DETROIT LAKES — A Becker County Sheriff hit the siren to signal a van traveling on County Highway 29 to pull to the side of the road on May 6 around 8:40 p.m. The officer found an intoxicated 37-year-old man with no known address. There was also a Chinese goose in the van.
Marshmallow Animal Shelter Manager Cassi Ohman explained police departments that contract with the local pound are provided keys to the building. That way, officers can provide shelter to animals they come into contact with, even when it is outside of regular hours at the pound.
“The mornings can be a little bit of a surprise sometimes,” Ohman said, adding such was the case when staff at the pound arrived to find Goosey Goose.
Goosey Goose was named by the officer that brought the bird to the pound. Goosey Goose arrived in a makeshift cage that resembled a fish cage. Ohman noted she does not know if the goose was riding free in the van and placed in the cage for transport in a squad car, or if the goose was already in the cage.
The staff at the pound texted Ohman after arriving at work and finding Goosey Goose greeting them with a few squawks and hisses. They asked Ohman for advice on how to proceed with caring for the non-traditional pet. Ohman said research is often the first task to tackle when looking after an unusual pet to determine food and needs. Ohman said they were able to offer Goosey Goose an enclosed outdoor shelter area with a plastic pool during the day hours, and in the evening, an isolation area inside the shelter.
Ohman noted this isn’t the shelter’s first rodeo with non-traditional animals. They’ve helped rabbits, a horse, a goat, chicken, budgie and a bearded dragon in the past, in addition to dogs and cats.
When non-traditional pets arrive at the shelter, Ohman said the owners are first in line to get their pet back. If the owner declines, or can not be located, sanctuaries are an option, as are members of the abundant and local animal loving network. Ohman said the owner of the goose had been contacted and planned to claim his pet.
While Goosey Goose may soon be back with its owner, there are many dogs and cats up for adoption. Ohman said the dog section is almost full. With a capacity of 25, they have 20 waiting for adoption. With cats, she said they are between 50-60 and would hit capacity at 75. A list of adoptable pets can be found on the Marshmallow Animal Shelter website,
The pound is also looking for foster homes for pets, as well as volunteers to spend time with the animals.