When animals are in need and have nowhere else to turn, the Central Nebraska Humane Society is there for them. When the Humane Society was in a similar dilemma, board President Jill Hornady turned to Christenson Cleaning and Restoration.
When she first called the company, Jill said, she was “desperate.”
The Humane Society’s building in northeast Grand Island was 10 years old, but in some ways, its condition belied its age. The building, which houses hundreds of animals on any given day, had received a lot of hard use but hadn’t had an overall, deep cleaning for some time.
Christenson Cleaning and Restoration had been recommended to her, so Jill called Charlie Christenson, who runs the company with his father, Eric.
“Charlie got back to me immediately,” she said. “He’s very professional.”
Charlie met Jill at the Humane Society, and they went through the building together. The vinyl floors, which were long overdue for some TLC, stood out immediately. Surfaces had a build-up of pet hair and everyday schmutz, and the place smelled like … well, like hundreds of animals lived there.
“Charlie has been very gracious,” Jill said of his quick response. “Everybody I’ve met from there has been very professional.”
After that initial assessment, the Christenson professionals got to work giving the building the deep cleaning it needed.
Christenson Operations Manager Ben Theis said they took everything out of the shelter’s entryway, cleaned it thoroughly and put it back — including a nearly life-size statue of a St. Bernard.
“That St. Bernard was quite the challenge,” he said.
They scrubbed the floors with a deck brush, mopped and buffed them and washed the walls up to 10 feet. They cleaned baseboards, the bases of office chairs, desks and shelving. They cleaned door frames, window frames and the tops of picture frames.
“Paying attention to the details is huge,” Ben said. Christenson Cleaning and Restoration emphasizes “really getting into all the nooks and crannies.”
All that hard work has definitely paid off.
“In a facility like this, you need that kind of expert cleaning,” Jill said. “The solutions they use make the place smell better, too.”
“That’s the first thing I noticed when I walked in,” Ben agreed. “Wow! It smelled so much better!”
Since that initial deep cleaning, a regular cleaning cycle has been established. A Christenson employee spends four hours at the shelter every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, dusting, taking out trash and cleaning the offices, reception area and four restrooms. They clean floors throughout the building except for the surgery room and the kennel.
The surgery staff cleans that room themselves, and the kennels require a cleaning solution made specifically for kennels.
Christenson’s cleaning arsenal includes professional cleaning supplies, including hospital-grade disinfectant, Ben said. Seemingly simple steps like swapping out towels regularly and using clean mop heads also make a big difference.
Cleaning an animal shelter poses some special challenges you wouldn’t find while cleaning the average office, however.
For instance, Ben said, the amount of pet hair that accumulates in the building requires “extra attention to sweeping the floor so we can actually mop.”
Jill explained why keeping things shipshape is so important to the Humane Society.
“We want a clean, friendly facility that smells good when you walk in the door,” she said.
She said they want the employees to feel comfortable in their workplace and the community to be proud of the facility. And they want to avoid disease.
“Cleanliness is first on that list,” Jill said.
Although she noted that the Humane Society has much to do with a fundraising drive and needed building renovations, Christenson is making the cleanliness happen.
“Christenson is more attentive and has more follow-through than anybody else,” Jill noted. They do what they say they’ll do when they say they’ll do it.
“Then Ben comes back and double-checks to make sure it’s been done,” she said.
“We want to make sure that we catch everything before the customer does,” Ben said. When he follows up with a customer, he always “pushes for something we can improve on.”
“It’s just that extra level of customer service you don’t normally get,” Jill said.
The Central Nebraska Humane Society has a big job to do in the community, keeping animals safe and helping them find forever homes.
Christenson Cleaning and Restoration is glad to be part of the solution.
“It has been a good relationship,” Ben said. “And when we get a good relationship going, we want to keep it there.”