“We saw a pretty large influx of animals and a constant inflow,” says shelter manager Cassi Ohman. “We’ve been a lot busier lately.”
As an example, Ohman said, they’ve had five wild pregnant pussies this year, while in years past they’ve seen maybe one or two at most. She attributes at least part of this to the fact that veterinary clinics in Minnesota were virtually closed for some time last year, due to COVID-19 concerns – which means sterilization and sterilization departments have also been reduced.
Cassi Ohman, manager of the Marshmallow Animal Shelter, cuddles Florence, a fluffy six-month-old kitten ready to be adopted. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
With a licensed capacity of 71 cats and 25 dogs, the shelter inside the Lucky Dog Boarding and Training Complex on the northern outskirts of town is currently quite full, she added.
“We need more foster homes,” Ohman said.
“And there are always a lot of volunteer opportunities,” added Karen Skoyles, who is vice president and secretary of the shelter’s board of directors.
Socializing (petting and playing with the animals), taking publicity photos of cats and dogs awaiting adoption, cleaning kennels, fundraising – these are just a few of the ways shelter volunteers can help , she added.
And of course, there are always cats and dogs that need a “furry” home, some of them needing a little more love.
“We have two 3-legged dogs awaiting adoption,” Ohman said, adding that one appeared to have had its paw caught in a trap, while the other had been shot in the foot and must have been. amputee.
There are also cats awaiting adoption who have special needs – like those diagnosed with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), who, like humans living with HIV, can live full and happy lives. despite their diagnosis, she added.
Some of these animals with special needs are already placed in foster homes; mothers of young kittens and puppies are also given high priority for placement with foster families.
Placement in foster care is sometimes essential, even without special health needs. “Not all animals thrive in a shelter environment,” Skoyles said.
Foster families, as well as those who wish to adopt a pet, must go through a screening process after completing the initial application, and there is also an orientation requirement for all potential shelter volunteers.
In addition to volunteering, contributions of cash and supplies are also welcome. For example, Lakes Area Parrot Heads recently donated over $ 10,000 to the shelter – the proceeds of two fundraising events, Macaws for Paws and Boats & Bars, which took place on August 27-28.
The Lakes Area Parrot Heads recently presented a check for $ 10,123 to the Marshmallow Animal Shelter, representing the proceeds of two fundraisers for the shelter held back-to-back on August 27-28. (Photo submitted)
The shelter is also planning to hold a holiday open house on Saturday, November 20, Skoyles said. The event will feature a particularly popular fundraising event, the Pounds for the Pound Bake Sale; the goodies can either be pre-ordered via the refuge’s Facebook page, or collected during the event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information on the Marshmallow Animal Shelter, as well as its various volunteer opportunities and upcoming events, visit the web page at marshmallowfoundation.org.