Local pet shelter celebrates anniversary

Ferris professor reflects on her first year at the shelter

This October, the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County will celebrate the one year anniversary of its changeover from being the Mecosta County Pet Shelter.

Dr. Cate Arroe, Ferris music professor and director of Ferris’ choir, says the experience of taking over as the director of the pet shelter has been rewarding.

Along with being renamed as the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County (ARC), the shelter has undergone a series of changes since Arroe has taken charge.

The most notable of these is ARC, unlike its predecessor, is a “no-kill shelter”. This means no animal residing at the shelter will be euthanized due to shelter overcrowding or the length of the animal’s stay. Arroe states so far, this policy has not posed a problem.

“It’s rare that any animal stays longer than two weeks,” Arroe said, stating between adoption and pets being claimed by their owners, ARC usually experiences a fast turnaround of incoming and outgoing animals.

All of the animals given to ARC are evaluated for aggressive behavior before acceptance, and feral cats are not allowed.

Currently, ARC’s policy is they take in only cats and dogs. Animals are taken to ARC either by the Mecosta County Animal Control or their owners.

During their stay, the animals are walked and fed daily, often by Arroe herself.

“I’m there twice a day,” Arroe said. “I go there at opening and walk the dogs, come here [to campus] to teach and give piano class, then go back until closing.”

There will be a small party for the employees and board members of ARC to celebrate the first year of new management. The upcoming anniversary will serve as cause for great internal celebration for Arroe, who described her time serving as the shelter’s director as “gratifying.”

“It absolutely has been,” Arroe said. “I love being there. I love spending time with the animals. I do this as much for them as I do for the community – probably more so.”

Arroe is one of two paid employees who run ARC on a daily basis; all others who work there do so as volunteers. Arroe says the amount of volunteers is at its peak during the school year, however the shelter still receives a fair amount of volunteers when school isn’t in session.

Arroe remains active in helping animals in need outside of her work at ARC. She is also the faculty adviser for Pet Savers and the information for this Ferris RSO can be found on OrgSync.

For more information or to volunteer at the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County, visit the shelter at 18400 220th Ave. or their website at arcofmecostacounty.com.