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Local animal rescue rebrands at Homeward Animal Shelter

Heather Klefstad cuddles "Fluffers," a 4-year-old part Siamese cat at Homeward Animal Shelter in north Fargo. The shelter officially rebranded itself today. (Photo by Helmut Schmidt)

Fargo, ND - A longtime Fargo animal shelter has rebranded itself.

The former Humane Society of Fargo-Moorhead is now the Homeward Animal Shelter.

The new name makes clear that the facility, which has been in the metro area since 1966, is devoted to animal rescue and separate from the unrelated national group, Homeward’s Executive Direct Nukhet Hendricks said today at a news conference.

“It’s a local organization. It’s a local service. And it’s a local mission,” said Pat Traynor, president of Dakota Medical Foundation said. “Let’s make sure everyone knows you have wonderful animals here” for adoption.

Hendricks said “there was a huge misperception with the public” that the shelter was under the umbrella of the national Humane Society. That has caused the shelter problems with donors.

Some people thought that by giving to the national group, some money would filter down to local shelters. It does not, Hendricks said. Instead, that cash goes to the national group’s lobbying at the federal level.

Other people don’t like the mission of the national Humane Society, which has in recent years veered toward animal rights issues versus sheltering and finding homes for dogs, cats and other pets, she said.

Homeward Animal Shelter rescued 805 dogs and cats in 2013, taking about 46 percent of the adoptable animals from local pounds.

It is a “no kill” shelter, Hendricks said. Animals are not euthanized unless it is absolutely necessary, she said. That is about 1 percent of the animals that are sheltered.

The shelter has a 100 percent record of adoptions, Hendricks said.

All dogs and cats are examined, vaccinated, microchipped, and given some training, including one hour of in-home training after adoption, she said. Most of the animals are spayed or neutered.

Much of the cost for prepping the animals for adoption is borne by the shelter. For example, the average cost of medical care and training for a dog is about $700, Hendricks said. However, those who adopt will pay $164 plus tax for a dog and $109 plus tax for a cat.

The shelter is located at 1201 28th Ave. N., Fargo.

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including education, Fargo city government, business and military affairs. He is currently The Forum's K-12 education reporter.

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