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7 Things To Know About Adoption With Homeward Animal Shelter

Heather Clyde, Shelter Manager and Heather Klefstad, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, with the Homeward Animal Shelter take us through some things to know before adopting.

Local Shelters



C.A.A.R.E. (Center for Avian Adoption, Rescue, and Education)

2202 2nd Ave. E, West Fargo


9 9th St. S, Fargo



1201 28th Ave. N, Fargo

Minn-Kota PAAWS Project

(Offers spay and neuter services for pets from limited income households)

2125 1st Ave. S, Fargo

By The Numbers

Last year, Homeward took in 51 percent of the unclaimed strays from the three local pounds (the remaining 49% were rescued by the other 4 rescues/shelters in town).

In 2017, the Homeward Animal Shelter adopted out 864 animals and transferred an additional 42 to other rescues.

To date, in 2018, they have adopted out 362 animals.

#1 Find an animal that will fit your lifestyle.

Homeward Animal Shelter

"The biggest thing is that they’re looking at an animal that’s appropriate for their lifestyle. Some people see a picture and go, ‘That dog is so cute. I want it.’ Yeah, but it’s not a good fit for your lifestyle because you either don’t have enough time for it or it has too much energy." - Clyde

#2 Prepare to be surprised.

Homeward Animal Shelter

While you need to keep in mind your lifestyle, you might fall in love with a dog you'd never expect. "Be open-minded that you might come in looking for a border collie but you might walk out with the small poodle mix." - Klefstad

#3 Make sure you can afford a new pet.

Homeward Animal Shelter

It is $109 to adopt a cat and $169 to adopt a dog but the costs go far beyond that. "If you’re looking at getting a puppy or kitten, the adoption fee will only cover the start of their costs. They’ll need a lot of boosters, spay and neuter. Sometimes, the unexpected happens and there’s an emergency so making sure that you have an emergency fund in case something happens to your animal so you’re not in the position of, ‘I got this animal and I can’t afford treatment so now I need to return it to the shelter.’" - Clyde

#4 Take your time introducing a new animal into a household.

Homeward Animal Shelter

"People need to always be careful anytime they’re bringing in any new animal, regardless of where they get it from. These are animals that you are bringing into your home and you do need to assume that there’s always a potential that they may not do well with your children so keep a close eye on your kids whenever you bring home a new cat or dog and the same with other animals." - Clyde

#5 Many adoptable dogs are coming from nearby reservations.

Homeward Animal Shelter

"There’s a lot of poverty on the reservations and there are no vet clinics on any of the reservations, to my knowledge. They just don’t have the resources to spay or neuter their animals. A lot of the animals are housed outdoors, which means if you have animals that aren’t spayed or neutered and they’re housed outdoors with other animals, you end up with a lot of litters of puppies that are being born and then those puppies procreate and you have hundreds of dogs that are homeless and they’re exposed to disease because of the number of dogs that are there and they’re not vaccinated." - Clyde

#6 The shelters fill a vital need in the community.

Homeward Animal Shelter

"The first year, I was here full-time, which was 2007, 775 cats and 120 dogs were euthanized in the pound. Last year it was 45 cats and 10 dogs. It’s a huge drop in euthanasia rates in the pounds and the animals that were euthanized either had extreme injuries or illnesses." - Clyde

#7 Animals in a shelter aren’t necessarily damaged or mutts.

Homeward Animal Shelter

"People need to not assume that every dog or cat in the shelter is either broken or damaged in someway and that they’re not mutts. We get in quite a few purebred dogs or dogs that they may be mixed breeds but they may be mixed breeds that people pay hundreds of dollars for at the pet store. For example, right now, we have a purebred standard poodle and we have a half basset/half dotson. ... We also get tons of puppies, especially from the reservation. They are mixed breed dogs but if people are looking for puppies, we generally have puppies. With cats, we do get some purebred cats, not extremely often, but we get pretty much every color. Some of them are declawed if they prefer that." - Clyde

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Written by Andrew Jason

Andrew Jason is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media. He oversees the production and the wonderful team behind Fargo Monthly, Fargo INC!, Bison Illustrated and Design and Living magazines. In his free time, he enjoys running marathons and pretending he's a much better piano player than he actually is.

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