Detroit Pit Crew opens low-cost animal hospital in Eastpointe – Macomb Daily

The people behind the Detroit Pit Crew dog rescue now have their own veterinary clinic.

Eastpointe APAWS Veterinary Hospital officially celebrated its grand opening in June to let the public, partner organizations and city leaders know that they are open for business with low-cost medical and wellness services.

Considering that a veterinary clinic plays a vital role in the rescue process and is a natural complement to the work of the team, it is surprising that it has taken so long to get the center up and running.

“I love animals and want to help as many as I can,” said Theresa Sumpter, executive director of Pit Crew and APAWS. “My husband and I have four dogs and three cats at home, so it can get a little crazy.”

Detroit Pit Crew and APAWS are 501 © 3 nonprofit organizations, which operate solely on donations and freebies, according to Sumpter. The Pit Crew is an emergency team that retrieves injured or sick stray dogs of all breeds from the streets of Detroit.

One of the APAWS exam rooms. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE EASTPOINTE-ROSEVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE)

APAWS provides medical care to 13 relief organizations and two municipalities in a 6,000 square foot facility on Kelly Road, north of Eight Mile Road. In the last four months of soft opening, more than 1,500 animals have been helped.

Although Sumpter had long considered opening a clinic, the pandemic demonstrated the need. Most veterinary hospitals offered limited access to their facilities, and rescue groups and pet owners had nowhere to go for medical attention.

“It was very scary to get into this because it’s such a big business,” Sumpter said. “But when COVID hit it became a necessity. We want to make this as accessible as possible, with low cost veterinary services for the general public and relief organizations.

They purchased the building in January 2021 and took the next 12 months to renovate and outfit the facility, as well as hire and train staff. APAWS opened its doors last winter.

The clinic has three isolation rooms, two holding rooms, two surgical suites, an x-ray room and a serenity room where families and individuals have the opportunity to mourn the passing of a pet. Staff members include veterinarians and student trainees.

The APAWS board poses in front of their building.  From left to right are Victoria Graham, Rachael Koresky, Dr Maddy Lutz, Chief Executive Theresa Sumpter and Kyle Delaney.  (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE EASTPOINTE-ROSEVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE)
The APAWS board poses in front of their building. From left to right are Victoria Graham, Rachael Koresky, Dr Maddy Lutz, Chief Executive Theresa Sumpter and Kyle Delaney. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE EASTPOINTE-ROSEVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE)

Current hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I would like to be open 24/7,” Sumpter said, adding that the hours may increase in the future, but there is a nationwide shortage of vets.

APAWS is at 21300 Kelly Road, Eastpointe. For more information, call (586) 619-8000 or visit apawsdetroit.com.

Benjamin M. Yerger