BY ANNE STANTON
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — This month a woman found a shepherd-mix dog wandering in the Mancelona area and called AC PAW in hopes of finding it a home.
No such luck.
“We told her we can’t take any more animals, we’re on hold,” said AC PAW volunteer Candie Conat.
Since its inception in 1995, AC PAW adopted out 7,500 animals, but recently announced it can’t accept any more until it can raise money for food and medical care. AC PAW doesn’t own a physical shelter, but places animals in a network of foster care homes in the five-county Grand Traverse area.
“It’s pretty much that simple. We’re overloaded,” said Conat. “We have cases that are really costly, and we’re doing a lot of spay and neuter of our animals that we bring in. That all adds up.”
Conat said the woman kept the dog over the weekend and called AC PAW again on Nov. 11, because the dog hadn’t eaten all weekend and was drooling blood. The dog was taken to a Mancelona veterinarian who discovered an arrow had broken off near the dog’s ear and was protruding from the roof of its mouth, said Megan Brunke, an AC PAW volunteer.
“She is a very sweet girl, but doesn’t act like she has ever lived inside before,” said Brunke, who is providing the dog she named Gypsy with temporary shelter at her Kalkaska home. “She wasn’t house-trained at first, which we’re working on, and she was a little skittish. Now she’ll lay over and let (us) rub her belly.”
Conat said AC PAW made an exception to accept Gypsy because she was in peril. She’ll be fully vaccinated, put on flea prevention, provided with food and spayed at a cost of nearly $1,000.
The case dramatizes the kind of expenses that are involved with stray animals. A little kitten, blind in one eye, recently had her other eye surgically removed because it had ruptured, Conat said.
“A lot of animal have fleas, worms and all kinds of medical issues we have to deal with to adopt it out,” Conat said. “Most of them are strays and haven’t been taken care of.”
The cost of adoption is $100 for a cat and $150 for a dog, all of which are neutered or spayed before adoption. AC PAW is seeking homes for six or seven dogs and about 30 kittens and cats, some with special needs.
Here are AC PAW’s upcoming fundraisers:
Christmas in November Craft Sale: Features local arts and crafts vendors and an auction for donated items from the talented vendors. Grand Traverse County Civic Center, today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wine for Whiskers: Admission is $10, plus a decorated bottle of wine for a live auction. Includes a wine tote, wine tasting, appetizers, raffles and drawings. Dec. 1 from 2 to 5 p.m., American Legion Hall, 1231 Hastings St., Traverse City.
Photos With Santa Claws: Bring in dogs, cats, bunnies, and other photogenic pets for photos with Santa Claws. Cost is $5 per photo. Dec. 7 from 1 to 6 p.m., and Dec. 14 from 1 to 6 p.m., PetSmart in Traverse City.
“Share the Love” Subaru Pet Adopt-A-Thon: AC PAW and Cherry Capital Cadillac and Subaru will team up for Pet Adopt-A-Thon. AC PAW will have its dogs and cats available for adoption and also seek pet supply donations. Visitors can get festive pet photos taken at a photo booth on Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cherry Capital Cadillac/Subaru dealership, 1747 S Garfield Ave.,
Swingshift and the Stars Final Competition: AC PAW and HANDDS to the Rescue are competing as a charity in this fall’s Swingshift and the Stars. Dr. Jen Klabunde from Northwood Animal Hospital is dancing for “no unwanted pets” on Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m., Traverse City Opera House. Visit Swingshift and the Stars for ticket and donation information.