HOPE Animal Shelter Holds Community Appreciation Day Open House

IRONWOOD, MI - Saturday, June 13, 2009 - A steady crowd appeared throughout the afternoon at today's HOPE Animal Shelter Community Appreciation Day Open House. If you haven't visited the new HOPE facility, you are truly missing something. If it's been a while since you last visited the HOPE shelter, it is fairly safe to say, you haven't visited the HOPE shelter.

What volunteers have done to improve the animal shelter is amazing. This ultra-clean, ultra modern facility is something our entire community can truly be proud of. The care these animals receive at the shelter is phenomenal. Volunteers routinely take the animals for walks, groom them, feed them, and give them the individual attention cats and dogs crave.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Much of the following information is available at the HOPE Animal Shelter's website at www.hopeanimalshelter.org.

H.O.P.E. (Help Orphaned Pets Everywhere) is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt organization committed to caring for unwanted animals and providing them with preventative medical treatment, food, and shelter until new homes can be found for them. Founded in 1992, HOPE is incorporated by the State of Michigan and is supported by Gogebic County, MI and Iron County, WI appropriations, adoption fees, donations and volunteers. HOPE believes that all life should be revered and that all living creatures should be treated with kindness and respect.

HOPE Animal Shelter operates as a "No-Kill" shelter, meaning that dogs and cats in their care reside at HOPE indefinitely. Animals are not euthanized except in cases of unrelievable suffering, terminal illness or a known history of being a threat to the public.

HOPE accepts lost, stray and abandoned dogs & cats from Gogebic County Michigan and Iron County Wisconsin. They accept owned animals that are no longer wanted as space permits. They match animals with properly screened adopters. They maintain a lost and found file on each animal and they promote spaying and neutering to control pet overpopulation. People having questions or who need information about their pets can call or email the shelter. HOPE conducts pet therapy visits to area nursing home residents. They provide educational programs to elementary schools, daycare and nursery schools and they distribute and provide the community with educational literature. The center will forward cruelty complaints to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for investigation and assist law enforcement agencies in prosecuting animal cruelty cases.

The adoption process at H.O.P.E. Animal Shelter begins with a visit to the shelter, of course. HOPE encourages prospective adoptive pet parents, and any family members to come introduce themselves to the cat or dog they might be interested in adopting. One should expect to spend some time with the animal to get to know them better. Pictures on the website only can reveal so much. Each animal has his or her own personality and temperament. Pet the cat out of its cage. Take the dog for a walk. The decision to adopt an animal should be taken seriously as this will help ensure a long and satisfying experience for the adopter and the adoptee of a new pet. While HOPE strives to find homes for all the animals in their care, they have set some guidelines to help with their goal to provide good, loving, forever homes.

This starts with the completion of an adoption application. It is available at the shelter, can be mailed to you or for your convenience can be filled out online. It is the shelter's way to help with the adoption process to provide a better match for you and an adoptable pet. All applications are reviewed in a timely manner but you should not expect to come to the shelter and take an animal home the same day.

Once approved, the following fees apply:

  • Unaltered Dogs & Puppies: - $50 + $25 refundable spay/neuter deposit.
  • Spayed / Neutered Dogs: $75 All dogs receive DA2PP & Bordetella vaccinations and deworming.
  • Unaltered Cats: $25 + $25 refundable spay/neuter deposit.
  • Spayed / Neutered Cats: $50 All cats are tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV and receive FeLV/FIV vaccinations and deworming.
  • Kittens: $5 + $25 refundable spay / neuter deposit.

In addition, most spayed or neutered animals will have received a rabies vaccination and a vet check. They have adoption packets that include food samples, educational materials, pet toys, collars, leashes and other miscellaneous pet supplies. The adoption fees are reasonable as they only help defray a portion of the cost of caring for them.

Here's a word of caution, however. If you plan on adopting a pet from HOPE, don't be surprised if you have a hard time convincing the animal that what you have to offer is better than what is provided to them through the shelter. Every inch of the facility has been freshly painted. New pens have been erected and the old ones are being completely renovated. The facility is spotlessly clean and the animals are extremely well cared for. During the shot time this reporter visited the Open House, volunteers were walking dogs, grooming cats, and giving each and every pet the one-on-one attention they crave.

Volunteers of the Open House told the Chronicle that the community couldn't be more supportive of their efforts. Even with the downturn in our economy, people have been extremely generous in their support for the shelter. In addition to financial support, the number of volunteers who routinely give their time to walk dogs and help at the facility is amazing.

This afternoon, WIMI Radio was on hand broadcasting live. They did an excellent job interviewing the various vendors and volunteers at the event. Representatives from Camp K-Nine Training, Boarding, Daycare and Grooming, www.campknine.com ; Grooming By Jackie; River's Edge Pet Crematory; and Nutro Products were on hand as were several other vendors.

When I asked Marty Young, District Manager of Nutro Products, if he believed in the products he was selling, he demonstrated his confidence in his product line by consuming one of their doggy treats. To visit Nutro's website visit www.nutroproducts.com. Their products are available at Stoffel's Country Store on US-2 just west of the fairgrounds.

Free t-shirts and other items were given away at the Open House, and many items were also available for sale. The proceeds for most of the items, such as the HOPE t-shirts and cookbooks, went to the continued support of the shelter. Local merchants donated prizes that were offered in a raffle. All attendees received one free raffle ticket, but were able to purchase additional tickets to win the prizes. Hot dogs, brats and cold beverages were provided, most of which were provided to the shelter through local businesses free of charge.

Edna and Bert Tatham, perennial volunteers at the shelter, said the community support for the facility couldn't be better, and they praised everyone who routinely donate their time, money, merchandise, and efforts to the shelter to insure the best care possible for the animals.

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