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See those smiles? They're the exuberant expressions of some happy pups whose formerly run-down and downright depressing "home" has been recently transformed into an animal mecca.
On Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Animal Planet returns with Pet Nation Renovation, a special dedicated to giving one deserving animal shelter a top-to-bottom overhaul.
In the premiere episode, animal expert and home renovation enthusiast Dave Salmoni hosts and introduces the $150K makeover treatment to the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society (SGVHS) in California. Check out the before, and amazing after, photos.
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As you can see here, the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society (SGVHS) was in desperate need of a makeover. SGVHS has been open and operating for more than 90 years, but the dilapidated grounds and facility took focus away from the needy pets in its care. In order to continue to focus on the care and placement of these animals, the shelter's physical conditioned needed improvement so its furry wards would be able to find forever homes.
SGVHS was chosen based on need and the great story it presented in its online video submission.
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What a difference four weeks make! The new design was a combination of the contractors (Bohler Builders Group) and the behind-the-scenes design producer's vision.
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All the animals remained on site during the renovation.
Dave Salmoni, host of Pet Nation Renovation, tells PEOPLE, "I think the outdoor space we called 'Doggy Bahamas' will make the biggest impact on the animals and their daily lives."
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"We made it a multi-use space where they can relax in a cabana poolside, play in the open space, train on the equipment, cool down in the delta faucet cooling station and most importantly hang out with potential adopters in hopes of finding their forever home!" says Salmoni.
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Salmoni tells PEOPLE he loves the themes of the spaces. His time in the Bahamas served as design inspo for the outdoor dog recreation area.
"We did a destination themed renovation. Each of the spaces were themed after places I had been. I loved building pieces that made me think of times I had been in these amazing places."
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"Knowing that the animals were going to get to use the spaces and possibly experience some of the fun that I did in those destinations is a lot of fun," he shares.
Doreen Hudson, director of SGVHS, agrees. "The dogs took full advantage of the Doggy Bahamas with the cooling stations and wading pools. Different dogs were drawn to different features of the play space, and it was interesting to try out different things to see what they liked best!" she adds.
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Meanwhile, this before picture of the inside of the shelter is fairly bleak ...
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... but check out the "after" pics!
SGVHS renovated its large cat room into a sound-proofed "Kitty Zen Garden" with toys, bridges, tunnels, planks and perches.
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"After a brief period of adjustment, the cats really enjoyed their Kitty Zen Garden with all kinds of interactive ramps and bridges and private ledges to perch on," Director Doreen Hudson tells PEOPLE.
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Delta Faucet and Stanley Steemer, sponsors of the special, are part of what made this $150,000 renovation possible.
(We bet this Indiana Jones wannabe kitty is pretty thankful!)
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The team also revamped an old storage space, turning it into a Moroccan-themed adoption room. Here, potential pet parents can comfortably spend time with the animals in a relaxed environment away from the kennels.
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Hudson says, "The dogs are quicker to express their joy over the large play area in the Doggy Bahamas. They can be seen running laps while chasing toys or other playmates. This is an area comparable to an average back yard and they feel right at home in the 'Bahamas. '"
Congratulations to the staff and especially the animals of San Gabriel Valley Humane Society! We just hope the furry occupants don't miss their swanky shelter too much once they're swooped up and brought home to their new forever families' digs.
Pet Nation Renovation returns on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet.
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