Detroit Lakes Humane Society celebrates new shelter

If you go: What: Humane Society of the Lakes shelter grand opening Where: 19665 U.S. Highway 59 (approximately 2.7 miles north of Detroit Lakes) When: 1-6 p.m. May 3 Related Web sites: Business hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday t...

If you go:

What: Humane Society of the Lakes shelter grand opening

Where: 19665 U.S. Highway 59 (approximately 2.7 miles north of Detroit Lakes)

When: 1-6 p.m. May 3

Related Web sites:


Business hours:

Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday

A group of animal lovers dedicated to helping homeless pets finally has a home of its own.

After nearly 20 years of using foster homes to house stray animals, the Humane Society of the Lakes opened its first shelter north of Detroit Lakes last month.

A grand opening celebration is planned from 1-6 p.m. May 3.

The 4,000-square-foot shelter can house 55 homeless animals, compared to about 20 pets the Humane Society could help at once through foster homes, said president Beth Pridday.

"We've adopted half as many animals in the time we've been open that we did all of last year," she said. "We expected our adoptions to go up, but we just probably never assumed this many so fast. But it's great."


Formerly known as the Becker County Humane Society, the organization began in 1989 "with somebody having a phone in their house and answering it," she said.

A serious push for the shelter began about three years ago. Using foster homes wasn't user-friendly since appointments always had to be made for pet viewings, longtime volunteer Diane Hughes said.

Now, people can stop by the shelter and look at all of the animals at one time, she said.

On Tuesday, the Humane Society of the Lakes' Web site listed 13 dogs/puppies and 19 cats/kittens were available. A litter of nine puppies was recently added to the adoption mix, said shelter director Erica Borsheim.

The new shelter includes cat rooms and dog kennels. A large fenced space in the back allows room for dogs to run. A garage door is also in place that "let's the outdoors in" for dogs when they're inside, Hughes said.

"It's really nice. Nice and airy and light," she said of the new shelter.

The project "has had a lot of visibility" in the community, which has led to its success, Pridday said.

The Humane Society entered a 99-year land lease with Becker County and has raised about $425,000 of its $500,000 goal, she said. The hope is to finish fundraising for the building this year. The group is "always fundraising" to support operating costs, Pridday added.


The shelter has a few paid positions, but primarily relies on volunteers.

Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon called the opening of the new shelter a "great thing." The busy season of stray pets is about to start as people bring animals to lake country "and then just drop them off," he said.

The Humane Society also assists the sheriff's department with neglected and abused animals, Gordon said.

"It's a great organization," he added.

The new shelter will take strays within Becker County and can take some surrendered pets if there is space, Borsheim said. Strays found within city limits go to the city pound.

Pridday said she "couldn't be more thrilled" that the shelter has finally come together.

"May 3 is a big, big day, that's for sure," she said.

Other pet project news


Lucky Dog Boarding and Training Center in Detroit Lakes is in the process of moving to a new home as well, co-owner Linda Livingston-Wiedewitsch said.

The business recently broke ground in the north Industrial Park for a new location that will include a hydrotherapy pool, self-service dog wash, dog parks and fenced space for agility, K-9 and gun dog training.

"If everything stays on track," the new facility will open in September, Livingston-Wiedewitsch said.

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