By Kurt Kolka
GRAYLING–The AuSable Valley Animal Shelter in Grayling is preparing for two major fundraisers in the months ahead.
On June 10, there will be a golfing fundraiser, Putting Fore Pets. As well as golfers, the shelter is seeking volunteers to help.
On July 29, the night of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, the shelter will host a drawing for an 11-foot, 2-seat kayak with a see-through bottom. The price will be $10 a ticket.
These two fundraisers will go to fund the shelters annual budget of about $100,000, which includes utilities, taxes and repairs.
‘What a lot of people don’t understand is we are not funded by the county,’ said Shelter Director Cheryl Postma. ‘The shelter is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.’
Postman said heating in winter is one of their biggest expenses. They also require services from local veterinarians, which can add up to 10 percent or more of their budget.
The animals are given just ‘bare-bones’ care, as Postma describes it. Still, each animal requires spaying or neutering. Some, which have been abused, can require much more extensive care. The objective is to make the pet adoptable.
Postma is the only full-time employee at the shelter. There are three other part-time employees and various volunteers who keep the shelter going.
Main Branch Gallery in Grayling gives a portion of their proceeds to the shelter one day a week. Also, Rolling Oak Brewery donates money from their Wednesday night bingo games.
‘The community provides an incredible amount of food,’ notes Postma. ‘Some will bring in two 25-pound bags of dog food. That’ a significant purchase.’
Volunteers also provide much of the publicity for the center. Native author, Jonathan Rand and his wife Boots are among the volunteers who help.
The shelter also makes use of foster families who care for some of the animals until a ‘forever family’ can be found.
The shelter is located at 5786 Fairground Lane, Grayling, just off Old U.S. 27 North. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon.
For more information on the shelter or its fundraisers, they can be reached at 989-348-4117.
Information on the fundraisers at Main Branch Gallery can be found at 989-344-0030, and Rolling Oak Brewery at (989) 745-6280.
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