The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

HOPE holds open house for 25th anniversary


P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

WALKING ON a sunny Sunday in Ironwood were, from left, Nancy Sass, a member of HOPE Animal Shelter's board of directors, and Kati Kartheiser, a shelter volunteer. Sass is walking Ozo, and Kartheiser is walking El Dorado.


Ironwood - The barking of excited dogs greeted a steady stream of visitors who participated Sunday in the 25th anniversary of Help Orphaned Pets Everywhere Animal Shelter.

Housed in Ironwood's Industrial Park, HOPE has seen considerable growth since its inception in 1992. It started in a remodeled house in Ironwood's Aurora Location and two years later relocated to a trailer at 590 Easy St.

A 1998 Gogebic County millage helped to support the construction of a 2,800-square foot building at the same site on Easy Street. Improvements on that structure have occurred ever since with the help of a continuing millage, various fundraisers and ongoing donations.

"HOPE is a nonprofit organization governed by the State of Michigan, under the Department of Agriculture," said Randy Kirchhoff, shelter director. He added that the shelter also has its own nine-member board of directors that meets monthly.

According to Kathy Zumbroch, HOPE's assistant manager, the facility has six regular staff members, including Danielle Jarvenpaa as manager, and two to five volunteers daily. Local vets also contribute their services.

A welcome sight as you enter the building is a wall filled with dozens of photos of cats and dogs who were adopted from HOPE and are now delighted with their "forever" homes.

Zumbroch gave a tour of the facility's many areas, which include a quarantine room for cats who have not yet been vaccinated; a bathing room; a hallway play area that includes feline toys, beds and climbing towers; and a fenced-in outdoor yard space for cats behind the building. Covered dog runs are in front of the facility, and across from the main building is a fenced-in dog park.

A separate room holds multiple cat cages, and a larger room next to the dog runs has individual cubicles for each of the dogs. Puppies, kittens, and animals who have close relationships are allowed to share areas or, in the case of the cats, to interact through sliding cage doors.

The staff is sensitive to fair play. "Everybody likes the sun spot," said Zumbroch of the warm rays shining on one area of the cat room. Hence, the staff rotates the cats, so as to let them all enjoy that privilege.

In terms of other responsibilities, Zumbroch said, "We have a checklist to get them out of their cages daily for exercise and socialization." Other checklists exist for food and medicine.

HOPE has taken in more than 10,000 animals throughout its history. It helps roughly 500 cats and dogs per year, with the capacity to house up to 24 dogs and up to 25-30 cats. The actual number is determined by whether some animals can share cages.

These animals include strays or pets who have been surrendered by families who no longer can care for them. Zumbroch said that HOPE also takes in feral animals, although they typically are given homes at farms.

Donations are welcome for new or used animal toys, collars, leashes, blankets, animal beds, etc. Zumbroch added that cleaning supply donations are also appreciated due to "constant cleaning" needs and several laundry loads per day.

Call HOPE at 906-932-1511 to donate or to inquire about adoptions. The facility is open from 2-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and from 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. But officers in charge of animal control have keys to the facility and can drop animals off in designated areas at any time of day or night.


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