BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The number of unwanted and abandoned pets is on the rise in North Dakota. And to make matters worse, one animal shelter is closing.

Recently, Tails of the Midwest Animal Shelter announced on Facebook that it would be shutting down.

In the post, Carson cited multiple reasons as to why the shelter is closing — including a lack of funds, little support, and both medical and personal issues with the staff.

“We’ve been struggling the last couple of years with volunteers, funds, fundraisers, and even adoptions,” said the shelter’s founder Melissa Carson. “We lack volunteers greatly. We lack fosters greatly, And we’re tired. It’s a constant battle. There are never-ending requests to take in animals. It is exhausting.”

The shelter has not entirely closed yet, and currently has dogs, puppies, and cats available for adoption — however, it will no longer be accepting surrender requests.

Once the animals are adopted out, Carson stated, it does not necessarily spell the end for animal rescue services in Bismarck. In fact, there are plenty of ways for our community to help pets in need.

“Spay and neuter,” she urged. “Donate if you can — not everyone can, that’s fine. Make food donations and monetary donations. Volunteer for those that have volunteer opportunities. We always need volunteers at events, at fundraisers. For those organizations that have physical shelters, there’s always a need for volunteers at the shelters. There’s always a need for fosters. There are lots of ways, but I think the number one thing right now is that people need to take responsibility for the animals in their care.”  

Microchipping or having proper identification on your animals, as well as leash laws, also helps tremendously when pets get lost — but those with pets also need to be responsible, and obey the leash laws as well.

According to the ASPCA, domestic cats and dogs generally live longer, healthier lives than strays, but before giving a new furry friend their forever home, remember to always do your research on the care and keeping of an animal. After all, committing to a pet is not as easy as it seems.

To learn more about the shelter and its work in the Bismarck community, visit their website here.