The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

HOPE Animal Shelter celebrates 25 years by looking to future


Larry Holcombe/Daily Globe

Ellie, a domestic short hair kitten, waits for its new owner to come picker her up at the HOPE Animal Shelter in Ironwood Friday afternoon. The Help Orphaned Pets Everywhere shelter is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The staff sees an average of 500 animals - cats and dogs - a year.

IRONWOOD - HOPE Animal Shelter is celebrating its 25th anniversary by looking forward.

Randy Kirchhoff, director of the Help Orphaned Pets Everywhere shelter located in the Ironwood Industrial Park, said, "We have all sorts of things planned for the coming year, including fundraisers. We'll be at Festival Ironwood with a food booth. We'll be at both the Gogebic and Iron County fairs."

More immediately, the shelter just moved back into the eastern half of its 2,800-square foot building this week after some renovations the week before.

There's a new epoxy non-skid floor and new baseboards throughout the facility's cat room, office, bath room and storage areas. The bathroom and office got a fresh coat of paint and other spaces will soon, as well.

Kirchhoff said the western portion of the building - the dog room - got a new floor covering four years ago.

He said they plan to install central air conditioning this year, "replacing open windows and window units."

HOPE is a non-profit shelter for lost, stray and abandoned animals serving the Gogebic Range since 1992. There is a board of directors and budget runs mainly on donations, fundraisers and grants, said Kirchhoff.

Kirchhoff said they have room for 30 cats and 24 dogs. On Friday afternoon, they had 12 of each, including Ellie, a small, grey kitten who had been claimed and was scheduled to picked up later that day. She was one of four kittens that came in together and the other three were already adopted.

Kirchhoff said they see an average of 500 animals a year.

Kirchhoff has been with HOPE since 2000, and its director for 10 years. He credits the staff and volunteers for making the place run.

"We're open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day," he said.


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