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Hattie Larlham opening a second 'doggie day-care center'

By jim Published: November 2, 2009

By Rick Armon
Beacon Journal staff writer

Nov 02, 2009

Hattie Larlham plans to boost its presence in northern Summit County next year by opening a second ''doggie day-care center'' and moving some administrative offices to Twinsburg Township.

The nonprofit agency, now headquartered in Shalersville Township in Portage County, will lease space at the new home of the Humane Society of Greater Akron.

The Humane Society is buying a 68,000-square-foot office and warehouse at 7996 Darrow Road for its new animal shelter. The building is owned by the Summit County Port Authority.

Humane Society Executive Director Karen Conklin called it ''an absolutely perfect match'' for nonprofits that help people and animals with special needs.

''We are very, very excited,'' she said. ''It's going to be a whole new model on how two nonprofits can work together.''

Hattie Larlham, which serves people with disabilities, hopes to move into the new facility by April. The agency and the Humane Society, which has yet to move from its site in Boston Township, are negotiating lease details.

Summit County is giving Hattie Larlham a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant to renovate a portion of the building for the doggie day care and kennel.

''What you're seeing here is a great collaboration between two nonprofit agencies and government,'' said Dennis Allen, chief executive of Hattie Larlham.

The agency had been looking at expanding to the Twinsburg area when the opportunity for the Humane Society partnership arose, he said. The site is a good location because it's near the highway, and the agency operates the majority of its programs in Northeast Ohio, he said.

Hattie Larlham also will be able to expand day programming in Shalersville by moving the administrative offices and freeing up space there, Allen said.

The agency already operates a cageless doggie day care and kennel on Arlington Road in Green. The business, which employs people with disabilities, has been so successful that Hattie Larlham wanted to add a location in northern Summit County.

''The real plus in that is we employ and train people with disabilities in pet care,'' Allen said.

The doggie day care and kennel are expected to employ about 40 people with developmental disabilities, four full-time job coaches, a site manager and a dog groomer.

Hattie Larlham also is looking to expand its Constant Companions program to the new site. The program provides opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to interact with animals.

For details about Hattie Larlham services, call 800-233-8611 or visit http://www.hattielarlham.org.

For details about the Humane Society, call 330-657-2010 or go to http://www.summithumane.org.


Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com.

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