BISMARK, North Dakota — It was a hectic week as law enforcement officials worked to clear the Oceti Sakowin protest camp in North Dakota. As officers moved in, and protesters moved out, garbage wasn’t the only thing abandoned.
Two dogs and six puppies were found and rescued at the main Dakota Access Pipeline camp by Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue. Those with the rescue have been working hard to catch all of the animals left behind at the camp — and they’re not giving up on these abandoned pets.
“Extremely sad — being these guys were left behind. But we offer, Furry Friends offers hope. I mean, there’s so much hope within Furry Friends as far as these puppies finding homes,” said Tiffany Hardy.
Those with Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue plan on going back to the protest camps, where they said they’re having a hard time catching these animals because of the loud heavy machinery that’s being used to clean up the area.
“It’s a mess down there, so it’s really, really hard to find these animals and get them,” said Julie Schirado.
They’re planning to go back to the camps every weekend if they have enough volunteers and if they’re able to get in.
“We have a couple cases of mange. We might have had some, I know we’ve had some problems with claws that haven’t been clipped before,” said Hardy.
The two dogs that they’ve saved had symptoms of being out in the weather — with frostbitten ears and patchy fur.
“If they stay with us, we help them find their forever home. If somebody has left the dog behind and they’re looking for that dog, we hope they’ll contact us so we can help them find their dog,” said Schirado.
Those with Furry Friends said their first priority is keeping the dogs warm and fed, and making sure they’re healthy.