On the brink of closing, Cloquet animal shelter gets needed funding


A northern Minnesota animal shelter that was on the verge of closing will be able to stay open.

The Friends of Animals humane society in Cloquet threatened it would have to shut down because it could no longer sustain itself, and was facing a $55,000 deficit in 2015.

The shelter sought community donations and assistance from the Carlton County Board of Commissioners.

And people came through.

The board voted last week to increase the budget for the shelter from $9,500 to $40,000, WDIO reports. That increase, along with monetary and food donations and a $10,000 matching grant from Enbridge Energy, will help the shelter stay afloat and give it time to plan for the future.

"We can look ahead comfortably to at least another year and that year gives us an opportunity to really examine everything that we do and how we do it and how we can be more effective," Cindy Haglin, executive director of Friends of Animals, told WDIO.

A commissioner will also sit on the shelter's board of directors to help make financial decisions. The board is considering moving the location of the animal shelter, the news station notes.

Struggling shelters

The number of homeless pets being turned over to organizations continues to rise, and The Associated Press said many shelters are receiving fewer grants and donations as vet and shelter costs continue to rise. That’s leading to financial problems.

"This time of year, it's a double struggle. We seem to get inundated with animals at the same time food and donations tend to run short," Rose Surma of the Morrison County Humane Society told KSTP.

"When we have to spend money on food and other items like that we have to skimp on whether or not to spay or neuter," Mickie Gocken, the executive director of the shelter, told the station.

Morrison County Humane Society, among other rural shelters, has been asking for the public's help to assist in funding.

For some, the response has been good.

MPR News featured a woman who makes ugly Christmas sweaters and donates proceeds to Animal Ark's no-kill animal shelter.

North Branch elementary school students collected donations for the Homeward Bound Animal Rescue of Minnesota and Northwoods Humane Society as part of their annual compassion project.

For a 12-year-old South Dakota girl's birthday she asked for things that could be donated to the Sioux Falls area humane society.

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