One-Stop Shop Processes Plethora of Licenses
Shelter Receives, Places Flood of Felines, Chihuahuas


By Dianne Alward-Biery
Cleaver Staff Writer

HARRISON – The Clare County Animal Shelter held its one-stop shop event Saturday, Nov. 17 where pet owners could come in and have their animal vaccinated and purchase a dog license at a single, convenient time location. When done at another time, the procedure would include a trip to the vet for a vaccination and then a separate trip to the Clare County Treasurer’s office for the license.

Saturday’s event was super peekbusy during the first hour, with the road into the shelter literally packed with cars.

Once again, Gail Shepperley, DVM, of the Clare Animal Hospital administered the vaccinations prior to the owners being processed by County Treasurer Jenny Beemer-Fritzinger and members of her staff at the shelter’s front desk. It was a well-choreographed, smooth operation. The event ran from 10 a.m. to noon, and by 11:30 a.m., some 71 dog licenses had already been processed, and additional animals also received vaccinations only. Beemer-Fritzinger pointed out that even more animals could have come through the line, which only had attended for the vaccination.

“Shortly after I started [as treasurer] we did a One-Stop Shop,” Beemer-Fritzinger said. “And like all of these people that were here today and in January-February when they come, would all be lined up at the court house. But this is fun because you get to actually see the dogs and the little kiddoes. We have fun.”

The big news of the day at the Shelter was about the recent acquisition of 22 chihuahuas age 7 months to 4 years (plus a mother Chihuahua with five puppies which were fostered out), and 16 cats from home in Farwell. Animal Control Officer Bob Dodson said the homeowner surrendered the dogs, and that they were vaccinated and checked out at the shelter Wednesday. He said that at 8:50 they were placed on the shelter’s Facebook page.

pink“By 10 o’clock they were starting to line up, and by 3:45 the last dog went out,” Dodson said.

“It was insane,” said Rudi Hicks, Animal Control Director. “It was like a feeding frenzy.”

Dodson said nobody argued about any of the dogs, that one lady took two, and another adopted three for Christmas gifts for her kids. The last dog went to a lady who had driven from Bay City just to adopt one of the Chihuahuas.

Dodson said two rescue operations had called about taking some of the dogs, but that the dogs went out the door so fast, there was no need for rescues.

“But if we had 15 pit bulls, they wouldn’t care,” Dodson said. “If we had 15 pit bulls, not one rescue would’ve called us.”

“They all lived in one house, and I expected to walk in there and get nipped, bit,” Dodson said. “But never a bite, never a growl, never a scratch. They’re all wonderful. You pick them up and they’re all happy, they’re licking you, their tails are wagging.”

Hicks said it was simply a matter of a family not ever wanting to get rid of any of the dogs and the population just grew and it became overwhelming, so the owner sought help from the shelter.

“He did the right thing,” Hicks said. “We got 16 cats and we’re going back to get 16 more.”

“We’ve got Siamese, grays, tabbies, orange and whites, blacks,” Dodson said. “We’ll get those spayed and neutered and we’ll get those out next week after Thanksgiving. It’s nice.”

He said some of the cats had a hard time with being in carriers on the way to the shelter, but once inside the shelter’s cat room, they were “fine as could be.”

Both Hicks and Dodson noted that several shelter “alums” had come through that day and remarked at how many of them recognize their former caregivers with enthusiasm and wagging tails.

Hicks and Dodson also were glad to tell the shelter would be getting a new wall – soundproofing for a building where dogs barking can be pervasive.

Contact shelter staff by calling 989-539-3221.