Souris Valley Animal Shelter
The Souris Valley Animal Shelter (SVAS) is a nonprofit organization that shelters animals in the Northwest region of North Dakota. Over a span of 40 years, we have helped approximately 35,000 animals. Our mission is to create a better world for pets and people by advocating for animals and moving communities forward. In 2021, the organization opened a $3.5 million state-of-the-art facility which houses North Dakota's first-ever Community Clinic. The SVAS is nationally recognized for its various programs in the areas of foster care, feline lifesaving, rescue transports, and in-shelter enrichment.
To learn more visit, Souris Valley Animal Shelter Website
New Campaign Campaigns
End Dog Breed Bans in Minot, North DakotaCities across the nation are revising breed bans to hold owners responsible no matter the breed or mix of a dog. The current breed ban in Minot has not worked in keeping pitbull looking dogs out of the city limits, it has instead pushed the breed into towns without a restriction and forced families to move into surrounding cities due to fear of their beloved family pet being impounded and euthanized at Minot Pound and Animal Control due to the breed ban. We all want safe and humane communities for people and pets. Breed bans are an outdated, ineffective approach to public safety. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars because it is expensive to enforce and violates the rights of dog owners. All Americans who follow safety rules and laws should be allowed to own whatever breed of dog they choose. It is that simple. A 2014 national survey revealed that 84% of Americans believe the government should not tell them what kind of breed of dog they can own. (2) Cities should enact comprehensive, breed-neutral ordinances that focus on the behavior of the dog and the behavior of the owner. The goal of public safety should be achieved in the most effective and most thorough way possible. To make the breed ban situation worse, SVAS has drawn focus from their ability to be a safehaven for the breed in the city. The City of Minot’s animal control division is solely responsible for determining whether a person’s private property (their dog) is a particular breed based on physical appearance alone. It is also their decision to euthanize these animals based on appearance. They have shown an unwillingness to work with SVAS on this issue and have threatened citations against staff for working with dogs who look a certain way. These breeds within SVAS care are being targeted based on physical appearance alone which has been proven to be unreliable and open to interpretation. These outdated practices are opposed by many organizations including the American Kennel Club, American Veterinary Medical Association, and National Animal Care and Control Association. On June 29th, the Chief of Police in Minot issued a letter stating that SVAS can no longer house “pitbulls” after 40+ years of having the ability to be the safehaven for the breed in the city. Per the ordinance he referenced, breeds that are banned in the city can be “destroyed”, therefore causing unnecessary death and irresponsible use of tax payer dollars. The Minot Pound is the last large-scale facility in North Dakota that has not reached no-kill and Minot is the last community keeping North Dakota from being a no-kill state. SVAS is working hard to fill this community gap and focus on helping healthy, adoptable, and safe dogs find homes regardless of physical appearance. Allowing policies to backtrack to a more targeted implementation of an outdated breed ban, could significantly impact the progress made in Minot, North Dakota. By reverting this practice to a more kill focused model, Minot could lose the animal lifesaving progress fought so hard for by the people of this community. Together, we can work together to move our community forward. Sign the petition to end the Breed Ban in Minot, North Dakota. Research on breed and behavior: (1) Studies done in countries with breed-discriminatory laws, including the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany, found that these laws didn’t reduce the number of dog bites or improve public safety. “World-Wide Failure of Breed Specific Legislation,” National Canine Research Council, http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/Worldwide%20Failure%20of%20BSL.pdf (2) Luntz Global Omnibus Poll, January 2014 * Researchers at Tufts University concluded that factors associated with actions of the owner —like the absence of an able-bodied person to intervene — are the primary cause of dog bite-related fatalities while the breed is not a factor. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24299544 * A recent study asked 16 animal shelter workers to guess the breed of 120 dogs. While the shelter staff collectively identified 52% of the dogs as pit bull-type dogs, DNA tests proved that only 21% had any pit bull mix in them. Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109002331500310X * A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior compared aggression between banned dog breeds and a control group of golden retrievers using temperament tests. Comparing the results of golden retrievers and breeds affected by breed discriminatory legislation, no significant difference was found. The researchers concluded that "A scientific basis for breed-specific lists does not exist." Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S155878780700264X3,340 of 4,000 SignaturesCreated by Souris Valley Animal Shelter