Helping animals is a walk in the park


This Tuesday, July 28, Fargo’s Homeward Animal Shelter will hold its 25th Annual Paws Walk at Lindenwood Park’s Main Shelter, with registration starting at 6 p.m. and the dog walk beginning at 7 p.m.

This family-friendly event will have free food provided by MSUM Catering, a photo booth and music by RetroDisc. For the kids, there’s face-painting and games, including ring-tossing, Giant Jenga and an inflatable bouncy-house courtesy of Games to Go. For the dogs, veterinary students from Globe University will be available to give free nail trimmings.

A minimum $25 donation is required to participate. As a nonprofit establishment, the shelter relies on donations to provide food, veterinary care and other necessities for their animals.

“This is one of our largest fundraisers,” says Heather Klefstad, special events/PR coordinator with Homeward Animal Shelter. “We raised over $42,000 last year, so our goal this year is to raise $45,000. We have plenty of sponsors that are helping out with the event, so if anybody donates $75 or more, our sponsors will be matching those donations, up to $20,000.”

This year, the Event Grand Marshal — that is, the dog that leads the walk — will be a German shepherd named Windsor, chosen by popular vote in an online alumni photo contest. Windsor was adopted from the shelter in July of last year, having been rescued from a neglectful situation. He now lives happily in West Fargo with Jim and Brenda Hagel and three cats.

Despite the fact that it’s primarily an event for dogs, participants do bring other animals to the Paws Walk, and the Grand Marshal could easily have been a cat.

“We’ve had people bring their cats on leashes and in pet strollers, so people are welcome to bring other animals, as long as they know they’re going to be fine around dogs,” Klefstad says. “The runner-up for the Event Grand Marshal was Cecil the cat, so he’ll be second in line at the walk.”

As for Fargo’s unpredictable weather, Klefstad insists the show will go on.

“It’s a rain-or-shine event,” she declares. “So we’ll congregate together in the shelter, and if people are still willing to do the walk in the rain, that’s great. Otherwise we’ll just have some activities going on in the shelter, whatever we can move in there, so we’ll make the best of it if we have to.”

For more information, head to Homeward Animal Shelter’s website.

This article previously appeared in the High Plains Reader.

– Särah Nour

CATS Cradle’s Cat of the Month – and his runners-up

11692800_922734764452084_1224021347114586850_nTwo Fridays ago, CATS Cradle Shelter held its 4th Annual Dogs for Cats Fundraiser at Cashwise on 13th Avenue South, where shelter volunteers grilled hot dogs and provided cold beverages for $2.00. All proceeds went towards improving the quality of care for the shelter’s many cats.

A staple of this fundraiser is the Cat of the Month Voting Booth, which introduces five new shelter cats to the general public. Visitors get free voting tickets once they buy their dogs and beverages, and beyond that, every 25 cents counts as a vote.

This year those cats were Eloise, Bubba, Ginger, Wilbur, and this year’s winner, Rainbow. Rainbow not only gets to be a featured cat at the Forum, but the lucky person who adopts him also gets a gift bag.

A handsome Persian-domestic shorthair mix, Rainbow has often been compared to the black dragon Toothless from the DreamWorks film How to Train Your Dragon. He’s an active and curious boy who likes his time to explore, but also luxuriates in being held and cuddled.


Despite arriving at the shelter sick and starving, Eloise has maintained a sunny disposition. Her gift of gab makes her a great conversationalist, and she’d also be well suited for a home with kittens, as she’s proven to be a good surrogate mother.


Gentle giant Bubba was rescued from a hoarding situation, and he’s since become a caring father figure to his younger roommate, Garfield. He’s mellow, easygoing, and likes time to himself; though he’s certainly receptive to affection and doesn’t mind having his window-gazing time interrupted.


Sweet-faced Ginger is friendly, affectionate, and loves getting cheek rubs and massages. However, she’s also overweight, declawed, and gets sore when she moves around too much, so she’ll need someone who will keep her safely indoors and help her lose weight.


Wilbur is a real charmer: he loves people of all ages and happily greets them at the shelter’s front door. Though he has fun with playtime, he prefers sitting in a warm lap, reading an iPad or gazing out the window.

For more information on these cats, or on future fundraisers, contact CATS Cradle at 701-356-7877 or head to their website at

– Särah Nour

Job opening at Homeward Animal Shelter

help-wantedHomeward Animal Shelter is currently looking for an Animal Care Technician Supervisor to oversee and train working animal care technicians.

Requirements include a minimum of two years supervisory experience and working knowledge of breeds, diseases, medical conditions, and animal handling. Along with caring for the animals and maintaining shelter equipment and supplies, technicians must also provide quality customer service to shelter visitors.

This position will be full-time from Monday to Friday, with occasional evenings and weekends.

Anyone wishing to apply must email a resume and cover letter to No calls please.

– Särah Nour

Twin Cities Humane Society goes high-tech to find missing dogs

04-1-Finding-RoverThanks to the smartphone app Finding Rover, dog owners now stand a better chance at reuniting with missing pets.

The Animal Humane Society in the Twin Cities has recently registered this app and has started uploading photos of the dogs they take in, in the hopes that facial recognition technology can bring them home.

Owners can upload photos of their dogs to Finding Rover’s database at any time. If someone spots a lost dog, they can use the app to take a photo and find a match, thus identifying the dog by name and home address.

CEO and founder of Finding Rover John Polimeno has said, “A dog is a beloved family member, and if he or she goes missing, it can be devastating to everyone involved. We want to do everything we can to safeguard our dogs from being lost forever. Registering a dog on Finding Rover is another step all owners should take to further protect their cherished pet.”

Register your dog with Finding Rover today.

– Särah Nour

Homeward Animal Shelter’s Pet of the Week: Paris the Cat

11201842_1618861928383992_1839159134690346921_nName: Paris
Gender: Female
Size: Medium
Age Range: Adult

This week, Homeward Animal Shelter’s featured pet is Paris, a lovely domestic shorthair who loves nothing more than to bargain for treats with purrs and snuggles. Thanks to her generous sponsors, her adoption fee is half off.

Paris gets along well with dogs, but not so well with fellow cats. If she had to choose, she’d prefer a home with doggy friends she can play with, rather than cats she must compete for attention with. Children are also a no-no. As an AristoCat, she’d prefer to be the pampered princess.

Paris is housetrained, not declawed, and up-to-date on vaccinations. For more information, call Homeward Animal Shelter at 701-239-0077.

– Särah Nour