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FOA seeks funds to help offset construction costs at new shelter

The Friends of Animals Humane Society in Cloquet is about to move into its new location at 30 North 10th St., Cloquet. Folks from around the community are helping the organization pack and get ready to move kennels and offices over the next two weekends. The new shelter boasts 12,000 square feet of space, compared to the 5,000 square feet of the current facility.

Regarding what the community can expect about the new shelter, Executive Director Kimberly Parmeter said, "We're not building a $2 million dollar shelter with taxpayer dollars here. We are renovating an older building with donor dollars for around $600,000, which includes the cost of the building and the adjacent lots to provide space for dog runs. I think by the time we're done, our shoe-string budget extreme-shelter renovation will produce a shelter that will make the community very, very proud, and our animals comfortable while we help them find their forever homes."

Friends of Animals will be selling their existing building on HWY 33 in early May. Proceeds from the sale of this property will help cover the majority of costs from the renovation; however, as with many construction projects, there were a few unforeseen issues that needed to be dealt with. Parmeter said FOA is urgently seeking about $200,000 in funds to help offset the construction over runs and replenish reserves. "We've done so many things right trying to keep our budget tight and under control: recycling doors, seeking vendor donations and discounts, accepting equipment and furniture donations," she said. "But bringing a few areas up to code specifically for its new use put us unexpectedly in the red. We could really use the community's support right now."

Frandsen Bank in Cloquet has set up a special account to help the community support the project. People can donate to the Friends of Animals — New Building Fund by stopping in or mailing in a gift. The address is:

Friends of Animals — new building fund C/O Frandsen Bank, 712 MN-33, Cloquet, MN 55720.

Friends of Animals Humane Society expects to be fully operational in its new location by early May with a grand opening celebration planned for July. People interested in volunteering can call the office at 218-879-1655 to be added to the schedule to help with the move.

Friends of Animals is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. Donations to the society are appreciated and may be made online, in person at the shelter or mailed to: Friends of Animals; 1418 Highway 33 S; Cloquet, MN 55720.