All posts by Sandy Vesledahl

Susan Perry Memorial Walk for the Animals and 5K Dog Run, Saturday, October 13th

Susan PerrySusan Perry had a huge love of all animals and was a great supporter and dedicated volunteer of Prairie’s Edge Humane Society. Sue tragically passed away in 2009. She was a long time Northfield resident and employee of Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic. She was generous to people and animals and is missed by everyone who was blessed to have known her. Prior to her death, Susan had been actively working with Prairie’s Edge Humane Society to plan a Walk for the Animals which would be held in Northfield each fall. After her death, it was obvious to all involved that not only should the planning for the Walk continue, but is should be done so in her honor.

Please help us honor Sue’s love of animals and the love shared by you and your pet by attending the 4th Annual Susan Perry Memorial Walk for the Animals and 5K Dog Run on Saturday, October 13th, here in Northfield beginning at the Northfield Dog Park along Hwy. 3. This year we are excited to announce the addition of a 5K Dog Run to the activities as well! All proceeds will benefit the animals at the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society. If you do not have your own pet to bring to the walk, there will be dogs available to "rent" for a donation to the shelter to walk with you or you may just enjoy a walk or run on your own as well!

You may register the day of the event beginning at 8:00 AM or registration forms can be downloaded from our website You can also pick up registration forms at Cannon Valley Vet Clinic, Countryside Animal Hospital, Chuck & Don’s and Fit to be Tri’d here in Northfield or at the PEHS shelter in Faribault.

The run will start at 9:00 AM, the group Walk will start at 10:00 AM. If you wish to walk earlier than 10 AM you can walk on your own anytime between 8-noon. The walk route will be marked and will follow the bike trail which goes behind the dog park. The run will start at the dog park, cross the walk bridge and follow the bike trail through Sechlar Park and then return to the dog park.

Registration for the walk is $10 per person and the 5K run is $20 per person. Anyone under the age of 16 is free or anyone who has raised at least $50 in pledges will receive a free registration as well. Anyone who raises at least $50 in pledges will also receive a free t-shirt while supplies last!

You are encouraged to bring your pet to the walk or the run as long as your pet is friendly, leashed and up to date on their vaccinations!

Any business sponsorship for the walk or run of $50 will receive free walk admission for 5 employees or 2 free run registrations. With a $100 donation, 10 employees will receive free walk admission or 5 free run registrations. We have distributed sponsorship forms to many local businesses but if there is one out there who would like to sponsor and has not received a form, please contact kristin@ifencemn.comand we will get you the information.

Don’t miss the Blessing of the Animals by Father Henry Doyle at 9:45 AM!

We encourage participants to dress their dogs in costume for the event! There will be a gift basket from Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic and Retail Store for the best costume!

There will be post walk and run complimentary food and beverages, raffles, games, prizes for the most funds raised and an agility demonstration by Doris Saunier and her dog Saffy!

So come on out on the 13th for the fun and help raise money for the animals at the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society. It’s going to be a great morning filled with fun for you and your pet!

Download registration form here SusanPerry Memorial Walk 5K Run 2012

Download pledge form here Walkand 5K Run Pledge Form

Set up your own on line fundraising page by clicking here.

Donate on line to the Susan Perry Memorial Walk and 5K Run by clicking here .

Prairie’s Edge Humane Society to Host "Meow’s For Maggie" and "Dogs Along the Cannon" Events Thursday, July 26th

Maggie LeePut on your purple and stop by the Northfield News office (115 5th St. W.) for “Meows for Maggie,” a cat adoption event in conjunction with Northfield’s Crazy Daze and “Wear Purple Day” for Maggie Lee, longtime employee of the Northfield News and notable resident of the community.

The adoption event, put on by Prairie’s Edge Humane Society, will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the News lobby. Maggie has been a long time supporter of the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society and is well known for her love of cats, a regular subject of her weekly Northfield News column. She has adopted cats in the past from PEHS, adopting her most recent cat Cassandra just over a year ago. Maggie is now 91 and residents of Northfield will be honoring her during the annual “Crazy Daze” event in downtown Northfield.

Kittens and adult cats will be available (depending on what is currently at the shelter) for adoption in honor of Maggie, and anyone who adopts a cat from PEHS that day will be recognized on the PEHS website. Those adopting in honor of Maggie will be able to write a personal dedication to Maggie which will be posted on the PEHS website. Those who cannot adopt a cat have the opportunity to sponsor a cat at the shelter for one month for $25 in Maggie’s name. Those people will also be recognized on the website and a sign will be put on the cat kennel for one month at the shelter stating “I’m A Special Friend of Maggie.”

PEHS will also be selling purple cat harnesses and leashes, purple cat collars and purple “wobblers” – a treat and food dispensing toy for cats. All proceeds will benefit the animals at PEHS. Purple cat nip pillows will be given away for anyone who stops to visit, while supplies last.

Dogs Along the CannonThen after a day of shopping and entertainment you are invited to an artist reception and unveiling party hosted by Prairie’s Edge Humane Society for the limited edition print "Dogs Along the Cannon" from 6-8 PM at our dog training facility at 2018 Jefferson Rd, Suite 1 here in Northfield. Proceeds from the sale of the print will benefit the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society.

Sarah Thornton of Lintu Art returns to Northfield for a second time to highlight the dogs of Northfield, Dundas, Faribault and surrounding communities for her “Dogs Around the Lakes” and “Dogs Along the River” series of colored pencil limited edition prints. Her inspiration came from walking her own dogs around Lake Harriet and observing the many other owners and dogs enjoying time together in these settings. Sarah has done a previous print “Dogs Along the River” back in 2010 with proceeds benefitting PEHS. We are very excited for the unveiling of the 2012 print!  In June Sarah came to Northfield and photographed 36 dogs from the area along the Cannon River. From those 36 dogs, she chose 16 to be on a limited edition print titled “Dogs Along the Cannon”.

Sarah will have prints available for purchase during the event as well as CD’s of the photos of the 36 dogs which were taken back in June from which she selected the dogs for the print.

Everyone is invited to come out and see the print. You are welcome to bring your well behaved, leashed dog to the reception; there will be a-paw-tisers for the dogs and the humans as well!

Now taking appointments for low cost spay/neuter program for outdoor cats

Farm CatsIn an effort to decrease the number of kittens coming into the world and increase the quality of life for "barn cats" and "community cats" which live outside, Prairie’s Edge Humane Society has teamed up with Dr. Charlie Gumbusky’s Just Cause Four Paws Low Cost Spay/Neuter program for outdoor cats.

To qualify for this program, the cats you wish to have altered must live outside only. We have held very successful spay/neuter clinics during the months of March, April and May and are now taking surgery appointments for the following spay/neuter clinic dates; June 15, July 6 and July 20.

You will pay $50 per cat (which includes the surgery and a rabies vaccination) that you wish to have altered under this program. This is much less than you would pay at a veterinary clinic to alter your cats.  All surgeries will be done at the PEHS shelter in our Natalie Perry Smead memorial surgery suite on the above mentioned dates.

A feline distemper vaccination is also offered for an additional $10 fee per cat. The feline distemper vaccination is not required, but is strongly recommended.

If you have cats that you would like to schedule for any of the above dates, please contact the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society at 507-334-7117 or email and you will be contacted regarding scheduling and further information for the spay/neuter program.

Please help us to control the over population of cats.

PEHS Walk for Animals is May 19

DSC_0272Prairie’s Edge Humane Society’s “Walk for the Animals” is only a few days away, coming up on Saturday, May 19th at the PEHS shelter, 1201 Cannon Circle, Faribault, MN 55021. There will be a contest for the most funds raised, with a prize awarded in the adult and 16 and under categories. Will you be the winner? Ask your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and anyone else you know for a donation and you could be the winner of some fabulous prizes! You can download a pledge form by clicking here or set up your own on line fundraising page by clicking here. Turn in your collected donations at the registration desk on the day of the walk. If you collected on line donations, simply print out a copy of your donation page and bring with you. Everyone who raises at least $50 will receive a free Walk for the Animals T-shirt as well as a dog or cat treat bag (while supplies last). Can’t make it the day of the walk? You can still donate by clicking here.

DSC_0404All Walk routes start at the PEHS shelter and are marked for ½ mile or 1 mile lengths, you may turn around at any time during your walk or you may walk further if you like, simply walk the route several times. You may walk anytime between the hours of 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM or join in the group walk led by our Celebrity Grand Marshall, Scooby Doo at 9:30 AM. If you do not have your own pet to walk, we will rent you one! For a $5 donation, you can walk one of the shelter dogs for ½ hour.

This year we will once again have games and raffles for you and your pet, so make sure you bring the entire family for a fun filled morning. Is your dog artistic? For only $5 you can find out when your pet paints his/her own project for you to take home, with their paw using safe, washable ink. There will also be vendors, rescue groups and a food booth for your lunch or a snack.

The Prairie’s Edge Humane Society shelter will open at 10:30 AM on the day of the walk so that you can visit the shelter animals, inquire about adoption, or shop our retail area. Don’t miss out on all of the great activities for the “Walk for the Animals”. Help us make this our largest Walk ever and raise funds for the homeless animals of the PEHS shelter!

Link to set up fundraising page

Link to donate

Help me Rhonda, help me get you outta my heart

There are many animals who pass through the doors of Prairie’s Edge Humane Society and while they are all special in their own way, every once in a while, there comes along an “extra” special one. “Rhonda” is a Finnish Spitz mix dog who came to the PEHS shelter as a stray back in September.  She was found injured, scared and wandering by an area farmer. Rhonda had an injury to her hip and her knee on her rear right leg.  It was obviously an old injury that had never been treated as she had lost a lot of muscle mass in her hip and leg.  It was very quickly discovered what a sweet personality this dog had and a face that looked as if she was smiling at us. She seemed to be saying to us "help me". It was obvious her name at that point would be "Rhonda", derived from the Beach Boy’s song "Help Me Rhonda".

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As the lyrics of the song go "well Rhonda you caught my eye, and I can give you lots of reasons why"…Rhonda caught not only our eyes, but our hearts as well and the reasons are many. Rhonda was in much pain. She had a dislocated hip and a torn ligament in her knee.  She would need extensive surgery and rehabilitation. And starting her on heartgard plus. Her medical costs would be expensive. But as soon as we met her, we were all amazed by her happy and hopeful attitude even though she was in so much pain. This attitude has remained throughout her long stay at the shelter. So the decision was made to surgically repair her injuries and give Rhonda the chance she deserved.This dog was very obviously full of love to share and we needed to give her the opportunity to share it. The call went out to our donors via emails and our website that we needed to raise funds to help this sweet girl.  And our donors responded as they so often do for us. 

So Rhonda’s journey with us had begun. She was immediately put on medication to control her pain, while decisions were made for her treatment.  Upon an examination by our shelter veterinarian, some more x-rays and consultations with other area veterinarians, it was determined that the best option for Rhonda would be two surgeries; one to repair her hip and a separate surgery to repair the knee.  Rhonda came through both surgeries like a trooper, always a tail wagging for us and that “smiling” face looking at us as if to say “thank you”.  Rhonda received therapy each day from our staff and as her stay with us grew longer we began to realize how Rhonda was also helping us.  As the lyrics of the song go on to say “well Rhonda you look so fine, and I knew it wouldn’t take much time, for you to help me Rhonda”….Rhonda began to help us with other animals at the shelter. 

Each animal is given a behavior test when they come to the PEHS shelter. One of the aspects of this test helps us to determine their behavior towards other animals in order to help with their adoptability.  Sometimes it is very difficult for us to determine this as we don’t always have the opportunity to safely introduce animals to each other in order to see the reaction as we don’t always have another dog that is able to calmly meet the dog which is being tested. Rhonda is such a gentle soul who seems to want to make friends with every creature she comes in contact with and she is able to do so calmly and without causing added excitement or stress to the other animal. 

She has been helping with these behavior tests during her rehabilitation by greeting other dogs through a fence, for the safety of both animals, and she seems to understand that she needs to be calm and even ignore what the other dog’s reaction is by simply turning away from them if they become excited or anxious during the meeting. She actually seems to understand what she is doing for us and the other animal.

Rhonda’s help does not only extend to the other dogs at the shelter.  Rhonda is also making friends with the cats. Rhonda has helped us to learn the behavior of some of the cats around dogs as well, which will help us to inform possible adopters whether or not the cat will be comfortable living with a dog in the home, making these cats more adoptable as well.

While recuperating at the shelter Rhonda has been spending time hanging out in the business office.  Her favorite place is to lie under the table in the office and just watch the activities and perhaps steal a snack or two off our desks when we are not looking (and actually sometimes while we are looking). Chicken in a Biscuit crackers seem to be her favorite guilty pleasure to steal.  Rhonda likes nothing better than to just hang out with people and every now and then she will come up to you and paw gently at your leg as if to say, “you have worked enough, time for a break”, when she wants your undivided attention which of course she gets every time!  When she sees people she knows she softly dances back and forth on her front paws until that person stops and pays the appropriate amount of attention to her, earning her the nickname “the tap dancer” from the kennel staff at the shelter. 

Rhonda is walking a little more on her leg each day and she is now off of the pain medication.  She does take a joint supplement each day for her knee and as normal with Rhonda; she is wonderful about taking her pill for us.  We are very happy to report that after nearly a four month stay with us, Rhonda is now available for adoption! Rhonda is going to have some special requirements of her new home and our staff will cover those prior to her adoption. 

Rhonda has had a long journey with us.  We are very hopeful that we will be able to find that special person or family who will adopt Rhonda and give her the loving home she deserves.  We want nothing more than to be able to continue to help other animals in need such as Rhonda.  In order to do so we need your help.  Please consider giving a donation to Prairie’s Edge Humane Society in honor of Rhonda so that we can help the next “Rhonda” who comes to the shelter.  You can donate on line via our website or by mailing a check to 1201 Cannon Circle, Faribault, MN 55021.

As you can tell, Rhonda has stolen everyone’s heart at the shelter and she is very special to all of us.  While it will be hard for us to say goodbye to her, we want nothing more than for her to have her own forever home where she will be loved.  And so the lyrics of the Beach Boy’s song continues…”You gotta help me Rhonda, help me get her out of my heart… help me Rhonda, help, help me Rhonda”. 

Rhonda, I know you will always be in the hearts of the staff and the other animals at the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society. You are a very special girl.  We may have “helped” Rhonda, but she definitely helped us as well. 

Please donate to Prairie’s Edge Humane Society on Give to the Max Day, Wednesday, November 16th!

Meet Rhonda, a Beautiful Finnish Spitz mix dog currently at Prairie’s Edge Humane Society

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"Hello Everyone! My name is Rhonda and I’ve been here at the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society for a while now.  When I first came here, I was lost, scared and had an injury to my hip and knee that was causing me a lot of pain.  The folks here at Prairie’s Edge have been so kind to me.  They had a veterinarian check out my injuries and he said I had a dislocated hip and torn ligaments in my knee. 

So they operated on my hip first and now I am recuperating here at the shelter until I am strong enough to have my knee operated on also. I’m able to exercise in the yard here at Prairie’s Edge and I don’t have that horrible pain in my leg anymore, I’m so happy! These nice folks are going to give me some physical therapy and fix me up real good, so that I can be adopted by someone who will care for me, love me and I won’t be alone anymore.

But it costs a lot of money to do all these wonderful things for me. They could really use your help, there are other animals here who need the same love and attention just like they are giving me.  Won’t you consider a donation to Prairie’s Edge on Give to the Max Day? Thanks so much for helping me and all of the other animals here at PEHS. I need to go rest now in the nice warm, comfy bed they have for me!" – Rhonda

There are many other animals such as Rhonda at Prairie’s Edge Humane Society who need your help! Please consider a donation on Give to the Max Day, Wednesday, November 16th.

188192_188660491186784_5644643_n[1]Your on line donation could help PEHS win even more money from Click on the Give to the Max logo on Wednesday and make your donation to Prairie’s Edge Humane Society.

Here are some ways to stretch your donation and help PEHS even more!

Win a Golden Ticket and Super Size It!

One donor will be randomly chosen every hour to have $1,000 added to their donation. This could be you! And, one $10,000 Super-sized Golden Ticket will be drawn from a donation made sometime during the 24 hours of giving. You could win Prairie’s Edge Humane Society a $10,000 jackpot! So consider donating at an “off” time, such as early in the morning or late at night to increase your odds in the drawing. If you plan to give a larger amount, break it up into smaller donations throughout the hour; that will increase PEHS’s entries in the drawing! There is a $10 minimum donation on line so if you plan to donate $100, break it up into ten $10 donations in one hour instead!

Help Prairie’s Edge Humane Society Win the Grand Prize

This year nonprofits will compete for prize grants on three leaderboards based on the number of dollars raised on Give to the Max Day. Your donation could put Prairie’s Edge Humane Society in the running to win $15,000, $10,000, $7,500 or $5,000. The more you give the better chance we have to win even more money!

It’s easy to help the homeless animals at Prairie’s Edge Humane Society…just click on the Give to the Max logo and donate!

"Spay" ghetti dinner to benefit Prairie’s Edge Humane Society spay/neuter programs

Spay-Day-photoPrairie’s Edge Humane Society will be holding a “Spay”ghetti Dinner on Thursday, November 17th, from 5:00-7:00 PM at the Northfield Eagles Club, 304 S. Water St., Northfield.   Funds raised at the “Spay”ghetti Dinner will be used to benefit the Community Outreach Spay/Neuter programs sponsored by Prairie’s Edge Humane Society.  Advanced tickets are $6 and can be purchased at Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic and Countryside Animal Hospital and Kennels in Northfield or at the PEHS shelter in Faribault.  Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $7.  What a great deal!  All the spaghetti you can eat and you will be helping to fund some great programs!
Since our inception, Prairie’s Edge Humane Society has stressed the importance of spaying and neutering as the non-lethal solution to pet overpopulation.  We were the first animal shelter in Minnesota to require sterilization of all animals before adoption, and we offer unique programs to help pet owners spay and neuter their own animals.
PEHS currently sponsors two Community Outreach programs for spay/neuter surgeries.  A low cost program for income qualified families to spay/neuter their pets thru area veterinary clinics, as well as a low cost program to spay/neuter outdoor cats and “community” cats thru the Just Cause Four Paws Spay/Neuter Clinic held monthly at the PEHS shelter.  Both of these programs are low cost surgery programs which are funded by grant money as well as donations.   Our current grant funding for these programs has been exhausted so until new grant funding is available we are hosting the “Spay”ghetti Dinner in an effort to raise funds to continue these important community outreach programs.
Please join us!  Your donation of $7 (or $6 in advance) will benefit the homeless animals at the PEHS shelter by preventing more litters of kittens and puppies! Here is the link to spay/neuter program info on our website.

3rd Annual Susan Perry Memorial Walk for the Animals

Susan PerrySusan Perry and her daughter Natalie Perry Smead both had a huge love of all animals and were great supporters and dedicated volunteers of Prairie’s Edge Humane Society. In 2006 Natalie passed away in a tragic accident on the Long Island Railroad while on a trip to New York City. In 2009 Susan tragically passed away as well.

Susan Perry was a long time Northfield resident and employee of Cannon Valley Veterinary Clinic. She was generous to people and animals and is missed by everyone who was blessed to have known her.

Prior to her death, Susan had been actively working with Prairie’s Edge Humane Society to plan a Walk for the Animals which would be held in Northfield each fall. After her death, it was obvious to all involved that not only should the planning for the Walk continue, but it should be done so in her honor.

On Saturday, October 8, 2011, we will be celebrating the love Susan had for the animals at the shelter by gathering at the 3rd Annual Susan Perry Memorial Walk for the Animals at Sechler Park in Northfield. Bring your pet and join us for a morning walk! You may walk or enjoy activities from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM. There will be a blessing of the animals held at 9:30 AM, raffles, games for humans and pets as well as prizes for the top fundraiser.

If your pet is not microchipped, we will be offering microchips for only $20.00! It can be done right at the Walk by our shelter veterinarian, Dr. Charlie Gumbusky. It takes only minutes. Dr. Charlie will also be on hand to answer your basic pet care questions during “Ask the Vet”.

Walkers donating at least $50 will receive a free Walk t-shirt. All proceeds will benefit the homeless animals of the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society. For more information or to donate, call 507-334-7117 or

The abandoned and neglected are cared for at Prairie’s Edge Humane Society

HPIM0073All too often there are days at the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society shelter when we receive in animals who have been abandoned or neglected and we find ourselves doing whatever we can to ease their pain and hope that they will heal (physically and emotionally) and at some point we will be able to find them loving homes where they will be cared for and loved as they should be. We often get donations from generous local patrons or pet stores – last month having received top rated automatic litter boxes, which are quite useful given cats dislike using other cats’ litter boxes due to smells.

This week has given us two abandoned kittens left in a cardboard wine box in our parking lot. We estimate their age to be approximately 3-4 weeks old.   One with a horrible soar on its side from a botfly larva, now the size of a quarter, that had implanted itself in this poor kitten’s skin.  (see photo)

HPIM0081Dr. Charlie Gumbusky, our contracted veterinarian for the shelter, happened to be at the shelter at the time these kittens were found in our parking lot so he immediately removed the botfly from the kitten.  This left a large soar in the side of the kitten which will be treated with antibiotics and watched closely for infection.

HPIM0085It is against the law to abandon animals in our parking lot.  The shelter was open at the time and several employees and volunteers were available and could have helped whoever abandoned the kittens.  If the person was not able to pay a turn in fee to PEHS, we would still take the kittens and care for them.  We do not turn any animal away due to financial situations.  It was a very hot day outside and one of our staff was taking items to the dumpster when he noticed a box sitting in the parking lot.  We do not know how long they had been there.

HPIM0104This week also brought us two adorable rabbits that had been very much neglected.  Both had claws that had never been trimmed and were over an inch long. (see photo)  Their claws had grown so long that they were curling.  One of the rabbits had fur that was so matted, causing it pain, so our staff spent hours slowly and delicately working on the tangled mess of rabbit hair, having to stop for periods of time so as not to stress the rabbit too much.  This process took place over a two day period.  When finished there was enough hair removed from the poor rabbit that the pile of hair was enough to cover another rabbit.  (see photo) Both rabbits were very stressed and our staff is working to do whatever we can to avoid further stress for them.

HPIM0101These precious kittens and the rabbits will all be lovingly cared for over the next few days and weeks by our staff and volunteers until they are someday ready to go on the adoption floor.   The added special attention required by these animals over the next few weeks is an added cost to the already stressed budget of the shelter.  You can help us to care for these special cases by donating to the Animals with Special Needs Fund.