Lakota Perspectives 


Cheshire Cat on Skids


Cheshire on Skids


Janis Schmidt


            I took in a stray cat a couple of winters ago when I heard this piteous meowing one night, - 20 below.  The cat stayed and didn’t want to go back outside.  Needless to say, my problem quickly multiplied to 15 cats.   I couldn’t get any help from Humane Society, Social Services, Sheriff, Human Services, County Commissioners, Police, or Health Dept, even though the cat situation is causing a health problem for me.   I discovered that the State doesn’t help animals of any kind, now does it help vets or rescue.   There is no help to get animals spayed, neutered, or disease shots.  Nor is there any help in putting down animals, if need be. 


            A lot of people told me to take the cats out to a farm and dump them off.  I felt that would be cruel and irresponsible.  Abandoned pets suffer from starvation and disease.  They tend to run in packs.  No one takes the responsibility of putting these animals down.  I tried to get the Health Dept. to do something, but they refused.   I thought maybe Social Services could help out.  They said they were already too understaffed, and therefore over- burdened with trying to help people, and could not possible help animals.  Governor Dalrymple and Republican legislators are busy giving back $250 million dollars of taxpayers’ money to the oil corporations, but do not have a dime to spare for animal rescue.


            I could not find anyone or any agency to help me with this problem, an elderly, disabled woman, until a vet told me about TLC ND Animal Rescue and Luann.   This woman who privately runs this organization took 3 of my cats, one a mama cat with 4 new born kittens


            Even though I couldn’t really afford it, I gave her $100, and told her what a total Saint she was.  Have you ever tried to find a home for an unwanted pet?  No one will deal with it, not even the Humane Society or the sheriff’s office or the Health Dept. 


            Luann told me that the ones, who can least afford to help, are the ones who help out.


            North Dakota has this glowing hurrah story, that is is the only State in the Union that not only is not in the red, but has a surplus of BILLIONS of dollars in the state treasury. Governor Dalrymple and his Republican cohorts are determined to rob the ND Treasury to the peoples’ money  to the oil corporations and big business, “to encourage business.”   They gave $250,000 MILLION dollars of Treasury money to big business.  They defeated a bill that would have given a measly little $400 to each citizen of North Dakota.  Governor Dalrymple has squeezed down the staff at the service agencies to the point they can’t function properly.  There is no help for Mental Health.  All these people pour into the state, looking for a job, find one, but then cannot find place to live, so they live in their cars.  Homeless animals come around, and the homeless people feed them.  Then a ND winter strikes and people  go home, leaving their pets, and sometimes their wives behind to fend for themselves. 


            I mean some abandoned women  are living in their cars trying to get help from anyone.     They have no source of help.  No one in this state overflowing with oil dollars can help.  And they have their pets as their only source of comfort.  I seriously think this unstable, uncaring, greedy  environment has caused some people to become a little deranged, poor things, who feel  angered and threatened if their pet is taken, the only source of comfort she has.  They would rather see their cat eat, than eat themselves.


            Whereas the Governor would rather feed the oil corporations than feed the people.  North Dakota is swimming in a sea of oil, yet does not have any dollars for homeless, abandoned cats, dogs, and people.  You know, I haven’t talked to a single person who has benefited from all this oil.


            Greed and the love of money turns people into monsters.  That certainly can be witnessed in the state of North Dakota.  Certainly it has turned the governor and ND legislators into monsters, concerned only with keeping all the oil dollars for themselves or giving it back to oil corporations, while ignoring people and animal needs. 


                Proverbs 12:10 tells us, "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.  That is sheer evil."  The love of money is the root of all evil.  This easy oil money has changed the nature and purpose of this state.  It’s even changed human nature.


I have some suggestions:


  1. Please donate as generously as you can to a woman who is saving lives and finding homes for these unwanted cats and dogs.   TLC ND Animal Rescue,  P.O. Box 1132, Devils Lake, ND  58381, phone 701-662-4357. 


  1. We taxpayers need to occupy Bismarck and the governor’s office with disabled seniors at the lead with our canes and walkers with which we need to work over the governor and legislators and boot them out of office and occupy those offices ourselves in the name of the people.  We can have our grandchildren trailing along behind as bodyguards, and to listen and learn.   I think we have a civic duty to do that because the people and animals have suffered long enough in a state rolling in oil dollars.  Time to take back our oil and our state, and to help the people and animals of North Dakota. 


  1. If you have any unwanted cats, dogs, or horses that you can no longer take care, please take them to Governor Dalyrmple, 600 East Boulevard in Bismarck and drop them off at the Capitol Bldg. 


You can call me at 701-294-2196 or email at


                                                            Most sincerely yours,

                                                            Janis Schmidt


Janis Schmidt is an artist and a writer, currently writing her novel.  She is also an activist where acting will do some good.  “I don’t believe in lying down in traffic.  I think we should take our canes and crutches to the political scoundrels, and remove them from office.”





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