SaltWire Network


Wagner says people came out of the woodwork to help Mojo, and Mojo never gave up. Adopted by the Wagners, Mojo became a huge part of the shelter. “He became the face, helping to raise money for the shelter and give back to the other animals,” Wagner says. “People gave so much for him. It was a way for him to give back to other animals that needed help.” Mojo’s Facebook page – Hope for Mojo – has more than 50,000 followers worldwide and continues to be an avenue to raise funds for the society. “It’s about helping animals, but you always have to have that dollar sign in the back of your head, so these little fundraisers like the dog jog, that to us is awesome.” As for Mojo, he’s basically a couch potato, says Wagner. “He never regrew all of his fur. Only half came back in because his skin was damaged. We have to watch his skin so he doesn’t sunburn in the summer and freeze in the winter. He doesn’t like being outside. He’d rather be in his chair, the couch or the bed covered with his blanket, which if we don’t do, he reminds us it has to be done. He’s very spoiled.” Mojo is also very welcoming to the other animals the Wagners care for at the shelter and in their home. “He’s definitely something. If you ever think of giving up, Mojo never gave up. He just kept going and now look the difference he has made in the world. To me, it’s like an inspiration to what you can do throughout the fight and keep going,” says Wagner. At any given time, there are upwards of approximately 20 cats and dogs in the care of the Baie Ste. Marie Animal Society. “We have seven dogs here, special case dogs that can’t go where kids, cats, or an elderly person are because they are either hyper or high energy. We need to make sure they go to the right place. Being a harder-to-place animal, you have them in your shelter longer,” Wagner says. As for cats, the society is currently caring for 15 felines, including six feral cats who stay at the shelter permanently. “When you rescue an animal, you never know what you’re getting. We found over the years a feral cat is always hard to place,” says Wagner, noting the society has to be able to provide year-round care for the animals. Wagner would like to see more education on animal welfare, saying people need to be educated on the breed of dog they’re getting to make sure it’s compatible for the home. “I think a lot of times when we get calls for dogs, it’s because the dog is not compatible with the way they live. Often, we make sure it’s compatible and have a trial period so for those first two weeks. If it’s really not working out, that dog or cat comes back to us. We want to make sure it’s a fit for the people and the animals and if not, they come back.” It varies every year how many animals are helped by the Baie Ste. Marie Animal Society – Wagner estimated it’s anywhere from 50 to 100. “COVID has slowed how many animals we could take in because we don’t have the dollars,” says Wagner. “You always have to have that flow of money coming in. Vet costs is one of the major things.”