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Cloquet residents advocate for animal shelter in Carlton County

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CLOQUET, MN -- After being without an animal shelter since 2018, some residents in Cloquet are hoping to get a new shelter service for their city.

There are currently no animal shelters in Carlton County.

Cloquet City Administrator Tim Peterson said since the closure of Friends of Animals, the old shelter, the city has picked up some of its roles, but they have limited resources.

"A lot of times we'll get a call about cats or dogs being loose and sometimes it's difficult to find where they are so we're trying to the best that we can," he said.

The city provides some services for animals in the absence of a shelter, including microchipping, spaying, and neutering.

Their current microchipping program is funded by the city and county, and is meant as a way to both track the animals and get animals off the streets.

"A lot of what we do now is more based on hopefully prevention as well as getting any stray pets back to their owners as quickly and efficiently as we possibly can," Peterson said.

Oftentimes Cloquet will send strays to Animal Allies in Duluth, a shelter that helps provide some of the "shelter-related" services that Cloquet can't.

Nicole Facciotto, Humane Education Manager at Animal Allies says they've been able to help some of the animals out in Cloquet, but they have contracts with cities in southern Saint Louis County they need to fulfill first.

As much as they do for the animals, Facciotto says sometimes they can't help every animal from Carlton County that comes their way.

"When we have the space we are absolutely here to help, but its not as often as we'd like to be," says Facciotto.

She says even with their help, Cloquet should have their own shelter if they can.

"The farther an animal gets from its original location once its lost, the likelihood of it getting reclaimed drops quite a bit," said Facciotto.

Peterson said the city of Cloquet is ready for a new shelter, but they need to find the right candidate.

"It's a need in the community and now we just need an organization that's willing to step up and do that," he said.

You can find more details about what to do if you find a lost or stray animal on Animal Allies' website.

If you want to read more about Cloquet's initiative for a new shelter, you can head to their neighborhood Facebook page.

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Quinn Gorham

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