U.P. animal shelters learn new techniques

Animal shelters from across the Upper Peninsula participated in a unique educational gathering in Munising Friday.

The second annual Animal Welfare Workshop, hosted by the Alger County Animal Shelter, focused on continued education for shelter employees and volunteers. Representatives from nine U.P. shelters were in attendance and were excited to learn many best practices presented by the Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare.

“Every county that’s lucky enough to have an animal shelter can count on that animal shelter for services to animals and people, and we just want to make sure, as Michigan Humane, that we’re helping to get the latest information to those shelters so that the people in the communities can count on the fact that their shelter is doing the best job it can possibly do,” Michigan Humane Society director of statewide initiatives Linda Reider said.

“Anytime that we can learn how to do our job better, we’re helping the animals,” Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter Manager Lareina Vanstrein said. “If somebody can tell us a better way to do something, we want to learn that and we want to put it to practice, because we really want to do the best we can for the animals and, in turn, the best we can for the community.”

Shelter sanitation, physical examinations, and skills for getting overlooked pets adopted were among the topics covered by a variety of speakers at the event. In addition to gaining updated knowledge about shelter operations, attendees benefited from networking with neighboring shelters.

“It’s nice to kind of gather outside of the shelter setting, meet and greet each other, put a face to a name, and just get to know each other and how we can help each other,” added Vanstrein.

The Michigan Humane Society and MPAW have been presenting similar workshops throughout the state.