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Almost Home: New name chosen for Dickinson County animal shelter

Officials plan to open at new location in November

August 18, 2011
By LISA M. HOFFMANN - Staff Writer , The Daily News

QUINNESEC - Dickinson County's animal shelter has officially been renamed.

Officials on Wednesday announced that the Spring Lake Animal Shelter has been renamed Almost Home Animal Shelter.

Bill Hardacre, board chairman, said the new name has a dual meaning.

Article Photos

Lisa M. Hoffmann/Daily News Photo
Announcing the new name of the animal shelter are, from left, Bill Hardacre, board chairman; Lauri Thom of Aurora, Wis., Diane Luczak, shelter manager; and Sid Rosen, general manager of Standard Printing. The shelter at the intersection of U.S. Highway 141 and Breitung Cutoff/Lincoln Avenue has been renamed Almost Home Animal Shelter.

"The shelter is Almost a Home for our residents until they find their new families," Hardacre said. "While they are with us, they are Almost to their new Home."

Sid Rosen, general manager for Standard Printing, said an idea for the logo was in place and the printing company knew the shelter wanted to create a bridge and emphasize the bridge.

"It was a lot of their idea," he said.

The logo has a picture of a bridge with a cat and dog crossing it.

Hardacre said the bridge in the logo represents the transition from the animals past life to their new family. The shelter serves as that bridge.

Rosen said Becky Lindgren, typesetter for Standard Printing, put together specifications for the logo.

When the shelter held a "Name the Shelter" contest, Hardacre said there were a lot of good names and suggestions.

But it was Lauri Thom of Aurora, Wis. that wrote a poem with the words "Almost Home" that helped name the shelter.

"There is so much sad in the shelter; I wanted to write a poem that was happy," she said. "It was their chance. A happy place."

Shelter officials then worked to incorporate a bridge with the animals in the new logo and name.

The new logo and poem will be painted on the entry walls of the shelter. A sign will also be designed, possibly in color, and located outside the shelter and visible to motorists.

Hardacre said as motorists drive around the curve heading northbound on U.S. Highway 141 they will be able to see the shelter. The road will reopen on Aug. 29 following reconstruction.

Rosen added designing the logo was a fun process. He said there was the freedom to design something worthwhile.

Hardacre thanked Standard Printing for their patience in designing the shelter logo.

"I revised it many times with little and big changes," he said.

Hardacre also hopes that some day mugs, hats or other shelter items can be sold with the name and logo of the shelter.

As for when the new shelter will open, Hardacre hopes that is soon.

"I hope in the not too distant future," he said.

Hardacre is mentally preparing for a Nov. 1 opening.

"This is dependent on several things," he said.

Amenities of the new shelter

Diane Luczak, shelter manager, was along for a tour of the new shelter Wednesday.

Hardacre explained what needs to happen for 10,000-square-foot the shelter to open in a few months.

Cement has been poured for the 5,000-square-foot heated floor in the dog kennel area.

The room will hold 16 6-foot by 9-foot kennels with two adoptable dogs in each.

Animal Control will have eight kennels for dogs, along with two other kennels for isolation from biters, sick dogs or a mother with a liter.

Those cages have yet to be installed.

A barrier will keep the noise of barking dogs down.

Cats will be located on the opposite side of the shelter.

There is a cat community room, cat grooming room, infirmary, and cat play room.

On both sides of the shelter feature a room where potential cat or dog owners can interact with their pet before adopting.

In between is a room for other small animals brought into the shelter, such as snakes, birds, guinea pigs, or rabbits.

A ventilation system and two-foot walls and cathedral tresses will provide for more air volume and reduce odors. The current shelter has stuffy conditions, Hardacre noted.

Inside the shelter is painted green and tan. A reception area has a view of the intersection of U.S. Highway 141 and Breitung Cutoff Road/Lincoln Avenue.

There is also an administration area, offices for a director of volunteers and an executive director, conference room, employee room with lockers, several restrooms, kitchenettes, and closet space.

Flooring and doors, and custom-built cabinets have been built throughout the shelter.

There are sinks below the upper cabinets in rooms with animals.

Because the shelter is 100 percent complete on the main floor, there was no need for an elevator that could have cost $50,000. The shelter was granted an exemption status from the state.

The lower level of the shelter is a garage that will store maintenance equipment.

A multipurpose room in the lower level of the shelter can be used for dog training classes in the future.

Iron Mountain Animal Hospital will spay and neuter animals in the lower level of the shelter. Hardacre said all animals that leave will have that procedure.

The current shelter is located at W8459 Spring Lake Drive in northern Breitung Township. Hardacre plans to relocate the animals to the new shelter in Quinnesec before the end of this year.

Upcoming fundraisers

The shelter's annual dinner, "A Cause for the Paws," will be held Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Antoine Room of Recreation Lanes in Iron Mountain.

"As always we will have some great silent auction items as well as raffle baskets and drawings," Hardacre said.

The shelter's annual dinner play will be on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 and Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3, 2012.

The play is titled "Rehab...Yooper Style" and should prove to be a real fun evening, Hardacre said.

Tickets will be available for the "Cause" in a couple of weeks.

Interested persons can call the shelter for tickets. Shelter officials will get tickets to those who call as soon as they are printed.

Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is



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