Adoptable Pet Profile: Critter at Homeward Animal Shelter

29573824_426x640Name: Critter
Gender: Male
Size: Small
Age Range: Young

During the time I’ve spent walking dogs at Homeward Animal Shelter, among the wonderful dogs I’ve met is ten-month-old Critter, a feisty and playful little rat terrier who loves nothing more than to explore his surroundings and play fetch—though he tends to be stubborn about giving the toy back once he’s retrieved it. He’s housetrained, vaccinated, and good with cats and other dogs. However, he’s shy around children, and would prefer to go to a home without them.

The rat terrier, as its name suggests, was bred to hunt rodents and generally keep farms free of vermin, both above and below ground. In fact, President Theodore Roosevelt is rumored to have given the breed its name after his own terrier had solved the White House’s rat problem.

As a result of being bred for this purpose, rat terriers are small, quick, light on their feet, and have a high prey drive. They should not be brought into homes with small animals, like rabbits or hamsters, and should always be leashed when they’re outdoors. Even the best-behaved dog will forget their training to chase after a squirrel. In case they give in to that impulse, microchipping is highly recommended.29573825_411x640

Despite being a small breed, rat terriers are inherently farm dogs; thus apartment life would be detrimental to their lively disposition. They need space to run around, as well as owners who can devote their time and energy to providing both physical and mental stimulation; otherwise all that pent-up energy could become destructive.

This breed also has a high-pitched bark, so unless you live out in the country, bear in mind you may get complaints from neighbors about the noise they make. Research any noise regulations in your area before introducing a rat terrier into your home. Also note that they can be wary around strangers, though are friendly once they get to know someone.

Even with a fenced yard, rat terriers live up to their reputation as a “Houdini hound,” meaning they’re quite the escape artists. Make sure that your fence is five or six feet tall, as the breed is known to jump high. Also ensure that it’s deep in the ground, because chances are they’ll try to dig their way out.

Speaking of which: terriers of all kinds have a natural compulsion for digging. Instead of discouraging this trait, try giving your dog a designated area in your yard to dig all they want. As long as they know that spot is theirs, they’ll learn to leave the rest of the yard alone.

Critter may be stubborn and rather mischievous, but he’s a sweetheart with a lot of love to give, and would make an excellent jogging companion. For more information on adopting him or other available dogs, call Homeward Animal Shelter at 701-239-0077.

-Särah Nour

Missing Posters at Homeward Animal Shelter (click to enlarge)



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Last microchip clinic of the year to be held Saturday

11880542_1637193156550869_1994391741956737441_nHomeward Animal Shelter’s last microchip clinic of the year will be held this Saturday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. These clinics are held on a first-come, first-serve basis, so no appointments are necessary. All pets brought to the shelter should be on leashes or in carriers.

While it does not replace collars and tags, microchipping is a permanent form of identification that greatly increases the chances of being reunited with a lost pet. A cat or dog can have their microchip scanned and their owner’s address and contact information looked up on

The procedure is safe, easy, affordable, and no more painful than an inoculation. Side effects are rarely reported.

The next microchip clinics will be in spring of 2016.

-Särah Nour

Animal rights volunteers needed at StreetsAlive!

Fargo-Moorhead Animal Rights at StreetsAlive!

August 30th
11:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Davy Memorial Park
700 1st Avenue North
Moorhead, MN 56560


This Sunday the 30th, StreetsAlive! will return to Downtown Fargo and Moorhead, with vendors, live music, activities, food, and entertainment for the whole family.

Among the vendors will be members of Fargo-Moorhead Animal Rights (FMAR), who will give out samples of vegan food and drink to promote the upcoming VegFest in October, as well as brochures to educate the public about the vegan diet and lifestyle.

Table setup will begin at 11:30 AM near the parking lot at Usher’s. The table will shut down around 5:00 PM.

If interested in volunteering, either head to FMAR’s Facebook page or register an account with Meetup and contact organizer Kathleen Keene.

– Särah Nour


Find the Diamond in the Ruff at these local rummage sales

Z4J-yNYMThursday, August 27
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Friday, August 28
12:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Saturday, August 29
7:30 AM – 3:00 PM

1421 16th Avenue East
West Fargo, ND 58078

This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, local animal rescue Diamond in the Ruff will host rummage sales, with all proceeds going toward continuing their work in sheltering, fostering, and rehoming abandoned animals.

This volunteer-run organization was founded by Amy Dusek, who was inspired by her pit bull, Izzy, not only to rescue animals but to educate the public about breed discrimination and responsible pet ownership. Since Izzy was adopted in July 2012, Dusek has worked to debunk the fears and misconceptions surrounding the pit bull breed, and even brings Izzy with her to public engagements.

Diamond in the Ruff depends on donations and an extensive animal welfare network, working closely with Two Rivers Veterinary Hospital, South Bark, and other local businesses.

For more information, head to

– Särah Nour