The Polk County Humane Society in Crookston is full of adorable animals ready for adoption. They are currently at capacity with both cats and dogs. The PCHS has seen a recent increase in the amount of dogs, especially smaller ones.
"We don't normally have this many little dogs because they usually get adopted within a week or so of being here," says worker Dan Bedell.
Dan is part of the Experience Works program for people over age 55 that want a part-time job. He likes being a part of the program because, he said, it "helps with my sobriety and has shown me what it feels like to do some good." Dan and Carrie Borslien are both in the program and work at the PCHS, but put in more hours than required.
"We love being here and don't mind staying extra hours since the animals need us," adds Borslien.
Both Carrie and Dan gush about the animals there.
"They all have their own personalities and it's nice for both us as people and them as animals to have interaction daily," says Dan.
Carrie explains, "Charlie (the cat) is a little sneak and Mama May will cuddle up to anyone who comes in the door. They're all different."
Dan also mentions a pitbull named Olive and her story. "She came from a bad situation. The man in the family used to abuse her. The college girls that volunteer here have worked really hard by walking and playing with her. She has now done a 180 degree turn-around and is one of the happiest animals we have."
Spaying and neutering
One thing the PCHS makes sure of when they get animals in is to do the spaying and neutering before they go out for adoption.
Mary Solberg, the head of the shelter, says, "We need to do it ourselves to make sure our animals are safe and don't reproduce. There is a big need to cut down on population and it doesn't make sense waiting for someone else to do it. And they might not actually do it, so that is why we have our new policy."
Once a week, Mary, who has worked for the PCHS since 1982, brings the animals that need to be spayed and neutered down to Fargo. "It's a drive, but it just needs to be done," insists Solberg.
Page 2 of 2 - The rates for animal adoptions might seem a bit higher than other shelters, but this is because of the spaying and neutering that is done with PCHS.
"When a person looks at all the things they don't have to do for the animal after they adopt it (like spay/neuter and shots), they will realize they just saved money and a life," Solberg says.
Help is needed
While volunteers are always needed and appreciated, the PCHS needs more. They are in danger of their thrift store (above the shelter) closing because the volunteer who works there will be leaving.
"This is one of our main sources of income. It brings money that is dearly needed and now we are danger of losing it." explains Solberg. "It will close in December if we can't find someone who will volunteer their time to keep it open."
The shelter is also in need of kitty litter, dry cat food and dry dog food because of their full capacity. They are a "no-kill" shelter and it becomes difficult to turn people away that bring in animals.
"Sometimes there are elderly people who die or people who are moving and can't take the animal with them. It's hard to tell those who try to bring them in that we don't have any more room," Solberg says. "Foster homes aren't a very good option for us to have either because of the liability."
The Polk County Humane Society has adopted out over 100 animals so far this year and they hope the holiday season will bring more people who want to adopt. Employee Dan Bedell wishes his furry friends will get a second chance soon.
"All we want for them is to be loved," he says. "Go to a family who will be their friend and take good care of them. Someone to complete their story."