Refuge from the storm for our furry friends

North Dakota's Souris Valley Animal Shelter keeps strays clean, comfortable and cozy

In a North Dakota winter, you never want to be on the outside looking in.

Manny, a female Manchester terrier mix, has been lucky enough to call the Souris Valley Animal Shelter her temporary home. Manny, along with her seven pups, were brought to the shelter in December after being abandoned in Minot, an act that surely saved their lives in the midst of winter’s icy grip.

As it does with so many other animals, the SVAS has offered a loving, protective environment to Manny and her little ones on a temporary basis. The shelter’s tireless workers and volunteers are devoted to reuniting lost pets with their owners, and finding good homes for the stray, surrendered, and sometimes abandoned animals of Ward County and northwestern North Dakota.

In 2014 alone, 680 animals were taken in by the SVAS, representing an unusually large number of abandoned animals for the region. Citing a recent nationwide study, which reports that a vast majority of Americans believe in a moral obligation to take care of animals, the SVAS believes a better world is possible through kindness to animals.

Recently, the SVAS received a small but welcome sponsorship boost. Enbridge’s North Dakota region donated $5,000 to the shelter to purchase a new industrial washer-and-dryer system for towels, blankets, and bedding used throughout the year.

Director Randy McDonald notes that shelter can go through a residential washer-and-dryer set in as little as six months, running as many as 10 loads of laundry a day – or 3,650 loads a year. According to McDonald, this new industrial system should last 30 years on the high end, saving the shelter from purchasing as many as 60 washer-dryer units.

This new industrial system will also allow the SVAS staff to reduce their time spent on laundry from nine hours a day down to two. This frees up more hours helping special-needs dogs become socialized, trained and ready for adoption.

At Enbridge, we believe a community belongs to everyone who lives there. We believe in making life better for everyone – including our furry friends. Says Katie Haarsager, community relations advisor for Enbridge’s North Dakota region: “Supporting community efforts like the SVAS is important to the health of our communities.”

Today, Manny and her seven pups have all been adopted. And until their shelter companions can find a permanent home of their own, we know that nothing makes them feel more loved than the kindness of SVAS staff – and a cozy, clean blanket to curl up in.