Animal control looking to leverage 2 percent funds for addition


STANDISH — The Arenac County Animal Control received $20,000 at this fall’s Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe 2 percent distribution but is still looking for additional funding to go toward its expansion project.

The total cost of the project is projected to be around $80,000, Director Catherine Lemunyon said. She said the addition to the building would improve the shelter’s ability to facilitate people coming in with or without animals.

The addition would be primarily adding on to the lobby and front office area of the shelter, which Lemunyon said is too small as it is and tends to get crowded very easily.

“What we’re hoping for the addition is that it’s going to free us up and give us some more entryway, office space, a safe area to come in to bring a dog into the lobby area and provide more room for people,” Lemunyon said. “We do our monthly spay/neuter program so we have upwards of 30-50 people that participate on average, so when you start having that many people coming in, it’s really hard to navigate in such a small space.”

Along with making the area more user-friendly for people coming in, Lemunyon said the addition is expected to reduce the cost of heating the building and would provide an area for visitors to interact with prospective new pets.

“I think (the addition is) very essential to the programs and the things we are trying to do here,” Lemunyon said. “We are doing things here kind of packed into a tiny, little old building so giving us that additional space will free us up and allow us to expand those programs and meet the needs of the people and the community.”

More space in the lobby area would also improve the shelter’s safety, Lemunyon said, explaining that it can be unsettling to an animal coming into the building when the lobby is already crowded with people.

“Right now, if they come through that door with a dog and I already have four people in here, it makes it crowded and almost dangerous to a point because you never know how that dog is going to interact with strangers already in the building.”

Lemunyon said right now the shelter has plans drawn and cost estimates in place, so now it’s a matter of gathering the rest of the funds needed for the project.

While there is still $60,000 to go, she said the $20,000 from the tribe is a good start and gives the shelter some footing going forward.

In addition to this project, Lemunyon said the shelter is also looking into acquiring more kennels so it can provide space for more animals, specifically cats.

The Arenac County Animal Control was recently recognized by the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance as the most improved open-admission small shelter of 2017 for improving its live release rate by 13 percent, an award the shelter has received in the previous two years as well.

To learn more about the shelter or opportunities to donate or volunteer, contact Lemunyon by calling 989-846-4421.


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