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Homeward Animal Shelter: Connecting Families with Furry Friends

January 1st, 2018 by Amanda Hofland

One can hardly mention Homeward Animal Shelter without getting warm fuzzies over everything this organization does for animals in our community.

volunteer with dog

You may remember them as the former Humane Society, which served our community for 51 years, with the mission of preventing the euthanization of impounded animals in the area. Since July 2014, they’ve been known as Homeward Animal Shelter with the core value of bringing pets and people together. And, they’re the only shelter in the area that rescues both cats and dogs.

This shelter takes in over half of the stray, lost and abandoned animals that end up in local pounds. They also take in pets surrendered by their owners as well as transfers from other rescues. Once in their care, they make sure all their basic needs are met while they wait to be placed with their human companion.

homeward leadership teamDuring the last 51 years, it is estimated that Homeward Animal Shelter has placed 35,000 cats and dogs into lifelong homes. In 2016 alone, 837 animals found families to call their own.

In fact, they achieved the impossible in 2016 by adopting every single dog in their care. It is something that has never been done before in our area. And the records don’t stop there. This past October, they adopted out over 100 animals in that month alone.

At the helm of it all for over 10 years is the shelter’s executive director, Nukhet Hendricks, whose passion for her work overflows when she speaks about the animals in her care. “The organization is about not just rescuing, but creating a partnership with our community, educating people about the compassionate care of animals, being an advocate for them, and making sure that families have a four-legged friend in their home, because pets are the fabric of our lives,” she said.

Homeward Animal Shelter has also been a major player in emergency animal sheltering, as demonstrated in 2009 while successfully housing and caring for over 200 animals belonging to misplaced families during the flood.

cat at homeward shelterVolunteers are an invaluable part of the organization. Over 160 volunteers every week assist with socializing pets, assist with fundraising, adoption events and processing adoptions. They provide volunteer opportunities for individuals of all abilities and ages as young as 8.

“Non-profits are created because one person cannot do what they believe in by themselves,” Hendricks said. “Donors invest and trust in us to know we will do the right thing by the animals. They invest in our organization, and we can do more together than we could alone. That’s what keeps us going. I have the best team ever, and they never cease to amaze me.”

The impact of Homeward Animal Shelter is immeasurable, affecting both humans and pets alike, and it’s clear that they’re leaving a positive paw-print on the community.

How to help

Monetary donations are most helpful for Homeward Shelter to care for their animals and continue their mission. To donate, volunteer, adopt or learn more, visit homewardonline.org or call 701.239.0077.

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