission of Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan to help abandoned, surrendered and homeless animals. We are purpose driven with a moral obligation to maintain or restore a healthy quality of life by providing rescue and placing them in an approved, suitable and safe foster or forever homes by legal means. Along with educating the general public about rescue programs, responsible dog ownership, and pet overpopulation. Affording security screened inmates with an opportunity to train these dogs. Collectively constituting a form of rehabilitation for both to reenter society as productive members with the encouragement of bringing positive attributes to the lives of others. We do this as a vehicle to enhance the lives of animals and the families in our community while working with governmental agencies and animal shelters in neighboring communities and neighboring states.

Target demographics: dogs in shelters that would otherwise be euthanized.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 57 dogs

Geographic areas served: Rescue

Programs: Founded in 2007 RPSM has made a serious effort to effectively aid in the reduction of euthanasia rates at many animal shelters. In 2008, the RPSM Correctional Companion Program began. In a partnership with the Coldwater Prison Complex, RPSM endeavors to find homes for dogs in shelters that would otherwise be euthanized. Dogs selected for the Companion Program are carefully screened for temperament, trainability, and adoptability. They are fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered prior to enrollment in the program. Once they arrive at the complex, they are assigned to specially trained inmates who are responsible for their training and day to day care. Upon completion of the program, the dogs are ready to receive a canine good citizen certificate (CGC) and available for adoption into an approved home.

Community Stories

90 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family has been beyond blessed by the addition of Delphinia (2016) and Chase (2017). They are amazing dogs who fit right into our life on the lake - going for boat rides, playing with fish, laying in the sun, etc. More than that, our family has gone through two very difficult years and both Del and Chase have been a constant source of comfort and love for all of us. We are so grateful to Michelle F. and that tireless, gracious team of volunteers at RPSM. Not only did they love and care for Del and Chase before they were ours, but they continue to reach out in so many ways to provide support, encouragement and assistance as needed. We had a horrible health scare with Delphinia about two months ago where she almost bled out and died. Michelle and the RPSM team jumped into action with medical advice and immediately opened a donation site to offset the thousands of dollars in vet bills that quickly mounted as we worked to save Del's life. We were amazed and humbled by the outpouring of support and generosity by the loving people that are part of the RPSM community. We feel unbelievably blessed to have Del and Chase in our lives and are grateful to RPSM everyday for the work that they do.

Comments ( 1 )

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan Thanks so much for your review, it is GREATLY appreciated!! And RPSM tries to help out our adopted dog families anytime they are in need as much as we can. So glad that we were able to help you when you needed it with the medical bills for Del.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Three years ago we applied to adopt a dog that was in training through the RPSM program. Another family was chosen, but they knew what we were looking for, and a few days later we received a call about Mylee, an owner surrender. They asked if we would be interested in fostering her until the next group of dogs entered the prison training program. We said yes, and we adopted her when she was ‘paroled’. She is a beautiful, sweet girl and we love her very much. We have fostered several more, and adopted one of them, our boy Maui. We have a grand dog, Cheddar, that is an RPSM alumni too.
I also help with processing applications for potential adopters-it’s very fulfilling and I’m glad I can assist in helping more dogs get their forever homes. It’s a terrific organization!

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/10/2018

Thanks so much for taking the time to write your review of your experience with RPSM and for volunteering, it is GREATLY appreciated! Volunteers are the heart of what we do and we can't do it without you!

1 David H.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An outstanding pet placement organization dedicated to the welfare of unwanted, abandoned and abused pets by finding and filtering acceptable adoptees. We had lost our 13 year old chocolate Lab to illness and waited three years before we decided that we were ready for a new furry friend. We found RPSM and immediately became impressed. The application process is first rate and the screening is top notch. After waiting through two 10 week training rounds we were blessed with the adoption of Avenger. He has become an important part of our family. He has allowed us to foster other dogs from RPSM so that they might have a chance for their own forever family. He consistently shares his family temporarily so that his doggie buddies can become part of this great program and showcase each of their special skills and love. Since that 2015 adoption of Avenger, along with fostering, I volunteer to do home visits to assure that the paroled dogs will have the best chance of being the perfect companion for a new loving owner. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, to be a volunteer and a foster. Fosters are an important part of this program and the joy that each new dog brings in their special and unique way, make it all worth while. And to know in your heart that you were a part of such a caring organization and the placement of some fantastic dogs is an experience to be enjoyed. Each time I do a home visit and leave with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment is sometimes overwhelming. To follow the journey of each adopted dog and stay in contact with the new owners is a wonderful thing. Thank you RPSM for letting me be a part of a premiere organization. I love every minute.

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/10/2018

Thanks so much, David for leaving your feedback and for volunteering with RPSM. Foster homes are the heart of rescue and we can't do it without volunteers and foster homes! Thanks so much!

1 Marianne W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my beautiful deaf boxer from here. The people are great to work with , and I also volunteer for them . GREAT ORGANIZATION!!!!

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/10/2018

Thanks so much for volunteering Marianne, it is GREATLY appreciated! Volunteers are the heart of what we do and couldn't do it without volunteers, so thank you very much for everything you do.

1 Julie Gingerick H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have worked with a lot of rescues but nothing compares to RPSM! They are professional, compassionate and amazing at helping families find the perfect match. We loved their process so much, we adopted TWO at the same time! Ida and Linus are amazing additions to our herd.

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/10/2018

Julie, thanks so much for leaving your review, it is GREATLY appreciated!! Please give Ida and Linus a big hug from all of us at RPSM!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Today is Gia's Gotcha Day Anniversary! One year ago today she came into our family and made it complete. She's such a loving and fun filled girl. She adds so much joy and love to our home. Thank you to everyone involved in RPSM for all you do to save these precious furbabies and give us the chance to have our lives enriched by having them as part of our family. Such an awesome program!!!!

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/25/2018

Thanks so much for reviewing us about your experience with RPSM. Please give Gia a BIG hug from all of us at RPSM!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I will be forever grateful for the hard work and loving care provided to my Rescue Dog Gia! Gia was found running free in January of 2017 in Indiana. She was taken to the local pound where they made a call to Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan. RPSM sent out some wonderful volunteers to pick her up and take her to the Training Program in Coldwater. She was taken into the Prison Program where some amazing inmates spent 10 weeks working with her night and day to prepare her to become an awesome member of our family. The time, love, and dedication that goes into this program is remarkable. Every aspect of this program has one goal and that is to rehome a precious pet who otherwise may never have been adopted. Thank you so much RPSM for all you do and for saving all of these homeless furbabies.

1 Theresa R.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I lost 2 dogs in short order from old age. Needless to say, we were heartbroken. We have a commitment to only getting rescued dogs so when we were ready, we started looking at various rescue groups. That's when we found Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan. We loved everything we read about the program: rescued dogs, inmates getting the opportunity to learn and give back, and well-trained dogs. It's a trifecta of wonderful! We applied to adopt a dog but he was being promised to another family so they asked us what we were looking for. We wanted another big boy to add to our family. After waiting awhile, RPSM reached out to me saying they believed they found the dog for us. We took our third dog with us to visit Wrigley while he was in a foster home waiting for his turn to be in training. We had a match! I was so excited reading the updates about how Wrigley was doing while in training! Oh, and then that day came when we got to go and pick him up - just pure joy! We dedicated ourselves to maintaining the training he had received. Wrigley is just wonderful and we love him dearly. At one point the program shared the stories of the inmates who are the trainers. The stories spoke to how becoming a trainer has influenced them. Dogs can be a powerful source of love and comfort, they give us so much more than we give them. I cant recommend this program enough! I know when we lose our old girl (18), we'll turn back to RPSM to fill our home again.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been through a lot, losing our last dog to an immune disorder at only 5 years old. We were ready for a new pup to love and turned to RPSM. From day one they were incredible, totally responsive and helped us find the perfect pup. We love our Norman so much! He is so well trained and has the sweetest disposition. We are so thankful we found RPSM!

2 Kyoko Y.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pia was the name of the dog I met at nearby dog park. She came from Prison program in KY and was the inspiration of looking for the similar organization around this area.
I am so super grateful to be part of this rescue. As my teacher taught me, we are still part of the problem until we become part of the solution. I’m so grateful to be part of these amazing group of people, all the volunteers, adopters and trainers! Did I mention dogs? Yes these love filled dogs!

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/04/2018

Kyoko, thanks so much for volunteering with RPSM! We love having you and all that you bring to the group!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very thoughtful and caring organization. I am happy to be able to participate with fostering.

Comments ( 1 )

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/04/2018

Thank you for fostering for RPSM, it is greatly appreciated! Foster homes are the heart of what we do and we couldn't do what we do without you!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted two wonderful dogs from RPSM. Gypsy is about 7 years old and still knows all her commands she learned while in the prison. Chief is about 3 years old and was a very neglected pup before coming into the program. Although you'd never know he came from such a negative environment as the prison program worked really hard to help him overcome his fear-based obstacles and now he's a wonderful, loving pup. I will always adopt dogs from this amazing program that helps not only the dogs but the prisoners too. Amazing rescue!

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/04/2018

Thanks so much for your kind comment. So happy Gypsy and Chief found such a wonderful home!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I appreciated knowing I was getting a well- trained dog. Even though I had never met my dog prior to going into the prison, I got great progress reports that told me more and more about my new dog, so that when I finally did take her home, I had a pretty good idea of her personality, eating habits, and her training progress.
The organization did a great job of preparing me to take my dog home too. The folder of procedures on this was very helpful. Learning that should anything happen to me, my dog would return to rpsm for adoption and go through the same rigorous screening again, was a great piece of mind to me too, a comfort.
I also liked the community service aspect, helping a troubled inmate go through this process and seeing the successful rehabilatation back into the community was a great feeling too. Knowing my dog helped an inmate make his own life better and learn some great skills in the process was wonderful.
Great program, great dogs, great trainers, great volunteers. And I will definitely adopt from there again.

1 Dana L.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

RPSM matched us with a perfect addition to our family was very accommodating to the needs of our family! Pete has been with us 8 months and we can tell the training he received has helped bring his sweet personality to life! We are so thankful to RPSM for bringing us together!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my Riley from RPSM and I couldn't be more pleased with how well behaved she is. The training was superb and all the volunteers have been amazing to work with.

Comments ( 1 )

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/02/2018

So happy to hear that you are pleased with Riley's training and that you are happy with your volunteer experience!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

On 1/11/11 we lost our wonderful young dogs, Gracie and Savvy to an accident during a snow storm. A few days later a friend of mine sent me an email telling me about a dog she was fostering. Well three nights without a dog and Izzy came home to meet the family and has never left. Izzy is a wonderful dog and I still can’t imagine why she was in a shelter.

Izzy is not a cuddly dog and she does not like to sleep on the bed. Our son Roman was having some problems sleeping at the time and he and I both missed having a cuddly dog. I had looked into Boston Terriers a while back and thought the breed would be a good match for us someday. We decided a Boston Terrier would be a great dog to sleep with our son to help him sleep better.

Just a couple months before we lost Gracie and Savvy, my sister and her husband received Buckley from Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan. Buckley is cute and a wonderful boy. Shortly after deciding we were going to look for a rescue. My sister called me very excited, “RPSM has a Boston on their site, quick fill out the application for him.” So I filled out the application and the process began. Shortly after filling out the application I found out we were the second application on Leo. If all went well with the first application they would receive Leo. After a short wait we found out the first people had decided to wait.

Updates started coming for Leo who at this time was in training. His reports said he growled at other dogs who got in his space. While I was excited I was also concerned about Leo fitting into our family. I used to be an Assistance Dog Trainer and I helped match clients with dogs, but now I was being matched with a dog and I was a little nervous. I was also concerned how Leo and Izzy would do when they first met. Izzy is more on the dominant side. When we picked Leo up the RPSM volunteer and I took them for a little walk and they were perfectly fine with each other right from the start. The two of them are great buddies, they play and nap together every day.

While we were looking for a dog to sleep with Roman we got so much more. Leo has not only fixed Roman’s sleep issues, Leo is Roman’s buddy, usually where Roman is, Leo is right with him. Roman show’s Leo in 4-H and they have done very well. Leo loves to do anything we are doing, hiking, kayaking, or watching TV. Leo is great, he has brought a lot of joy and laughter to our family and we are blessed to have him and Izzy.

My sister and I continue to volunteer and spread the word about RPSM, they are awesome!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 05/01/2018

Thanks so much for your review and for volunteering with RPSM, it is GREATLY appreciated!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When our family was looking for a dog to adopt, we searched all over the internet, as well as our local shelter. We had very specific requests: medium to large size, short hair, good with kids, good with dogs, and capable of running long distances (I am a runner and was looking for a running companion). When we came across the website for RPSM, we immediately saw a few dogs that interested us. After filling out an application and speaking with a representative, we were able to narrow down our choices to one dog. Since she had just entered her training phase, we were able to give the trainer input on what the dog's life would be like with us. We received weekly updates on her training progress, so when we finally met her, we knew what to expect. However, she surpassed all of our expectations! Our girl, Mya, is so smart and sweet! She loves everyone she meets, she loves to go for runs, and she is well behaved. This organization truly wants what is best for the animals and we could not be happier with the results.

1 Danita K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My dog, Baxter, has been the best addition to our family. I fostered him before he went off to prison and am extremely grateful for the love and energy that was put into training him. We can't imagine our live without him.

1 Anne D.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted Harley, an 8 year old standard poodle from Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan and every day I say "who rescued who?" I still send photos to his amazing foster mom Lynn.

1 Mickey E.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Five years ago we lost our beloved dog. We found Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan and saw a profile of a young dog who looked like he'd be a perfect fit for our family. We submitted an application and were approved to adopt him. He has been a great addition to our family and is the best friend to our other dog. They do everything together. Working with RPSM was a wonderful experience. All of their volunteers are great people. We tell everyone about RPSM and the great work they do. When we are ready to adopt again, we will certainly return to RPSM.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Like many other adopters, we had lost a beloved pet. Our beagle seemed to grieve the loss like we did, and we decided to adopt another dog to keep him company. That was when we found RPSM. We were very impressed with their prison training program. We found Gus and filled out an application for him. We had a great visit with his foster mom when she came for our home visit. The adoption process went quickly and smoothly. We had to wait a few weeks for Gus to complete his training, but it went by quickly as we received regular updates on his progress. We knew his favorite toys before he came home. The day we picked him up, Gus was a bit stressed because of all the changes that he had gone through that day - leaving the prison, going back to his foster home, and then meeting us and his new brother. But he soon settled in with the family routine and everyone in the family loves him. Even our four year old nephew can play with him like he's his own dog. We love being able to see updates of the other adopted dogs and seeing the new dogs as they come into the RPSM program. The RPSM volunteers do a wonderful job and were a pleasure to work with through the adoption process. We speak highly of RPSM and recommend them to everyone.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We became members of the RPSM family in 2014 when we adopted Annie, a white pit mix. This is a unique program in that it takes someone else's throw away canine, a dog that most likely was abandoned or neglected, and offers the opportunity of new hope, a new life. Because these dogs are put into the prison for 10 weeks of training, the healing takes place not only for the dog, but also the prisoners - who take such good care to love on these tender souls, who many times need to learn to trust again.
Although our journey started in 2014 with Annie, it continued in 2016 with our second adoption of Star, a re-nosed pit. Both these girls have been an absolute joy to have as a part of our family.
What you get when dealing with RPSM is a group of people whose #1 goal is to match the perfect dog to the perfect family. They spend countless hours going through applications, calling references, making on-site visits to potential adopters, all to ensure the best fit for everyone. We are so proud to be affiliated with RPSM and highly recommend them to anyone looking to rescue dog. You won't regret it!

Comments ( 1 )

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 10/22/2017

Thanks you so much for adopting from RPSM and writing this wonderful review.

2 Heather N.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I may be a little different when it comes to telling the story about this organization however I am truly blessed to be a part of it. My fiance is a part of one of the best opportunities he's ever had. He is on the receiving end since he is an inmate at Coldwater and has been training dogs since the beginning. This program has changed him in ways that are unimaginable and he has blossomed into a great man of integrity and grace. He loves his dogs and has sleepless nights when they don't feel good, or when it's time to let let go after 10 weeks. He is truly a blessing and I'm so glad that this program has made a difference in his life as he has in the dogs he had helped..

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Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan 10/22/2017

Thanks so much Heather for writing this wonderful review. Your fiance helps a lot of dogs and it sounds like they help him as well.