Community Donations Help CHUM Offer Vital Services to Homeless Pets

CHUM Works Directly with Dougherty Veterinary Clinics in Duluth to Provide Much Needed Services to Homeless Pets

DULUTH, Minn. – Dougherty Veterinary Clinics in is helping make a big impact in Duluth.

Officials with CHUM have announced an ongoing partnership with the local clinic to help secure shots and other medical treatments for homeless animals in the region.

This week’s Animal Answers introduces us to the woman behind the mission in progress along with a Duluth resident now living her life with gratitude and thanks to local services and support.

“The joke is, if you have a dog Deb works harder!”

For Duluthian Deb Holman, helping homeless folks and their pets is a top priority.

“There was just one point where I started taking them home and then CHUM ended up being supportive of that,” said Holman.

Holman serves as Street Outreach with CHUM. It’s a title with many tails attached.

“It ebbs and flows so I think over the course of time CHUM has assisted over 80 pets,” said Holman.

CHUM works to provide food, shelter, dignity and hope to those in the community dealing with tough times.

“We always are trying to lower barriers to shelters in the City of Duluth,” said Holman.

She’s advocating throughout the Duluth area to break barriers for people with pets in search of affordable housing options.

“When the funds aren’t there I find the people in the community will step up and pitch in to help a pet,” said Holman.

Politics aside, Holman spends countless hours simply making sure her fellow friends are taken care of whether they have two legs or four.

“Louis is the biggest lover boy ever,” said former Duluth homeless resident Lisa Hartwig.

Hartwig’s dog, Louis, has a long running love for Holman.

“I think he sometimes loves her more than me! I get a little jealous at times,” said Hartwig.

Hartwig hasn’t always lucked out in life. When times were tough, she decided it wasn’t right to keep her fur baby housed with her inside their van.

“Becoming homeless could happen to anybody. I had a good job, had everything going and just one day, stuff happens,” said Hartwig.

Both Holman and Hartwig are now looking to raise awareness of the importance pet foster parents play in our region.

“Giving up your pet, that’s like giving up your child,” said Hartwig.

But it was a temporary sacrifice Hartwig was willing to pay in order to make for a brighter future.

“It was so sad when he was gone, I was so lonely. I was so lonely,” said Hartwig.

After a brief stint with pet foster care, Hartwig is now stable with housing secured, and her dog Louis back where he belongs.

“People always say, “Well I can’t foster a dog it’s too hard,” but when you know they’re going back to a good situation, I’ve found it’s easy to let them go, it’s just like you’re helping out for the time being,” said Holman.

CHUM is only able to house one or two pets at their main shelter which is why the need for more foster families in the region is so critical.

Donations of leashes, collars, food and money are always accepted and greatly appreciated.

If you’d like to donate to CHUM, click here.

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