Wags, Whiskers & Wine: Homeward Animal Shelter’s 6th Annual Fundraiser

Wags, Whiskers & Wine
Thursday, October 22
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

North Dakota State University
Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center

1241 N University Dr
Fargo, ND 58102

Next Thursday, for the sixth year in a row, NDSU’s Alumni Center will host Wags, Whiskers & Wine, an annual fundraiser for the Homeward Animal Shelter. This includes wine tasting, local cuisine, auctions, and a live jazz band, with all proceeds going towards providing services for shelter animals, such as vaccinations, spaying and neutering, leashes, food, and toys.

According to Special Events / PR Coordinator Heather Klefstad, the event begins at 6:00 PM and goes on until 9:00 PM, with KFGO radio host Mike McFeely serving as emcee.

“There will be wine-tasting by Happy Harry’s Bottle Shop—they’re our prime sponsor,” she said. “And we’ll have a number of different food vendors. Just to name a few, there’s Breadsmith, Santa Lucia’s, Rhombus Guys, Fantasies in Frosting… You can come and have wine, have great food, and there’s a silent auction and a live auction as well.”

Prior to the live auction, a video will be played featuring the shelter animals, their names, and the dates they were rescued. Slideshows will continue to play throughout the evening, as a means of showing patrons where their donations are going, while the jazz band provides background music.

“It’s a pretty laid-back, casual event,” Klefstad said. “Some of us from the shelter will periodically talk throughout the night, but we let people mingle around and enjoy themselves and bid on the items.”

The live auction begins at 7:15 PM, with a vintage baseball signed by Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, and Ken Hunt as its featured item. This baseball is currently displayed at the Roger Maris Museum at the West Acres Shopping Center.

“There’s a lot of different items that are going to be in the live auction. We’ve got a six-night stay in a Florida vacation home, a couple guided fishing tours, and some great art pieces. And for the silent auction, there’s baskets with everything ranging from sporting tickets to baked goods to artwork again.”

Though the funds come primarily from ticket sales and auction items, patrons are free to make extra donations when they check out that evening. A giving tree will be set up, with a list of amounts going towards specific items needed at the shelter, along with general monetary donations.

“It’s just a lot of fun, it’s a great time,” Klefsted said. “And most importantly, it all goes back to the shelter animals.”

To reserve tickets, call 701-364-9013. For more information, head to homewardonline.org.

This article previously appeared in the High Plains Reader.

-Särah Nour

Adoptable Pet Profile: Chiquita at Homeward Animal Shelter

Gender: Female
Size: Small
Age Range: Adult

Homeward Animal Shelter has a unique beauty in Chiquita, a sweet and playful Pekingese mix with all the bearings of a queen. Though she would prefer a quiet home with an owner she can sit side-by-side with, she fully expects to be spoiled—not surprising, since the Pekingese breed was considered sacred in imperial China. Only members of the royal family were allowed to keep them, and people of lower ranks were expected to bow in their presence.

Characteristic of its lineage, the Pekingese is a proud, stubborn dog that can be a challenge to train. They are affectionate with those they know well, but are wary of strangers and have little tolerance for small children. These qualities make them good watchdogs, as they don’t let their small size get in the way of guarding their owners and their territory.

In addition to being royalty, Chiquita is an albino. This means her body is unable to produce melanin, the natural substance that gives color to eyes, skin, and fur. Her white coat and pale blue eyes are the result of this enzyme deficiency, while her pinkish nose and eye sockets are caused by diffused blood flow to those areas.

In addition to producing color, melanin protects the skin from the sun, helps the body fight off infection, and allows eyes to process and filter light. As such, albino dogs more vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer, and will squint in sunlight due to increased sensitivity. Since development of pigment is also linked to retina and ear structures, albino dogs are often afflicted with deafness or blindness.29745936_500x375

Thankfully, Chiquita does not exhibit any signs of being blind or deaf—at least not yet. Whoever adopts her will have to be prepared for the possibility that she may someday develop those disorders, and be willing and able to accommodate her.

For more information on Chiquita and other adoptable dogs, call Homeward Animal Shelter at 701-239-0077.

-Särah Nour

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 petmicrochiplookup.org.

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