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Published February 23, 2010, 12:00 AM

Fairgrounds to take cats, dogs if flood hits

No room for large animals this year
The Red River Valley Fair is making plans to serve as an emergency shelter for dogs and cats in the event of a major spring flood.

By: Patrick Springer, INFORUM

The Red River Valley Fair is making plans to serve as an emergency shelter for dogs and cats in the event of a major spring flood.

But representatives of the fair and the Fargo-Moorhead Humane Society warned Monday that there is no room at the fairgrounds this year for horses and other large animals.

“We don’t have the facility for it,” said Bryan Schulz, the Red River Valley Fair’s general manager.

Last year, the fairgrounds could accommodate more than 70 horses and other animals, including two pot-bellied pigs, because it had storage space available.

Not this year, Schulz said. From October to April, buildings at the fairgrounds are rented as cold storage for boats, campers and classic cars.

“We will take dogs and cats,” which would be cared for at the fairgrounds pavilion by the Fargo-Moorhead Humane Society, Schulz added.

The Humane Society is making plans to care for dogs and cats, but cannot take care of large animals, said Nukhet Hendricks, the organization’s executive director.

During last year’s flood, the society cared for 203 cats and dogs and about 87 horses, she said.

“We are looking at alternatives and better options for large animals,” she said. “Just like everyone else, we are preparing.”

The Humane Society hopes to work out partnerships and collaborations for large animals.

The horse barn at North Dakota State University also sheltered many horses during last year’s flood, and Hendricks is hoping that will be possible again this year, if necessary.

The manager of NDSU’s horse barn could not be reached Monday for comment.

Animal owners should not wait until the onset of flooding to make arrangements, Schulz said. “I’m hoping people pre-plan this year,” he said. “We’ve gotten enough notice.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522

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