Village Inn Pie Cards: Order pie, help cats!

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Birthday weekend at Homeward Animal Shelter

If you’re looking to adopt a cat, this weekend will be a good time to do so.

Melanie Dinham, a local supporter of Homeward Animal Shelter, will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow, Nov. 7th. Rather than receive gifts for herself, she wishes to help shelter cats find loving, permanent homes.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Dinham and her husband Jason will be sponsoring a sizeable portion of adoption fees for all cats 6 months and older. For younger cats, the shelter will hold a “Kittenpalooza” on Saturday and Sunday, which will also provide adoption fee and spay/neuter discounts.

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

- Särah Nour

Helping dogs at the Holiday Inn

On Nov. 8, starting at 7 p.m., the Holiday Inn in Fargo will host the 6th Annual Silent Auction and Gala benefitting the canines of 4 Luv of Dog Rescue. This event will feature a cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and DJ B-Rock from Renegade Sound & Light.

This year’s gala coordinator is Jill Nona, who serves on 4 Luv of Dog Rescue’s Board of Directors. She’s also a paralegal at Vogel Law Firm, a member of the Red River Valley Paralegal Association, and an alum of Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Auction items will include 86×86-inch quilts handcrafted by Maggie Heinle of Tower City Quilters, a small, dedicated group based in the rural community of Tower City, N.D. Accepted means of payment are cash, check and PayPal. Participants do not need to be present to win. If a winner leaves before the 10 p.m. drawing, they’ll be able to claim their prize on a later date.

Admission to this event is a free will donation, as 4 Luv of Dog Rescue is a volunteer-run, nonprofit organization that relies on grants, fundraising and generous contributions. In addition to money, donated items such as dog food, crates, beds, collars and leashes would be appreciated.

Though they have no shelter facility, this organization has rescued and rehomed hundreds of dogs and established a network of foster homes and boarding facilities where they can await adoption. 4 Luv of Dog Rescue does not discriminate based on breed, age or special needs.

For more information on this event or volunteer opportunities head to their website at

This article previously appeared in the High Plains Reader.

- Särah Nour

Homeward Animal Shelter Adoption Event

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If you can’t adopt, foster!

In the Fargo-Moorhead area, there are many ways to help shelter animals: spreading awareness, donating money or items, walking dogs or giving cats a lap to sit on. And for those who wish to help overcrowded shelters, save animals from being euthanized, or give special-needs pets some extra attention, Homeward Animal Shelter and CATS Cradle Shelter both offer opportunities to become foster parents.

Foster parents provide temporary homes to cats and dogs who require more individual attention, or are easily stressed out in a shelter environment. Animals under eight weeks old are too young to be adopted, and may be vulnerable to diseases commonly found in shelters; thus they need caretakers who can raise and bottle-feed them until they’re old enough, or who can take in nursing mothers.

Amber Fredericks, a local CATS Cradle foster parent, currently fosters six kittens. In addition to feeding, sheltering, and taking them to the vet, her priority is to socialize them so they’re more likely to be adopted.

“The batch of kittens I have now didn’t have a lot of human contact,” she explains, “so I am working extra hard to get these little guys used to humans. I try to go into their room every hour or two and pick each one up for some extra love.”

Some cats and dogs remain in their foster homes until they’re adopted; others just stay for a predetermined time. If an animal is taken in because they’re sick or injured, they often go back to the shelter once they’re healthy again. In any case, if the foster parent is no longer able to keep them, they can always contact the shelter and arrange to bring them back.

“I would love to keep them all until they are adopted,” Fredericks admits, “but they will go back to CATS Cradle when they are old enough and healthy enough to be around all the other cats.”

Of course, there’s always the chance that someone will fall in love and adopt their foster pet, which is a common occurrence. The shelter should be immediately notified if the foster parent decides to adopt, so they can remove the animal from the available pets list.

“I have thought about keeping one of them,” Fredericks says, “because he’s so shy and sadly that means he is less likely to be adopted.  I am working extra hard with him so he can have the opportunity to find a forever home.  I would love to keep all the kitties, but the most important thing is that I keep fostering. CATS Cradle is always in need of new fosters!”

Fostering doesn’t cost anything, as shelters will pay for vet care and provide food, beds, and other necessities. For many, the major challenge is the emotional toll: when the time is up, foster parents must say goodbye. Although parting with a dog or cat you’ve become attached to is not easy, there are always more shelter animals in need, and Fredericks highly recommends becoming a foster parent.

“It is much more rewarding than I had expected. Having these kitties makes you realize how much they really need you. Some of the foster kitties don’t have a momma cat to care for them.  They need a lot of extra attention and love before they find their forever homes.  The best thing about fostering is playing with kitties all day long! Who wouldn’t love that!”

- Särah Nour