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Food damaged in store fire used to feed homeless animals this Christmas

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When a fire forced the closure of the only store in Moose Lake, managers decided to make the best of a bad situation.

Food items and supplies that were smoke damaged in the electrical fire over the weekend were destined for the dumpster, but are now being used to feed ownerless pets in the area, Northland's News Center reports.

Vice president of operations Randy Jaeger said the goods have been donated to the Moose Lake Area Food Shelf, who then took a truck-bed full of food to the struggling Cloquet Friends of Animals Humane Society, the station reports.

The store has had to throw out and replace all its products according to rules from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture because of possible exposure to soot, WDIO reports, but it hopes to re-open on Tuesday, just in time for Christmas.

Jaeger told the Northland News Center that the fire started in one of the store's two-door freezers on Sunday morning.

Boost for struggling shelter – and a home for Miracle

The donation will come as a big boost to the Cloquet animal shelter, which is one of many across the state that is fighting for the funding to keep going and continue caring for homeless pets.

The Northland News Center reports the center will be looking after more than 130 animals this Christmas yet is facing closure as it currently operates on a reserve fund.

It recently celebrated a victory after finding a home for one of its residents, Miracle, a 1-year-old dog found with horrific ligature marks around its neck last month.

The news station reports a new owner has been found for the pitbull/terrier mix, who was named Miracle because she was never expected to survive her injuries, believed to have been inflicted by her previous owner.

New video campaign to save Austin's only Target store

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Speaking of towns suffering as a result of a store closure, residents of Austin, Minnesota, have stepped up their campaign to save the only Target in town.

The store in southern Minnesota is one of 11 nationwide that will close down at the end of January, prompting a campaign to keep it by shoppers who would face a 34-mile journey to visit another Target, in Owatonna.

While their campaign has provoked regretful responses from the retail giant, it has thus far appeared unmoved in its position that the store will be closing.

This past week, Austin residents started posting videos on the Save the Austin, MN Target from Closing Facebook page, explaining reasons why it should stay, as part of a new campaign they hope will go viral in the area.

Among the videos posted is one by Davin Allen, who begs Target to give the town another year to show why the store should stay.

He suggests Target tell the town how many people need to shop there to make it successful, so they could then strive to achieve that figure. He also amusingly describes how Target is vital for his last-minute Christmas shopping.

"This is where I come every Christmas Eve and spend $500 on my family. If you guys leave, where am I going to spend money for Christmas?" he says.

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