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To save a pound dog

The black dogs get to me first.

Their shiny coats and ghostly eyes reflect back at the camera’s flash. Their photos never do them justice.

And then it’s the puppies that get to me – so young and already so close to death.

And after that it’s every dog that resembles any dog I’ve ever loved – a spaniel type, a retriever type, a pitbull.

White and brown pitbull for adoption Dickinson ND poundIt’s all the pound dogs.

And I wonder, could I save just one? Could I take a chance on a dog I don’t know?

What do I do when I want to save them all but can’t exactly adopt or foster?

Do I look away? Try to forget?

Or do I share their photos, share their links, hoping they’ll get noticed among dozens of others. Day after day.

Why promote these dogs when there are dozens, hundreds more to come? And hundreds more after that?

Do I donate money? Do I offer to transport? Do I beg?

I don’t know.

I feel powerless sometimes, the cycle endless.

Rescue work can be addicting, as many of you know, because there are always more dogs.

So what do I do?

I step back. I step away from the “URGENT!” because it’s always urgent.

I pull myself together, because I can’t possibly save every dog.

And then I do one thing. One small thing.

I make one phone call. Or send one email. Or donate $25. And I hope many, many others do the same.

Perhaps you could do one thing today as well.

For one dog or one cat in need.

In North Dakota or in your own state or country.

One animal, anywhere.

The pitbull and the pointer you see pictured are impounded at the Dickinson, N.D., pound as of 9:30 a.m. Feb. 8. According to the pound, they are both available for rescue or adoption and could eventually be killed.

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could take five minutes to bring these dogs outside to get some decent photos? Is that asking too much?

German shorthaired pointer in Dickinson ND dog pound

Yadira Rodriguez

Tuesday 27th of December 2022

I will like to have a dog from a dog shelter for my mental health

Rebecca Milburn

Sunday 14th of February 2021

The pound just picked up my dog and they changed us $500 to get our dog back I'm a pensioner with 2 kids we really won't him back didn't realise it would cost so much really need some help on what to do?

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 15th of February 2021

I'm so sorry. Maybe explain the situation and ask to pay in installments?

Elizabeth Rose

Monday 25th of April 2016

In New Zealand, where I live, it is brindle color dogs that have difficulty getting rehomed and black colored dogs are very popular!


Monday 11th of February 2013

That's a heartbreaking photo of the pointer :(. I'm sure dogs don't care much about aesthetics but it doesn't look to comfy. I will say - my city's animal rescue groups do make a great effort to take flattering pictures and provide really colourful descriptions of the dogs. I never realised how important that would be - kinda took it for granted.

My partner and I are just commencing the process of applying to one of our local fostering groups so hopefully we can help keep a few dogs out of the pound!

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 11th of February 2013

Oh that is so good to hear you are thinking about fostering! :) I know you've wanted to for a long time! You'll have to let me know how it goes!


Friday 8th of February 2013

I so relate to this blog post. Sometimes I feel so small and powerless but then I take a step back and think of all the dogs I have helped. Every homeless dog I've walked and run with, every dog I e-mailed about, those I helped get into rescue. The kittens and dogs I've transported and when you think of that way, one person truly can make a difference and I do believe, even if small, I've helped many animals along the way!

Lindsay Stordahl

Saturday 9th of February 2013

Yes, one person can make a huge difference. I love what you have done with Miles & Mutts. Keep up the good work! Thank you for reading!