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Golden retrievers from 5A’s adapt easily to new Minnesota home


Minnesota Veterans Home, Luverne ... memorial contributions by filling out 5A’s-addressed finely-printed memorial cards at Riverbend funeral homes; 5A’s Resale Shop at 632 Wood River Ave., in Wood River, with hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday ...


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By Jill Moon - jmoon@thetelegraph.com The pair of sister golden retrievers, Thora and Izzie, traveled last October to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Minnesota, in the home’s special events coordinator Duane Mabon’s parents’ vanHis parents, Bryce and Ruth Mabon, drove to 5A’s in Godfrey, Illinois, to pick up the canine companions For The Telegraph Canine sisters, golden retrievers Thora and Izzie, from 5A’s in Godfrey, Illinois, are thriving at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Minnesota, where they are pictured and veterans and staff have embraced the pets for comfort and companionship For The Telegraph More about the Alton Area Animal Aid Association Human Society, better known as 5A’s animal shelterThe no-kill, nonprofit 5A’s animal shelter, located at 4530 NAlby Road in Godfrey, spays, neuters, gives all shots and chips every animal at its expenses before any animal is sent to a new home.“We’re here for the kindness of the Riverbend community,” said 5A’s Board of Directors President Carol Metzler, who volunteers in the position“We are not federal or state funded, especially being non-profit, non-killNot that there’s not been growing pains, but we’re still here because the community cares about animals.”The shelter spays and neuters because a part of its mission is to help get stray dogs and feral cats off the streetsThe shelter does not pick up strays, lost or feral animals, but it takes constant care of the huge number that has come to its doors for approximately 62 years and counting.“We don’t add to the feral populationThey don’t leave us until they have that done — it’s expensive but it’s the right thing to do,” said Metzler, of Godfrey, who works for Paul Lauschke and Associates Real Estate Incin Alton.The nonprofit, founded by Helen and Ray Gibson in 1956 and incorporated with the state of Illinois in 1959, used to be on property where now Mungenast Alton Toyota is locatedGroundbreaking for the current 5A’s location occurred in 2005Executive Director Ric Jun has held the 5A’s position for 12 years.In order to adopt a pet, for which adoption fees go to expenses for the shelter, an interview is required and there is a “get-acquainted room” for potential new familiesThe shelter is always full, goes through 300 pounds of animal food a week and runs two washers and two driers constantly keeping its charges’ bedding clean and freshGodfrey Schnucks hosts a donation box for 5A’s.Jun collects donations throughout the community from Schnucks, individuals, wherever he needs to go.The building, built in 2005, has infrastructure that features a heated floor for winter to keep animals warm, but also to keep animal waste from becoming a frozen ice sheet.The previous 5A’s board, on which Metzler was not involved, searched for an executive director with a business background, such as that of Jun’s in accountingThe shelter is audited quarterly by Alton’s Franklin and Vaughn LLC, formerly Croxford and Co., and at the end of each year by Godfrey’s Hughes and Associates.Donations to 5A’s can be made in several ways, including via memorial contributions by filling out 5A’s-addressed finely-printed memorial cards at Riverbend funeral homes; 5A’s Resale Shop at 632 Wood River Ave., in Wood River, with hours from 10 a.mto 3 p.mTuesday through Saturday; and, 5A’s 62nd birthday party Cattin’ Around with 5A’s to be held April 21, at the Godfrey Knights of Columbus Hall.Because 5A’s is a 501(c)(3) in good standing, donations to the resale shop can be assigned value by the donor and written off.The shelter held its 12th annual Bark in the Park last summer at which 4,000 visitors attended.5A’s hours are 11 a.mto 4 p.mseven days a week.“We take donations anytime,” Jun said.Visit www.fiveas.org for more information. A pair of golden retriever sisters from 5A’s rested on quilts at the Minnesota Veterans Home this week, happy and content at their new home in Luverne, Minnesota, with more than 80 U.Sveterans. “Izzie and Thora have been a wonderful addition to this veterans home and we are so bless to have them here,”said the home’s Volunteer Services Coordinator Duane Mabon, who chatted from the Minnesota Veterans Home via telephone Tuesday with The Telegraph, while Izzie and Thora napped in Mabon’s office“They even had their own Christmas stockings and list and yes, they did receive presents.” The furry family of formerly two, both approximately 6 years old, moved from the Alton Area Animal Aid Association Humane Society, better known as 5A’s animal shelter, in Godfrey, to Luverne to become part of a much larger family at the veterans home, residence to approximately 85 veterans, under the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs. “The dogs have been here now over two months and they act like they have been here for years,” Mabon said“They adjusted very quickly and have such a gentle and loving soul around our residentsI can tell by their interaction and reaction, these dogs give love as much as they receive love from us allThey love the attention from all who work here, live here or visit, especially from the children, who kneel down next to them and rub their bellies.” Mabon recalled that the home’s much-welcomed pets adapted to its underground fence within minutes. ”After a few training sections, the leashes came off and the dogs have been roaming the entire campus on their own,” he said. Even though Izzie and Thora saw and heard other dogs outside, they understand the boundary limits and have not crossed over the veterans home property’s boundaries, Mabon noted. The pair also are faring well in Minnesota’s winter weather. “We now have much snow and they enjoy being outside and playing in it,” Mabon said“It’s fun watching them run and chase each other in the snow, and then tumble over and get snow all over themIt’s so cute.” Mabon reached out to 5A’s Executive Director Ric Jun last fall about adopting the “girls,” as 5A’s staff and leadership referred to the golden retrievers. “We normally don’t ship out dogs, we usually don’t give away dogs, but we did it for these veterans,” Jun said“They saw the ‘girls’ on our siteThey said they always had golden retrievers as its mascot and would we have any interest.” Mabon’s parents, Bryce and Ruth Mabon, picked the canines up at 5A’s in Godfrey, making their way from Waterloo, Iowa, a six hour drive to the Illinois animal shelter at 4530 NAlby Road. Once the Mabons filled out 5A’s required paperwork and picked up the dogs, they pulled out in their van from 5A’s parking lot for another six-hour stint, including an overnight stay with Izzie and Thora, on the road to Luverne. The entire 5A’s staff came outside to say, “‘Bye girls,” as the Mabons drove away. The dogs, surrendered to 5A’s by a family who could not keep them due to a residential move, requested that the pair of females from the same litter stay together when adopted — they’ve been together their whole life. “Ric and the crew there were very generous and knowledgeable; my folks being involved helped avoid expense for the state of Minnesota,” Mabon said. He noted that the Luverne veterans home always had dogs throughout the 24 years since it openedWhen the most-recent resident golden retriever, Lucky, died last year, a search immediately began for a new residential pet for the home’s veterans through Petfinder.com and 5A’s came up in the search. Minnesota Veterans Home, Luverne, one of five under Minnesota’s veterans affairs’ department, always adopts golden retrievers, but Izzie and Thora are the community’s first females. “We started with golden retrieversWe found, for some reason, they respond better to our residents,” Mabon explained“Golden retrievers’ temperament is very calm, patient, and we’ve had a very good response with previous dogs of this breed in relationship with our residents.” Visit www.fiveas.org for more information. .neFileBlock { margin-bottom: 20px; } .neFileBlock p { margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; } .neFileBlock .neFile { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-top: 10px; } .neFileBlock .neCaption { font-size: 85%; } The pair of sister golden retrievers, Thora and Izzie, traveled last October to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Minnesota, in the home’s special events coordinator Duane Mabon’s parents’ vanHis parents, Bryce and Ruth Mabon, drove to 5A’s in Godfrey, Illinois, to pick up the canine companions http://www.thetelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_5As-07-1.jpgThe pair of sister golden retrievers, Thora and Izzie, traveled last October to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Minnesota, in the home’s special events coordinator Duane Mabon’s parents’ vanHis parents, Bryce and Ruth Mabon, drove to 5A’s in Godfrey, Illinois, to pick up the canine companionsFor The Telegraph Canine sisters, golden retrievers Thora and Izzie, from 5A’s in Godfrey, Illinois, are thriving at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Minnesota, where they are pictured and veterans and staff have embraced the pets for comfort and companionship http://www.thetelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_thoraizzie.jpgCanine sisters, golden retrievers Thora and Izzie, from 5A’s in Godfrey, Illinois, are thriving at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Minnesota, where they are pictured and veterans and staff have embraced the pets for comfort and companionshipFor The Telegraph By Jill Moon jmoon@thetelegraph.com More about the Alton Area Animal Aid Association Human Society, better known as 5A’s animal shelter The no-kill, nonprofit 5A’s animal shelter, located at 4530 NAlby Road in Godfrey, spays, neuters, gives all shots and chips every animal at its expenses before any animal is sent to a new home. “We’re here for the kindness of the Riverbend community,” said 5A’s Board of Directors President Carol Metzler, who volunteers in the position“We are not federal or state funded, especially being non-profit, non-killNot that there’s not been growing pains, but we’re still here because the community cares about animals.” The shelter spays and neuters because a part of its mission is to help get stray dogs and feral cats off the streetsThe shelter does not pick up strays, lost or feral animals, but it takes constant care of the huge number that has come to its doors for approximately 62 years and counting. “We don’t add to the feral populationThey don’t leave us until they have that done — it’s expensive but it’s the right thing to do,” said Metzler, of Godfrey, who works for Paul Lauschke and Associates Real Estate Incin Alton. The nonprofit, founded by Helen and Ray Gibson in 1956 and incorporated with the state of Illinois in 1959, used to be on property where now Mungenast Alton Toyota is locatedGroundbreaking for the current 5A’s location occurred in 2005Executive Director Ric Jun has held the 5A’s position for 12 years. In order to adopt a pet, for which adoption fees go to expenses for the shelter, an interview is required and there is a “get-acquainted room” for potential new familiesThe shelter is always full, goes through 300 pounds of animal food a week and runs two washers and two driers constantly keeping its charges’ bedding clean and freshGodfrey Schnucks hosts a donation box for 5A’s. Jun collects donations throughout the community from Schnucks, individuals, wherever he needs to go. The building, built in 2005, has infrastructure that features a heated floor for winter to keep animals warm, but also to keep animal waste from becoming a frozen ice sheet. The previous 5A’s board, on which Metzler was not involved, searched for an executive director with a business background, such as that of Jun’s in accountingThe shelter is audited quarterly by Alton’s Franklin and Vaughn LLC, formerly Croxford and Co., and at the end of each year by Godfrey’s Hughes and Associates. Donations to 5A’s can be made in several ways, including via memorial contributions by filling out 5A’s-addressed finely-printed memorial cards at Riverbend funeral homes; 5A’s Resale Shop at 632 Wood River Ave., in Wood River, with hours from 10 a.mto 3 p.mTuesday through Saturday; and, 5A’s 62nd birthday party Cattin’ Around with 5A’s to be held April 21, at the Godfrey Knights of Columbus Hall. Because 5A’s is a 501(c)(3) in good standing, donations to the resale shop can be assigned value by the donor and written off. The shelter held its 12th annual Bark in the Park last summer at which 4,000 visitors attended. 5A’s hours are 11 a.mto 4 p.mseven days a week. “We take donations anytime,” Jun said. Visit www.fiveas.org for more information. Reach Jill Moon at 618-208-6448 and Twitter @jill_moon. Reach Jill Moon at 618-208-6448 and Twitter @jill_moon. 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