Last week, I posted about Stormy, the cat whose abandonment was caught on camera at Minot's Souris Valley Animal Shelter (SVAS). I was so heartbroken and disgusted that someone could dispose of their animal, not caring what happens to it. I decided to reach out to the shelter for more information on pet abandonment.

I emailed Assistant Director of Shelter Operation at SVAS, Kasey Bruer about the impact of animal abandonment. As someone who works directly with homeless animals, she knows a thing or two about it. Shelters, including SVAS, already take in animals from the streets; and if you bring your pet, it could mean another night on the street for truly homeless animals. Kasey wants people to know, you can get help with your animal and not resort to abandoning it.

Her email response started by saying that, just like when infants are abandoned at churches and hospitals, animal abandonment is a "significant sign of desperateness from the abandoner." But she says that, even in a time of desperation, there are ways that you can keep your animal safe. She later even wrote, "Abandonment has a much deeper root than meets the eye."

According to Kasey, reasons that people may abandon their animals include not having the proper knowledge to deal with animal behavioral problems, the person may be leaving a poor living situation for somewhere safe, or the owner may be "fed up." She asks that people in a bind will, instead of surrendering or abandoning their animal, reach out for help. Places like SVAS can help you find resources and even help you find supplies for your pet.

If there's no convincing you to keep your pet, Kasey and others at SVAS want you to know that they care about you and the animals being dropped off. They not only wish to show kindness to your pet, but to you as well. Kasey says that she wished abandoners would leave a note, come to the door or call and ask for help, or at least tell the shelter your pet's name.

What can we do to help shelter animals? Kasey says we should pressure county officials to do more for animal welfare. Remember, abandonment is illegal - read about that here. We can do better for these beautiful animals that are alone and scared, and places like Souris Valley Animal Shelter are here to help us if need be. Lastly, Kasey wants you to know that you can call the shelter at (701) 853-6133 if you're in a bind. She says, "We are ready to help you right 'meow' through your 'ruff' time."