ALLEGAN, Mich. — An Allegan County shelter that needs to clear out all its animals to complete state-mandated repairs is close to its goal after local boarding facilities and foster applicants stepped up. 

"We had about 45 dogs and over 100 cats that needed to go to foster care," said Kate Rouster, a dog assessor at the Allegan County Animal Shelter. 

The shelter is starting repairs on its flooring and ventilation system on Jan. 21 that will take at least four weeks to complete. All the animals need to be out two days earlier. 

"Without a doubt, we knew we had to step in and help them out," said Michelle Farris, who owns the Camp Critter Country boarding and grooming facility in Columbia Township. 

Farris and her staff offered to board around a dozen dogs and a handful of cats. They will also take in animals that would go to the shelter throughout the renovation. 

"If someone finds a dog, that dog would go to a vet...[then] we would be taking in that dog," Farris said. "They're also doing adoptions during this time, so some could leave, but we dedicated a whole building to them."

Camp Critter Country is one of two boarding facilities assisting ACAS as it undergoes the repairs. The remainder of the animals need to be fostered, and applications are surging, Rouster said. 

"We have received over 100 applications and about two-thirds of them have been approved," she said. "We also had so many more adoptions occur because of what's happening." 

The shelter has around 17 dogs and 30-35 cats that still need temporary or permanent homes. Several people are scheduled for appointments over the next three days. 

"We're confident with fosters and boarding that we will have spots for all the animals to go," Rouster said. "The community has been great."

The final deadline to clear the shelter is Jan. 19. For more information, visit the Allegan County Animal Shelter website

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