Local organizations work to ensure the safety of adopted animals during the pandemic

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As more people hunkered down during the pandemic, some ended up looking for some company — which led to a direct rise in pet adoptions.

We learned what some organizations are doing to make sure it’s a forever home for these animals.

2020 was an up and down year and not just for people.

Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue said last year they serviced and supported a total of over 1,300 animals.

“But now that people are getting back to their rhythm of life in a sense. Here in North Dakota, we’re seeing a lot more that activity where again they’re asking for that need support basis. And it isn’t just a seasonal thing for us now. We’re realizing that it’s becoming a daily thing throughout the year,” explained Terri Woo, a volunteer and board chair for Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue.

Woo says animals are returned or surrendered to Furry Friends for a number of reasons life changes, finances or the activity level of the animal.

The Bismarck-Mandan animal impound, on the other hand, says some animals they get in are more likely to be claimed or adopted.

“I think last year it was 89 percent return rate for animals, or for dogs. Cats, we’re not so lucky with. I think last year it was 7 percent got returned to its owner,” explained Missy Hilsendeger, an animal control warden for the Bismarck-Mandan Animal Impound.

The Bismarck-Mandan animal impound works with animal rescues and animal shelters to help get little guys like this one adopted. They’ve even gone as far as Canada, Montana and Wisconsin.

“There’s not a lot of human contact. And if we could send them to a rescue where they’re being fostered in a home. We would much rather do that than have them sit in a kennel,” said Hilsendeger.

The Animal Impound and Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue say they do as much as they can to ensure that these fur babies go to the right family.

“Usually do background checks on the people. We run them through our system to see if there’s any animal neglect, animal cruelty cases against them,” explained Hilsendeger.

“We really try to have a full conversation with them about looking down the road. Where are you going to be maybe in 4 to 6 months? How are you going to be sitting in a year? We really try to have those honest heart-to-heart questions and ask and expect the right answers from them that they understand it’s a long-term commitment,” explained Woo.

The animal impound holds animals for five days before putting them up for adoption or making arrangements for an organization to step in and look for their forever home.

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