Shelbi Waters, executive director of the shelter, said the refugee pets all come from the Tulsa Humane Society, which sought help after its shelter was overwhelmed with dogs from the southern United States. Their owners could no longer care for them due to extreme weather conditions and many of the dogs might have been euthanized if they had not been brought to North Dakota to find brand new homes.
Waters, who is originally from Oklahoma, said the Souris Valley Animal Shelter teamed up with the Wadena Humane Society in Wadena, Minnesota, to rehome the dogs. Fourteen dogs were brought to Wadena to be adopted by people in that area. In all, about 40 dogs have been rescued between the two groups, the Minot Daily News reported.
“He is a sweet boy,” said Shannon Cook, who arrived at the shelter to pick up transportee Flash Gordon, a 2-year-old large cattle dog mix she will be fostering. “He’s already eyeing me like I’m going to be his person.”
Cook said she is strongly tempted to adopt Flash Gordon herself.
About half the dogs had already been adopted by the time they arrived in Minot. The new adoptive families saw pictures posted of the dogs on the Souris Valley Animal Shelter’s Facebook page and promptly fell in love. The remaining dogs will be placed in foster homes like Cook’s. Waters said that the Humane Society has a 100 percent return policy for animals that are adopted from the shelter. If a family decides that they are unable to keep a new pet they have adopted, they will be able to return it to the shelter and shelter staff will find the pet a new home.
Cook said that the Souris Valley Animal Shelter provided her with everything she will need to foster a dog like dog treats, a bag of food, water and food bowls, a leash and a collar and a dog crate if she needed one. Flash Gordon tested positive for heart worms but will be placed on medication and will take it easy for a couple of months until he recovers. He will be ready to go to his new home if he ends up being adopted.
Christina Radnich, Powers Lake, adores dogs and decided to volunteer to help the dogs from Tulsa feel at home in Minot while they waited to be picked up by their new foster families or adoptive families.
“We just took the dogs and took turns walking them, loved on them, gave them treats,” she said.
Radnich said some of the dogs from Tulsa were anxious after their long journey and others were hyper and needed to use up their energy.
Waters said many of the dogs that were brought to Minot are breeds that are not always seen in this area or are suited for the colder temperatures of a northern climate.
Staff at the Souris Valley Humane Society, which has been a no-kill shelter for the last couple of years, are pleased to help out and save the lives of the beautiful dogs.
The shelter in Minot is currently undergoing renovation and all of the adoptable pets are in foster homes in the area.
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