GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Thousands of residents in the greater Grand Rapids area remain without power and heat as of Friday afternoon. Because of the cold temperatures and extended restoration times, the city of Grand Rapids has set up emergency shelters for residents who lost their power. 

Additionally, the Kent County Animal Shelter is providing free pet boarding service for people who are seeking emergency shelter. The service is only available for residents who are going to stay at one of the four emergency shelters set up by the American Red Cross and city officials. 

RELATED: Hundreds of crews responding to widespread power outages in West Michigan

The four qualifying shelters are at Ottawa Hills High School, Union High School, North Rockford Middle School and the Walker Fire Department.

Reminder for those of you who have lost power and aren't able to stay with a friend or at a hotel: American Red Cross of West Michigan has opened two emergency shelters in Grand Rapids. They're at:...

Once people register at a designated shelter, their animals will be transported to a safe and warm boarding facility. Pets will be kept at the facility over the weekend while their owners stay at the emergency shelter. 

Pet owners are encouraged to bring identification, vaccination records and any medication. Vaccinations will be given to pets whose owners cannot provide a record of vaccines, and dogs will also be licensed before being returned to the owners. These will be done at no cost to the owner. 

“These power outages are unprecedented, and we know that many residents are unwilling to come and seek shelter because of their love for their pets,” said Sara Simmonds Director of Environmental Health at KCHD.

The Kent County Health Department encourages residents to seek other pet boarding options first, because space is limited at the emergency animal shelters.  

“We encourage residents to seek shelter first with friends and family, to consider hotels, and then look to these four local shelters,” said Kent County Emergency Manager Lou Hunt. “We do not want anyone to risk their safety for the love of their pets."

Consumers Energy has been working round the clock to restore power. They said Friday that they expect the majority of customers to have power back on Sunday and some of the restoration will go into Monday. 

Check the Consumers Energy outage map here

►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.