ARC holds community open house of new animal shelter

OPEN HOUSE: Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County held an open house of its new animal shelter on Monday (Pioneer photo/Kyle Leppek)

GREEN TWP. — Mecosta County residents got their first look at the new home for the county’s homeless, lost and abandoned furry friends on Monday.

The Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County opened the doors of its newly constructed Green Township facility Monday evening. Groups of approximately 10 at a time toured the building’s indoor and outdoor facilities and enjoyed refreshments afterward.

Two of the guests who toured the facility were Mecosta County Commissioners Kevin Courtney and Art Adleman.

“(The shelter is) gorgeous; well worth the time and money (ARC has) put into it,” Adleman said. “Looking at what I have seen so far, I think (the shelter) is probably more than (the commissioners) expected.”

One of the biggest changes the new shelter brings to the county is it will house cats; the current shelter does not.

“(The shelter) is a change; change is always good,” said Trent Livermore, animal control officer. “I don’t know that (Mecosta County residents) have ever had anything for cats. I think that is huge. It gives them hope that they can place their cats (somewhere) or find a cat if they are looking for a cat.”

Because residents have never had a place for cats, the shelter will fill up with cats “very quickly” and there will be a waiting list to drop off cats, said Cate Arroe, ARC director. Livermore will not pick up cats, and the shelter will only accept one cat per person.

In addition to accepting cats, ARC members believe their new facility differs from other shelters because everything

from the ventilation system to the dog beds are intended to keep the animals healthy, happy and clean. The shelter also has a number of volunteers who will interact with the animals on a regular basis.

“Happy animals are adoptable animals,” said Cynthia Glazier, shelter manager.

The shelter will begin accepting animals as soon as its license is approved by the state. Arroe is confident it will meet its opening deadline of Oct. 1.

ON TOUR: Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County Director Cate Arroe (center) gives a tour of the group’s new Green Township animal shelter on Monday. The 3,300-square-foot shelter can house 25 dogs and 35 cats at one time. (Pioneer photos/Kyle Leppek)

It was believed the shelter would cost $250,000 to build, but it cost $300,000, said Dawn Dempsey, ARC’s fundraising chair. To date, the group has raised approximately $78,500 to pay for the building. (ARC received $50,000 from the county up front for building expenses. Its annual budget will be $55,000 from the county, and it will need to raise an additional $10,000 annually.)

In addition to monetary donations and volunteers, ARC is accepting donations of food, litter and dog beds. Specifically, ARC would like Purina Dog Chow, Purina Cat Chow Complete and a special type of dog bed. Instructions on how to donate the dog bed can be found in Mecosta County C.A.R.E.S. 2012 summer newsletter, found at www.mecostacountycares.org/4.html.

For more information about the shelter, volunteering, donating or fundraisers by visiting www.arcofmecostacounty.com.

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