Minot, ND - This week is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week.
It's a week dedicated to recognizing the care animal shelters provide, and the hard working people who help with the efforts made by shelters.
One of those people is Cynthia Misner.
Since 2001 she's volunteered at the Souris Valley Animal Shelter.
She said she's an animal lover who just wants to help.
But over the years, she's found that she, too is being helped.
Misner is one of many who volunteer their own time and efforts to care for stray or abandoned animals at the Souris Valley Animal Shelter.
"We'd be almost lost if we didn't have some of our volunteers here," shelter director Randy Mcdonald said, "in some cases, we have people that are above and beyond."
Cynthia is one of those cases.
"We cannot take. We have to give. That's one of the most important things I think I teach my son and now my granddaughter. There's three generations of us that volunteer here," Misner said.
She's volunteered at the shelter for 16 years.
Cynthia suffered from a major stroke three years ago, causing physical and mental ailments, taking her from her teaching job.
Part of the stroke's aftermath causes Cynthia to think in French, challenging her to translate to English.
But just four months after her stroke, the shelter took on a hoarding case that brought in feral dogs.
She knew she wanted to help -- and she did -- by socializing and gaining the trust of the animals, they were able to be adopted.
"So that told me I could still help animal even though I had a stroke. I don't teach, but I teach them. And they don't care if it's French or English, they don't care," Misner said.
"People judge you because you're disabled. They're mean. These guys aren't mean. They see me, not the stroke. They see my spirit