Shamus is a 10-year-old Great Dane, who was recently found by Good samaritans after being dumped just outside of Burlington, and after being taken to Souris Valley Animal Shelter staff did some digging.

“We searched our system we noticed that someone a day before had applied to surrender their dog and it turns out that it was this dog,” Waters explained, “To have this dog for ten years and then think the most appropriate thing was to abandon him in freezing temperatures on the side of the road is just unspeakable.”

It’s a lot like the case of Wilson, a young male dog who was found wandering the streets of Parshall in November.

He came in with pretty serious wounds but was taken care of by on-staff veterinarian Dr. Logan Wood, and is now living in his new forever home.

“He’s phenomenal and in a wonderful home but he was a wonderful dog just like Shamus to where you know that they lived in a home you know that at some point they were very loved so to have them roaming the streets in cold temperatures is just heartbreaking,” Waters said.

Waters says not all abandonments the shelter sees are dogs on the side of the road.

“Going on extended vacations for multiple days or sometimes weeks at a time and leaving their pet in the home without anyone to care for the pet and then when people are evicted or are moving they leave their pets in their home without telling anyone,” Waters said.

Waters emphasizes the shelter wants to do whatever it can to help neglected or abandoned animals but also wants to make known preventative resources the nonprofit offers, such as emergency housing and their community pantry.

“If it’s a matter of affordability and you’re getting back on your feet for the next two months if you lost your job because of COVID and you’re struggling putting groceries on the table we will do whatever it takes to make sure your pet is well fed every single day with enrichment items and everything it needs to be healthy,” Waters explained.

This brings us to the Souris Valley Animal Shelter’s ultimate goal.

“In the end whether they come in as a stray or come in as a neglect case we try to find the perfect home for them,” Waters said.

Next month, the shelter will be participating in a second transport of animals from a high-kill shelter in Oklahoma. In November, 40 dogs were saved from the shelter, in the first round of transports.