Increase in pets being relinquished to shelters in North Dakota

Pets at Central Dakota Humane Society
Pets at Central Dakota Humane Society(KFYR)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - With inflation increasing the cost of owning a pet, animal shelters and rescues in North Dakota are seeing a jump in pets being given up or abandoned. Central Dakota Humane Society is just one of the agencies reporting a higher number of pets to care for this summer.

Every day, Central Dakota Humane Society gets 10-20 phone calls, emails, and messages asking them to take in stray animals they found or to take in pets people own.

“Really, so here at CDHS and across North Dakota, there’s been a huge uptick in stray animals, and people wanting to relinquish their pets, it’s really been a huge problem in the state this year,” said Cameo Skager, communications development director of the Central Dakota Humane Society.

Cameo Skager says there could be multiple reasons for the pet influx this year.

“Could be a COVID kickback, some people that got pets during COVID now can’t care for them going back to work. Something we consider you might not want to hear about, but the fact that our winters have been very mild and there might not have been some die-off of stray animals, and now those animals survive the winter and they re-produce, and that causes more unwanted stray animals,” said Skager.

Even though they’re inundated with help requests, they still need to fund and run other programs that help animals, like Buddies Bowl, and they appreciate donations, like from Gabriel Raab.

“Because I just think every pet needs care and homes, so that’s why I donate here and I have a cat at home, and he loves me, and I love him, so that’s why I like to donate to dogs and cats,” said Raab.

Spots at the Humane Society fill and free up every day.

“Very difficult for us because we have a limited space here, and so when we’re full, we’re full, and we can’t really overfill because what that does is it compromises the health and the wellness of the animals in our care,” said Skager.

For the pets they can’t take in, they give out the names of other rescues and give out other resources like Facebook pages where you can re-home your pet.

The Humane Society also reminds residents it’s imperative to spay and neuter pets to better help alleviate the number of strays. They also give out $50 spay and neuter coupons to help with costs.

The Humane Society always has volunteer opportunities like dogs to walk, cats to socialize with, and lawn work, and appreciates anyone’s time.

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