ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – Remarkable Women of the Upper Peninsula finalist Susan Gartland has been the director of the Delta Animal Shelter since 2011.

This came after Delta County closed the shelter that same year. A group of community members, including Gartland, played a crucial role in turning the shelter into a non-profit organization.

“[The Delta County Animal Shelter] really turned into a shelter that was a high kill shelter and we turned it into, we committed to the no-kill philosophy. We gave every animal a chance. We publicized the animals, we publicized the stories and Delta County is such a great community and they rallied behind our dream and it just flourished from there,” said Gartland.

Gartland said the women behind the shelter work together to accomplish their mission of saving animals and finding them homes.

“There are so many remarkable women here. We’re an organization of about 80 volunteers strong. So have a lot of people who fill a lot of special needs in this organization. And yes, I really think this award should be passed on and be a group award instead of an individual award. Really we’re a strong team and we’re strong because of each other.”

One of those women is shelter volunteer Barb Snyder, and she’s the woman who nominated Gartland for this award.

“She’s done a remarkable job. It’s a big job and she’s taken us from a little tiny building to this very nice building,” said Snyder. “She’s seen us through some difficult times and has encouraged us and has made things work. The shelter is a wonderful asset to the community and to all the animals that come through. She’s a very remarkable woman and I think I’m going to cry.”

Susan Gartland’s passion and dedication to the Delta Animal Shelter is just one of many reasons that makes her a remarkable woman.

“My job means everything to me. It’s almost not like a job. I believe you have to be passionate about what you do and I’m from a very philanthropic family, so my parents instilled in me that you have to be able to give back. I feel in this role able to give back to the animals in need and also working with people sometimes it can be so hard to surrender an animal.

“Just being there and being there to help people through sometimes difficult things and then also being able to help people add a family member, a furry family member. This job is so rewarding. It’s seven days a week the animals don’t take weekends or holidays off. I’m just so proud of what this team has accomplished and everyone here is so passionate about our mission to save the animals,” said Gartland.

To learn more about the Delta Animal Shelter or to donate, please visit

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