Grant County Herald
In a tale of compassion and determination, Officer Ken Froemming of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department received the Humane Officer Award from the Minnesota Humane Society. Presented on September 19 at a county commissioners meeting, the accolade recognized Froemming for his notable actions during this past Fourth of July, a day particularly infamous for animal shelters and humane societies.
Fireworks displays during Independence Day celebrations may spark joy in human hearts, but they tend to strike terror in the lives of our furry friends. As families and communities come together to revel in national pride, shelters are often left dealing with the consequences: disoriented and frightened animals that have fled their homes. This year, however, offered an even more challenging landscape for the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, which found itself in the middle of an animal hoarding situation involving 30 cats.
A woman had brought a kitten with an infected eye to the Grant County Humane Society, seeking low-cost veterinary assistance. Following a successful surgery at Lake Region Small Animal Center to remove the kitten’s eye, she admitted to a predicament: her home was overrun with kittens. After taking in a tomcat and having her daughter bring home a new female cat, litters of kittens soon filled their living spaces. The Sheriff’s department became involved when the woman, recognizing her inability to manage the situation, self-reported.
Faced with an influx of felines and shelters already at capacity, the sad truth is that most of these cats would be euthanized. Officer Ken Froemming took matters into his own hands. “I got on the phone and called every rescue and shelter from the Twin Cities to Fargo,” said Froemming, trying to find a refuge for the large clowder of cats. A few shelters were willing, but restrained by limited space or current quarantine situations. His efforts bore fruit when he contacted the Minnesota Humane Society in Golden Valley, a place specializing in hoarding situations.
Officer Froemming emphasizes that his actions weren’t aimed at criminalizing the overwhelmed cat owner, but rather providing assistance to the animals and the family. Zack Eichten, State Director of the Minnesota Humane Society, praised Froemming’s commitment, stating, “Deputy Froemming went far above the call of duty when called to this hoarding situation. By searching across the state for a rescue partner, these cats were able to have a second chance at life. By finding and partnering with the Animal Humane Society based in the Twin Cities, these cats are on their way to finding loving, forever homes. Deputy Froemming’s actions were absolutely deserving of the Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Law Enforcement award, which is given out to officers who use their position to further the welfare of animals.”
For those still looking to make a difference, it’s worth noting that the Grant County Humane Society currently has a considerable population of cats in need of homes. There are two cats whose adoption fees have been sponsored, awaiting just the right family to give them a forever home.
Amid the challenges that humane societies and law enforcement agencies face daily, this story serves as a bright spot. It reminds us of the multiple facets that make up the work of those who are sworn to protect and serve—be it humans or animals. In recognizing Officer Froemming’s efforts, the Humane Officer Award doesn’t just honor an individual; it shines a spotlight on the broader responsibilities that come with wearing a badge, showing us that compassion has a place alongside courage in the field of law enforcement.