Welcome to the Sheyenne Valley Friends of Animals (SVFA) Website!

To the Residents of Valley City:

Complaints surface year-round about dogs being left outside on chains (or tethers) for long periods of time in our community and county. As board members of Sheyenne Valley Friends of Animals, we feel we need to address this issue in a meaningful and educational way.

First of all, we are not addressing those pet owners who occasionally put their dog(s) on tethers or run lines to relieve themselves or have a little “outdoor time.” We are talking about dogs that are left on tethers for hours at a time, likely while their owners are at work or out of town. Some dogs are even tethered around the clock.

Dogs are social animals who thrive on interaction with people and other animals. They are “domesticated” animals. Tethering a dog for long periods of time can make them territorial and aggressive. If an unsuspecting adult or child comes into their confined territory the dog may bite, leading to a possible lawsuit or even the euthanizing of the dog. A dog kept chained for months or years suffers psychological damage, oftentimes becoming anxious and even going stir crazy, according to the Humane Society of the U.S.

A tethered dog who finally gets loose from his restraint is also likely to run away, not wanting to return home and back to its tethered life. They may become aggressive with anyone who attempts to catch them.

Sheyenne Valley Friends of Animals members, along with most other animal rescue groups, believe that dogs are part of the family. We recommend that all dogs live indoors, receive regular exercise, and are provided with adequate attention, food, water, exercise and veterinary care. Dogs living outdoors part or all of the time should be provided with a safe, escape-proof enclosure with proper shelter, water and food, where they may express natural behaviors. This may include a fence (either visible and invisible) or a kennel (large enough for the dog to move around freely). Dogs should not be kenneled or crated for long periods of time as this can lead to “kennelitis,” a sort of mental illness in animals that is similar to solitary confinement for people.

Also keep in mind that tethered animals often suffer from sporadic feedings, overturned water bowls, inadequate vet care, lack of exercise, and extreme temperatures. If you must tether your dog for up to 8 hours (work day), we suggest you have someone check on your pet from time to time, possibly playing or walking with them for a while and checking to make sure there is sufficient water and food available.

As a final note, if your dog is tethered on a concrete driveway, please be aware that it is extremely difficult for them to lay on that hard surface, especially for an aging or arthritic animal. Provide them with a bed and an area where they can relieve themselves.

Be aware that neighbors and concerned citizens may be checking on your pet(s) and they may feel compelled to report any potential mistreatment or barking issues to law enforcement. (Concerned citizens please note: it is illegal for anyone to go on or into someone’s private property and take matters into your own hands. Call law enforcement and let them handle it.)

Be a responsible pet owner. Your dog just wants to be part of your family.

Sheyenne Valley Friends of Animals
Sheryl Solberg, President
Angie Martin, Vice President


SCOOP THE POOP! No matter where or when it occurs, there is NO excuse for not scooping the poop. This is as simple as taking a plastic grocery bag, turning it inside out and placing your hand inside and using the bag as a plastic glove. Then turn the bag back out and take the bag with you where you can dispose of it properly.

SVFA has installed several “doggy pot” stations in Valley City for your convenience. The stations include dog waste bags and a garbage can to clean up after your dog.

Here are a few reasons why EVERY dog owner MUST be responsible for picking up EVERY TIME.

1. IT’S COMMON COURTESY. Cleaning up after your dogs shows respect for our neighbors and our community. Only irresponsible dog owners leave their dog’s poop for others to look at, step in or clean up.
2. DOG POOP = UNHEALTHY. Abandoned dog poop can host diseases and/or parasites which can infect other dogs who come into contact with it, or be transmitted to people who accidentally step in it and track it home. Particularly at risk are children who play on the ground. Disposing of dog poop immediately helps all dogs stay healthier and reduces feces-borne parasites and illnesses.
3. DOG POOP = UNSIGHTLY. Everybody knows that. It’s disgusting. Pick it up. We all deserve to live in a clean city where we can be proud and step lightly.
4. SET AN EXAMPLE. When you pick up after your dog, you are part of the solution! Your action will speak volumes! Consider carrying extra bags to offer to others as a hint that cleaning up after your dog is what responsible dog owners do. Your actions will encourage others to do the same


Meet our Adoptable Animals!  SVFA Meet & Greet Schedule: Meet & Greets will not be held if we do not have any dogs currently available for adoption. Please check this site for adoptable animals.