Second Chance Animal Shelter prepares to open | News, Sports, Jobs

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Second Chance Animal Shelter Treasurer Leanne Bloom shows off kennels that will be used to house small animals like cats.

ALPENA – The Second Chance Animal Shelter is built, a resale store at the shelter is opened, and it provides important animal services to people and pets in northeast Michigan.

Although the shelter has not yet housed any animals, the day is fast approaching when cats and dogs will have a safe, comfortable, and hopefully short-lived home until they find homes.

Second Chance treasurer Leanne Bloom said the concept of creating a 501(c)(3) and raising money to build another shelter in Alpena began in 2018.

Now, a brand new facility with shiny new kennels and equipment is almost ready to go. She said there are a few other projects — like adding a fenced area outside for the dogs and fitting out some bedrooms — that still need to be completed, and then the state would have to issue the permit. needed to start housing animals.

Bloom said hiring a shelter manager and other staff is also on the not-too-distant horizon.

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Cat trees and toys sit in one of the rooms at the new Second Chance animal shelter in Alpena. Scratch Posts will be auctioned at an upcoming event.

“It all started over coffee with a small group of people saying ‘what if we have another shelter?’ What if we could do more for the animals because there are limited resources here and it took off from there,” she said. “Now we are in phase two and we are looking at early next year where we can start bringing animals in.”

The new shelter is located on Devere Drive off M-32, just past Walmart. Bloom said the nonprofit group had secured a long-term lease on the building and renovations had begun.

Progress was slowed for many months, however, as the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in the process. During the pandemic, the group never stopped planning and working to raise funds.

“In 2020 and 2021, not much happened, we had a lot of bottle drives which continued until today,” she said. “We also continued to use our foster network to find animals at home, so we were always able to help.”

The new facility is spacious and has all the amenities animals, visitors and staff need to fulfill Second Chance’s mission. After entering the facility, visitors are greeted by the Second Chance Resale Shop, which offers recycled or repurposed items a second chance to find new homes.

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz A small dog named Tucker walks down the hallway lined with kennels at Second Chance Animal Shelter on Tuesday. Tucker only visits the shelter for a few hours, but soon there will be other animals staying there who need a home.

The store offers many pet products, home decorations, seasonal decorations, and even a special coffee blend named after the shelter. Bloom said the store is a top earner and so far has been well received by local shoppers.

Currently, Second Chance runs an animal foster program that matches animals in need of homes with people who can temporarily house them. They also help arrange permanent adoptions.

“We primarily use social media and our partners to find foster families to house the animals until we can find forever homes for them,” Bloom said. “We organize meetings and the animal stays at home, which is better than a shelter. It also helps us because we can learn more about the pet, like what it is with children and other animals.

Although it will be some time before people can enter the shelter to visit or adopt a new pet, Bloom said the group and volunteers share great pride in what has already been accomplished and that they are excited about what the future holds for them. .

She said the band and the facility wouldn’t be a reality without the buy-in from local supporters.

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz A Christmas tree and other holiday decorations occupy a section of the Second Chance Resale Shop in Alpena. Proceeds from the store help fund the shelter and its services.

“The community support has been overwhelming and this has truly been a community project from the start,” she said. “The list of people who made this possible is too long to name. This is not a one person shelter or a group shelter, it is truly a community shelter and it is the drive and dedication of many to make this possible.

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz The new Second Chance Animal Shelter in Alpena has a clean, modern exterior and will include all the modern amenities shelters need to house animals and find them homes.

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