MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Shelby Bird has been helping animals for many years, but For Belle’s Sake got its start in South Carolina, when Bird and her husband were stationed there.

She started out helping out at a local pound by taking pictures of the animals — but her love of the animals took over, and eventually resulted in the creation of a full-on animal rescue.

“I’d fall in love with a dog and I’d be like ‘Oh my gosh!’, and I’d bring it home, and then find it a home,” said Bird. “And then my husband decided, ‘Okay if she’s gonna do this, let me support it.’ And he got three kennels to set up, and then it kind of exploded from there.”

Bird says she expected to shut down the rescue when she moved to Minot in 2015 because she didn’t expect there to be a pet overpopulation problem here after referencing life growing up in South Dakota. But when she moved to the Magic City, she realized her rescue needed to stay open.

“As soon as we got here,” Bird recalled, “we started getting kind of flooded with calls like ‘Hey can you help? Can you help? Can you help?’ and we said ‘Okay, so there is a need here that we didn’t expect, just based on where I’m from’.”

Something that makes For Belle’s Sake stand out is that their rescue takes in more than just cats and dogs. The rescue keeps horses, birds, rabbits, and more, all being cared for until they can find a forever home.

“Here, what we noticed is a lot of dog and cat rescues,” Bird said, “and not as many exotics and farm rescues for such a rural area. And since we live where we live because we’re both very country, we have the space, and we have the facilities to be able to open up our home to a variety of animals that might otherwise have no place to go.”

She says being nominated for Remarkable Women came as a surprise — because helping animals in itself, in her eyes, is simply something that needs to be done.

“I don’t really look at what we do as something that big and that people are so proud of,” she said. “It’s just after so many years, we’re going on over a decade of this, it just kind of is who we are now to a point — where it’s just our daily routine — and sometimes I forget there are people that are proud of that, and respect that. So very humbled to get this.”

And she says being remarkable just means being willing to help, no matter how hard things are.

But though Bird may hold the title of a Remarkable Woman, she says that everyone involved with the rescue is deserving of the title as well.

“I just think it’s the person that, things are difficult, and you know it’s going to be difficult because rescue is not easy. There is very little easy about it,” Bird said. “But you just do it anyways. And the people that know that things are difficult, but do it anyway, I think that makes them remarkable. They’re just selfless, and they just work.”

Bird says the biggest need of For Belle’s Sake is donations, whether monetary, supplies, or volunteering your time. The rescue is 100% volunteer operated, and every little bit helps.

She says if you’re a pet owner, be a responsible pet owner — because the goal for the rescue is to shut down and not be needed in any community.