Second Chances

Foster animals are great for families.

Animal Society Helps Complete Homes

When they learned two-thirds of animals in Great Lakes Bay Region shelters were euthanized, the founders of the Great Lakes Bay Animal Society knew they had to act.

Eight years later, the small team has saved more than 1,000 animals, all with the help of dedicated volunteers.

Board President Melissa Wagner has seen countless animals get a second chance at life. Many animals come to the animal society neglected, abused and in desperate need of love. But Wagner knows the impact these furry friends can have on people who need them.

“These animals are a great addition to a loving home, providing companionship and affection — and even purpose — for adopters,” she said. “We have rescued around 1,000 animals over the years, and each one was a hardship story that ended with an eventual success for the animal and the people that adopted.”

Often, volunteers foster an animal, taking it into their homes, nursing it back to health and helping it get ready to live with a forever family.

Donna Remer, foster coordinator, remembers hundreds of powerful adoption stories, but one pup stands out.

“Winnie came to us with patches of hair missing, she was scared of interacting with anyone, and had heart worms, a heart murmur and a thyroid issue,” she said. “We made sure she got all the medical attention she needed, and her foster parent helped her socialize so she wasn’t so fearful.”

Eventually, Winnie regained her health and was adopted into a loving home.

The animal society relies on volunteers willing to foster animals like Winnie during their rehabilitation. But for animal lovers who aren’t ready to foster, there are still plenty of ways to help, including:

  • Event planning and assistance
  • Social media management
  • Website management
  • Donations or donation drives

Anyone interested in volunteering can apply at Volunteers must be 18 or older, and children ages 12 to 17 can volunteer at events the society holds on a regular basis.


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