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      No-kill, no problem, for local animal shelters

      No-kill animal shelters was Monday's Facebook Story of the Day. What are they and how does staff maintain that policy? The staff at these shelters prefer the term "no time-limit" shelter. That's because on a very rare occasion, an animal that suffers could be put down. But shelters around here don't euthanize due to lack of space.

      Staff at the Alger County Animal Shelter say they can count on two paws just how many four-legged friends they have.

      "Yeah, we have a shortage of dogs," said Manager Kathy Glish. "We want more than just one dog; I want people to see a lot of different dogs."

      It's one of the reasons they say overcrowding is not a concern, and the animals' stay doesn't have an expiration date.

      "We'll keep a cat or dog here for as long as it takes for them to find a forever home," Glish said.

      Even if that means months or years. It's even harder at UPAWS in Marquette where they have at least 50 more mouths to feed. But it's not an option to turn away or euthanize an animal due to lack of space, and to stay that way, they need all the community help they can get.

      On Facebook, Ry Lucas asked, "Don't they sometimes find foster homes for pets or transfer animals to other organizations?"

      The answer is yes.

      "We have promotions, we have fundraisers, we have off-site adoptions," said UPAWS Manager Lareina VanStrien. "When we see our numbers start to go up, we're out there really just supporting these animals and supporting their fight to find a good home."

      UPAWS relies on the community, everyday staff, and a number of volunteers to keep the dogs alive and well for as long as it takes.

      "That's what the animals deserve, and it works because that's what the community wants to support," VanStrien said. "They want to see every animal that is homeless find a home, and that's what we're here for, and that's what we want to provide the community with."

      The shelters also offer owner-request euthanasia if an animal is suffering from old age or medical issues.