Beyond the Garage, Pets

Building Lifesaving Shelters with Gladiator

I’ve always had a deep passion for animals and giving back to the world. Last year, my dog passed away suddenly and it was incredibly sad for me; he meant the world to me. He was a rescue and I always told him that I would always protect him. Unfortunately, he became sick and I couldn’t keep that promise. After he passed, I knew I wanted to do something to honor his memory and help other animals live their best lives as possible.

As such, I created the Protected Paw Project, an initiative to provide safe outdoor shelters for pet that live outside. To create engage with the community around me, I invite local 7th and 8th grade students with special needs to my shop to learn basic woodworking skills as we build the shelters. Over the course of building each house, my hope is that they will learn compassion and the value of caring for animals.

When I first started the Protected Paw Project, I was working out of my garage. Although I managed to build and deliver nearly 300 dog houses, I had space constraints. I didn’t have quite enough room to build the dog houses myself, much less invite others join me in building them. As the operation grew, I knew I needed to find a space to accommodate for greater production. 

Thankfully, this year, I had the opportunity to convert an old barn into a woodworking shop. To make the most of the space, I turned to Gladiator® products.

Gladiator workbenches afford plenty of sturdy space to create the pet shelters.

First things first, I needed a large surface to measure, cut and assemble large pieces of lumber. It was a no-brainer to start with several 8-foot Gladiator®Workbenches. Not only are the workbenches super durable and sturdy, but they can also be adjusted for specific heights – the perfect solution for the days that the students join me to work. 

The Full-Door Modular GearBox allows me to keep my space organized.

With middle schoolers running around (and the occasional dog, too), it’s important that harmful chemicals and dangerous tools be kept out of reach. For this, I chose to utilize the Ready-to-Assemble Full-Door Modular GearBox. With extra sturdy construction, casters and a 28″ Hardwood Top, it’s the perfect place to store equipment, plus it doubles as an additional mobile work surface when the workbenches are in use.

The fact that I now have a little space to move around feels amazing. With room to build, paint, and purchase lumber in bulk, Protected Paw Project is ramping up our operation so that we can get as many houses out there as possible, before winter sets in. With this new space, each dedicated volunteer, and the strength of my Gladiator® products, I have confidence that we will help even more pets stay safe and protected.

Gladiator® products were donated to the Protected Paw Project.

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