by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
Todd County has no facility for unwanted animals. Laurie Determan and Katrina Wysocki are two of a group of people working to change that.
Efforts had been under way for a few years, but had stalled and a new group of Todd County residents picked up the baton in September 2012, to keep moving forward with “Providing Second Chances,” a rescue and shelter.
Starting with five to six volunteers, the group now has 15 volunteers who are not also fostering any animals. They have other people lined up to foster every kind of animal right down to reptiles, said Wysocki.
The group is incorporated in the state of Minnesota and has filed their 501(c)3 application.
They are raising funds for a building to house the animals that are now in foster homes. They are looking for a suitable building in Long Prairie.
Determan spent more than 15 years as a veterinary technician. She raised and showed German shepherds for 27 years. Her fostering days really started about seven years ago when cats kept coming to her home west of Long Prairie.
“I spayed and neutered them and then fostered and/or adopted them out,” she said.
Wysocki has had animals her whole life. “I volunteered here to help out because I like animals,” she said.
After a recent appearance by Wysocki and Determan on “Open Mike” with Hot Rod radio KEYL in Long Prairie, the available space for dogs quickly filled.
“We took in 13 dogs in one day,” Determan said. “We’re still turning people away until we get more foster homes.”
Food for the animals is covered by donations, although a lot of foster homes provide the food for the animals they keep.
“All adult dogs are fixed and vaccinated as well as being tested for heartworm before they are adopted out,” said Wysocki.
Veterinarian Charlie Moberg in Long Prairie gives the group discounted rates on surgeries.
Many of the dogs are strays, but a high number have been found on roadsides. One dog was found in a leg trap and lost a few toes.
Although they only have one cat now, they expect to start receiving more calls soon.
“The cat population will probably skyrocket because it’s spring,” said Wysocki. “There is a high feral animal population in the area.”
The foster homes are keeping more than 20 animals, including a guinea pig, labs, huskies, German shepherds, a shar-pei, a dachshund and poodles. Determan has also taken in a horse and a goat, which she is keeping.
“We accept any and all animals no matter what the circumstances are,” Determan said. “We would like to know as much of the history of the animal as the person bringing them in can tell us, because it helps us find the right home for the animal.”
Although the current focus is on housing animals from Todd County, the group will help publicize all lost and found animals. Strays do need to be reported to law enforcement before being brought in.
With all the new animals, there is a need for animal equipment and supplies. The group welcomes donations of all kinds, such as outdoor kennels and doghouses, toys, food and dishes, leashes and collars, and old blankets for bedding.
Once the Providing Second Chances facility is outfitted and open, Determan will be offering obedience classes.
Providing Second Chances will be sharing an event with the Morrison County Humane Society Saturday, April 6. They will be at Tractor Supply Company in Little Falls from noon – 4 p.m. for pet adoptions.
The American Legion Riders are sponsoring a benefit dinner and silent auction for the shelter Saturday, April 13, from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the VFW in Long Prairie.
They will hold a garage sale Thursday through Saturday, May 9 – 11, at Camp S’more on Highway 71 north of Long Prairie.
Looking ahead, the shelter group will be hosting a formal banquet fundraiser at Diamond Point in Sauk Centre in November.
For more information, look for Providing Second Chances on Facebook or call Determan at (320) 219-0415 or Wysocki at (320) 630-8468.