100-year-old Berkeley plumbing company helps find pets forever homes

BERKELEY — Blame it on the pandemic or the rising cost of inflation, but whatever the cause, Bay Area animal shelters are in crisis.

And across the region, people are stepping up to help, like workers at LJ Kruse Plumbing in Berkeley.

Every Thursday morning, Marie McLean, who works at a century-old plumbing company, walks a few blocks to the Berkeley Humane Society shelter.

“It’s a joy for everyone in the office,” said McLean, who has worked for the plumbing company for 15 years. “We love dogs. You feed a dog, you walk a dog, you play with it for a bit, then you take a break and it cries for you at the door. It’s amazing.”

Berkeley Humane has partnered with Kruse for some time. That day, McLean picked up a year-old soil mix named Hugo, which was found abandoned in Oakland.

The sweet-tempered puppy spends a few hours in the offices of the plumbing company, winning the hearts of everyone who works there.

“The hope is that this dog will find a loving home,” McLean told KPIX.

Will Kruse is the vice president and director of the service. He loves having dogs like Hugo in the office.

“We care about animals and reject animals here,” Kruse said. “Berkeley Humane is only a few blocks away, so it’s a natural partnership”

During the last decade. Kruse says some of his employees and even clients have adopted dogs that they brought to the office.

It’s special because Will grew up on the streets and volunteered at Berkeley Humane as a kid.

“It means a lot to me as an adult and business owner to give back to the community I grew up in,” Kruse said.

Kruse Plumbing has an ongoing donation program at this time. Every $3 of each service call will be donated to Berkeley Humane.