Contented Critters Continues Despite Loss of Founder
After Nearly Four Decades, Founder Faye Walters Passed Away in April; Friends Rally to Continue Legacy
MAKINEN, Minn. – In this week’s Animal Answers we took a trip to the Iron Range to a place looking to cater to Contented Critters.
After a devastating loss just months ago, one woman’s life is now helping to create an ongoing legacy.
Animal shelters are common commodities in cities across the Northland.
Along Highway 16 in Makinen, Minnesota, you’ll find Christine Luukkonen and her contented critters.
“Kids and critters are my thing. Visitors like having me tell them no, this isn’t the dog for you,” said Luukkonen.
Faye and Walter Peters broke ground on the land nearly 35 years ago.
At the age of 46, Christine decided it was time to go back to college after starting a family young.
“I had to do a community service project and write a paper on it,” said Christine.
Taking classes at Hibbing Community College, she contacted Contented Critters. That’s when she met Walter and Miss Faye.
“Walter would drive truck and make enough money to keep the shelter going,” said Christine.
For years the family run rescue shelter has operated solely on donations and funds being raised.
“We take dogs, we take cats, we’ve got a crippled pony,” said Christine.
Taking in any furry friends that come their way.
This year on April 18, sadness struck the shelter.
“I miss her every day,” said Christine.
Miss Faye, passing after surgical complications.
“Here’s this old woman dying and she grabs me by the arm and her strength surprised me. She said, take care of my babies for me. Here she’s dying and all she cared about was this place and her animals,” said Christine.
Seventy years of loving animals, lost; but not without legacy moving forward.
“She was kind of like another mother to me after my mom passed away ten years ago,” said Jim Truman, President of Contented Critters.
For Jim, Contented Critters will never be the same after the loss of his hero.
“Her and I, we used to argue back and forth like cats and dogs,” said Truman.
Jim and Chris do hope, however, they can continue to carry on what Miss Faye wanted most in her world.
“As long as these old pegs can carry me around, I’ll take care of the babies,” said Christine.
Contented Critters takes in many animals set to be euthanized.
In the future, organizers and volunteers plan to use donations and funds to build a new structure for the dogs.
Right now the dogs rest in temporary houses packed with hay, and spend much of their time outdoors.
If you would like to learn more or donated to Contented Critters, click here.