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Country star’s charity gives $3,000 to Prairie Paws for new van

Country music star Miranda Lambert loves dogs, and her MuttNation Foundation has spread that love, along with thousands of dollars, all over the U.S. — including Jamestown’s own Prairie Paws Rescue.

The local rescue organization received $3,000 this week from Lambert and her charity.

“I burst into tears when I opened the mailbox and opened the letter,” said Kaye John, co-founder of Prairie Paws. “… we never get money of that denomination given to us — we feel like we’ve hit the lottery and then some.”

The $3,000 will pay for about half the cost of replacing a van Prairie Paws uses to rescue pets from puppy mills, hoarders and other bad situations and bring them to foster families for later adoption.

The rescue organization is still seeking donations to pay for the rest of the van, a replacement for an existing vehicle in which the heat and electrical systems no longer work.

“We’re a small, small foundation for our charity,” said Bev Lambert, who along with her Grammy-winner daughter Miranda, serves on the five-person board of the MuttNation Foundation.

At the end of 2013, the foundation decided to give out 50 grants to rescue organizations in America, one in each state, and Prairie Paws was selected from among the North Dakota groups.

“Here’s one of the standout notions for us — they are an all-volunteer group,” Bev said of Prairie Paws. “One of our thoughts was that if you have a strong volunteer base, you’re doing something right, because people don’t get on a sinking ship.”

Other reasons cited for Prairie Paws’ selection included its dedication to rescuing pets in bad situations, its efforts to get pets placed in homes and the way it cooperates with other rescues and transports animals for placement when needed.

Choosing between all the rescue groups wasn’t easy for the five board members of MuttNation, and it took them a combined 100 hours to make their selections.

Prairie Paws has been working on raising money to pay the rest of the cost of the van and received about $1,000 over the Christmas season, John said.

While raising money for the van, Prairie Paws has still had to pay for other things — food and supplies for pets being fostered and medical care for the rescued pets that need it.

Then there are the surprise costs, like the emergency treatment for Highway, an orange 1-year-old kitten hit by a car near Roosevelt Elementary School in Jamestown in December.

Though it seems likely Highway will come out of the incident OK, the tiger-striped kitten did have a broken leg, and his veterinary bill so far is $550, John said.

Bev Lambert encouraged people to donate to Prairie Paws, calling the organization “worthy,” and in her letter announcing the donation, wrote that MuttNation appreciated “the exemplary work you have exhibited” in the fight to end animals’ suffering.

“We are hopeful some of those relationships (between MuttNation and the shelters selected) will grow,” Bev said.

Meanwhile, Prairie Paws is extremely grateful for the generosity of the Lamberts and MuttNation.

“We’re just completely overwhelmed,” John said.

Donations can be sent to Prairie Paws Rescue at P.O. Box 1114, Jamestown, ND, 58402-1114.

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Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by email at