For Belle’s Sake saves pets in need | News, Sports, Jobs

Photos submitted The rescued dogs and cats, pictured, are being cared for at For Belle’s Sake in Sawyer.

SAWYER – A home without animals would be no home for Christian and Shelby Bird, the founders of the For Belle’s Sake rescue in the Sawyer countryside.

Shelby Bird said she grew up on a ranch, while her husband grew up in a one-pet household. They adopted their first dog from the pound shortly after getting married.

“An animal has always been in our family” said Shelby Bird. “It was just the natural beginning of our family.”

Soon after, they started taking in animals and a few years later launched the 501(C)(3) For Belle’s Sake animal rescue.

“We got really into the rescues in 2011 and then incorporated as a nonprofit in 2014,” said Shelby Bird. “From 2011 to 2014, we only did it out of pocket.”

Photos submitted The rescued dogs and cats, pictured, are being cared for at For Belle’s Sake in Sawyer.

The couple said they were advised to start the nonprofit so they could receive donations to fund the rescue.

Both birds serve in the US Air Force and had started rescue while stationed in South Carolina.

“When we moved here, we thought we were going to close for Belle’s sake,” said Shelby Bird, but they quickly discovered there was a great need for an animal rescue in the area.

Rescue now works with five separate buildings. One is reserved for cats and also serves as a meeting place for people who wish to adopt a pet. Two buildings are strictly reserved for canines. The facility has undergone an expansion and renovation project to better accommodate all rescued animals.

Donations help run the facility, which also benefits from a core of dedicated volunteers. There are approximately six or more regular volunteers who show up to help on dedicated volunteer days.

“When we look for help, they are there”, said Shelby Bird, who said some of the volunteers were people who had already adopted a pet from the rescue, saw the need and wanted to help.

There are always more animals in need showing up at different times and in different places.

The birds had gone camping with their four children earlier this month, but also took the time to look after a kitten who had been dropped off the night before.

On average, the birds and their volunteers care for dozens of dogs and cats that have been abandoned by their owners, rescued from high-mortality animal shelters, or found strays.

The rescue’s website,, has photos of adoptable dogs and cats, application forms with requirements for adopting one of the pets, and a wish list of items needed by all pets. company of For Belle’s Sake.

Some of the most needed items are dog food, puppy food, cat food, kitten food, dewormers, bleach, pet toys, towels, cat litter and monetary donations that help pay for pets to be neutered and for the veterinary care they need. Volunteers can also make arrangements to help care for the animals.

Birds save many animals, which have found happy homes, but sometimes an animal has insurmountable health or behavioral problems and there is no choice but to euthanize it. Shelby Bird said it’s more difficult to euthanize an animal because its behavior makes it a danger.

Animal Rescue is dedicated to transparency, so donors know how funds are spent and how animals are helped.

The birds will likely be transferred at some point in the future, which would also mean the rescue could accompany them. However, they said some local people have also expressed interest in continuing to rescue animals in the Minot area.

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