For years, Liz Kohout watched stray dogs wander The Flats near her husband's packaging firm. The couple even began taking some of the dogs in to help keep them from ending up in the city kennel, which is very often the final stop for unwanted animals.
Then, two years ago, Kohout founded the Place A Pet Foundation, a Cleveland-based nonprofit dedicated to helping unwanted animals find homes. Located near West 110th Street and Detroit Avenue, Kohout's 64,000-square-foot facility is home to more than 150 animals. It is the only no-kill shelter in Cleveland and the largest in the region.
"Though the city is trying to take care of them, these animals are literally falling through the cracks of our society and it's getting worse," Kohout says.
She has even found a way to reach potential pet owners in their homes. A year ago, she and her husband, John, started Pet Craze TV, a television show that runs on PAX 23 Sundays at 5:30 p.m. In addition to teaching proper pet care, the lighthearted program also stars many of the dogs Kohout is trying to pair with loving owners.
"People should think of the kind of personality they want in a pet," she suggests, noting that too often people focus only on a certain breed or color. "Do you want a dog that chases a ball? Do you want a dog that's good with kids? The dog may be brown instead of blond and female instead of male, but I guarantee you'll fall in love with it."