Central Dakota Humane Society’s “Shaggy Shuffle” seeing major change for first time in 30 years

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Nonprofits nationwide are taking a nosedive thanks to the pandemic, and the Central Dakota Humane Society is no exception.

“Our donations this year are down, and we have had to cancel many of our in-person events, so we’re just trying to do anything that we can to raise money to help the animals,” Central Dakota Humane Society Communications Director Cameo Skager said.

Like many charities, the animal shelter has taken a hit because of dwindling donations and canceled events. Though they have less money coming in, the same costs involved in caring for roughly 45 dogs and 90 cats remain.

“We have all kinds of veterinary costs every month,” Skager said. “We have to feed the animals, provide them a warm bed and all the things that go along — the overhead, the staffing time that go along with caring for these animals.”

But the Humane Society is finding new ways to raise funds. For the first time in its 30-year history, the “Shaggy Shuffle” is going online. In past years, the fundraiser involved a dog-walk at the Capitol where upwards of $20,000 dollars were raised. This year, it’s called “Shaggy Shuffle Solo.” There won’t be any event in-person.

“To participate in the Shaggy Shuffle Solo, you go to our website, CDHS.net and you can register there. You can ask your friends and family to support your walk, you can raise money and then the more money you raise, the more prizes you get and the more animals you help,” Skager said.

Volunteer Michelle Gayette has been walking dogs weekly at the shelter for the past five years.

“We actually have dogs at our own home and so we do a lot of work with them in our own neighborhood, and so that’s how we’re going to do our Shaggy Shuffle solo this year,” Gayette said.

She says the Humane Society’s mission is worth supporting.

“The good thing about raising money is it provides a good home for these animals while they’re waiting for their forever home, and then the purpose of volunteering is just to give them love and to start working with them so that when somebody’s ready to come look at them, they’re going to be a good dog for that person,” Gayette said.

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