You can see it in her face. Sue Buchholz loves working with animals. For that reason and more, Buchholz has been working for the Central Dakota Humane Society for 28 years and has been there from the beginning.

“I said: ‘If you guys are looking for employees, please consider me.’ So, it just all came together and it’s been a dream job for me. I really, really love it,” Central Dakota Humane Society Shelter Director Buchholz said.

Buchholz said the Central Dakota Humane Society expanded quickly because it had to.

“We just didn’t know how busy we were going to get immediately. And so, people just started showing up, calling us to take animals, animals that they had found, driving out and dropping animals off,” Buchholz said. “And so, we really got overwhelmed in a hurry, where we kind of needed to get our act together and start to get more employees and raise more funds.”

Buchholz explained the majority of the support comes from the community. That’s also where the Humane Society continues to find the staff Buchholz relies on. Before Shelly Kohler began working for Buchholz, she was doing a fair amount of volunteering about 20 years ago and is now the Central Dakota Humane Society’s assistant shelter manager.

“Sue actually approached me and asked why I had all this extra time and I said ‘Well, I’m in between jobs.’
And she goes: ‘Well, do you want a job?’ And so it worked out like that,” Kohler explained.

In that time, Kohler said she’s learned a lot from Buchholz, including customer service and being patient with both pet and owner. Kohler’s also been inspired by the woman who hired her.

“She has the biggest heart ever for the animals. She’ll do anything for animals. She’s gone up and above what most people would do as far as rescuing, saving animals, just getting in the car and zooming out ‘cuz there’s a stray animal,” Kohler said.

As far as how long she’ll be working with animals, Buchholz said she has no reason to stop.

“I’m very, very happy here. I just love it. I don’t want to do anything else,” Buchholz said.

Since she started working for the Humane Society, Buchholz said they’ve grown from two employees to now 20.