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Newaygo artist and volunteer uses her creativity to get dogs adopted

Before you fall in love with one of these pups, please note that all dogs shown have found their forever homes.
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Posted at 7:17 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 19:45:39-05

WHITE CLOUD, Mich. — Lisa Portenga is on a mission to show the public that shelter dogs are the best dogs.

Portenga has volunteered for animal shelters since 2008 and has been a volunteer with the Newaygo County Animal Shelter since 2015.

At NCAS she is known for her creative dog posters.

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Her posters are designed to capture the attention of potential adopters by highlighting the uniqueness of each dog. To do this, she spends time considering the breed, age, description and simply staring at the photos of each dog.

Recently Portenga created 3 dog posters in a single day and each dog was adopted within 2 hours of the release of their poster. She has created over 250 posters since 2015.

Danielle Maike, manager of the Newaygo County Animal Shelter, credits volunteers with helping the shelter run smoothly. “Our shelter volunteer program is very important for our day-to-day operation. Our volunteers dedicate their time to our animals each and every day. Lisa is known for her creative and quirky dog profile posts, and I believe that truly does grab the attention of people and gets animals adopted quickly.”

Volunteers with the shelter have a wide range of responsibilities including marketing, socializing the dogs and cats, cleaning the facility, transporting the pets, and occasionally fostering them until a forever home is found.

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Portenga lives in Newaygo with her husband and rescue German Shepherd, Penny.

Her love for rescue pets and volunteer work has been passed on to her two daughters and three grandchildren. "Just recently, my 13-year-old granddaughter did her own GoFundMe page to Newaygo County Animal Shelter and she raised $325 in a week. To me this is my legacy I’m passing down to them and they will all have a special place in their lives for rescue animals. Second-class dogs make first place pets in our eyes."

Lisa Portenga and her rescue dog Penny

Portenga’s work certainly seems to be paying off as there are currently zero dogs available at the NCAS. She warns that will not last long! While Portenga focuses on dogs, another volunteer focuses on available cats.

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You can see more of Portenga’s work on the NCAS Facebook page here. If you are interested in learning more about a particular animal, you can call the shelter at 231-689-1867.