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Wine and dine for the animals

Estherville Animal Shelter is a no-kill, family run shelter.

Estherville Animal Shelter is a no-kill, family run shelter. Submitted Photo

— Animals end up at Estherville Animal Shelter from private homes or rescue organizations. Gurren’s daughter, Tracy Palmateer, handles acquisitions.

“I believe that we all are survivors and animals are survivors as much as we are and they all should have a chance,” said Palmateer. “I work with a lot of different rescue organizations and different dog wardens as well that don’t have places to bring the animals.”

Palmateer usually finds full-grown animals, which are harder to adopt out because most people are looking for puppies and kittens. One dog lived at Estherville Animal Shelter for five years before it found a home.

When baby animals do find their way to the shelter, they go fast. Recently, Gurren’s granddaughter found five kittens abandoned in a storm drain and they all found homes quickly.

“Our mission is to take care of these animals that nobody wants. There are peple out there that want them. They all have a sad story; a family had to move, somebody died, things we’ve heard over and over for the past 50 years,” said Gurren.

The shelter has three separate buildings for cats depending on their health status and none of the cats are kept in cages, so they’re free to socialize with other felines or hang out in an enclosed outdoor pen.

Dogs have indoor and outdoor space and since the shelter sits on 50 acres of land, often go on walks or swim in the nearby stream.

There’s also a thrift store on site with all proceeds going directly to the animals.

The shelter employs five people and has a large volunteer base to walk dogs.

Palmateer’s daughters, 12 and 16, help out regularly, doing everything from feeding to training.

“My kids grew up in it since they were born, they started coming to work with me,” said Palmateer. “Animals have always been a part of our life.”

Adoptapalooza is from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept 18. Saratoga Winery is at 462 Route 29 West in Saratoga Springs.

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