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Show Me the Money: Dirty Dogs Bathed Dirt Cheap

A shelter’s onsite dog wash cleans up pooches and brings in moola

While the K9000 may sound like a robot attack dog from outer space, it’s actually a coin-operated dog-washing machine. And in Edmonton, Canada, it’s not only popping out cleaner pooches, it’s helping the Edmonton Humane Society bring in cash for real, earthbound shelter dogs.

The K9000 wasn’t executive director Stephanie McDonald’s first choice for spiffing up local animals. Before the recession settled in, when the organization was planning for construction of its new facility, its goal was to have a full-service grooming salon onsite.

But, McDonald says, once the economy shifted, she felt that would end up being a risky venture for the shelter. So she started googling to see what backup options were out there. She wanted a system that would be durable and allow people to use it with little staff supervision.

There are other systems available, but the K9000 seemed to fit her shelter’s bill—it didn’t require an extra room for maintenance, and the height of the platform seemed user-friendly and safe for the animals. Plus, she notes, “it’s a stand-alone unit, so basically, you just need water and power and a drain, and that’s it. It’s really minimal in terms of what a shelter has to put together.”

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