Sarah Lightley/ The Broadside
With everyone at home and having more free time because of COVID-19, individuals and families might look into adopting a dog or a cat. The Humane Society of Ochocos, Brightside Animal Center and Central Oregon Humane Society are amazing places to go and find your new best friend.
All of the Humane Societies have had an increase in adoptions since the beginning of COVID-19. The Humane Society of the Ochocos and the Central Oregon Humane Society indicated they have had an increase in people willing to foster animals as well.
“One of the greatest things to come out of the pandemic, is people are opening their hearts and homes,” said Lynn Ouchida from the Central Oregon Humane Society.
Humane Society of the Ochocos, Prineville
Location: 1280 Tom McCall Rd, Prineville, OR 97754
If you want to adopt an animal from Humane Society of Ochocos, you can call and set up an appointment. If you want to look at the animals ahead of time, you can follow them on Facebook and/or look on Petfinder for your new best friend. The Humane Society would love donations. With winter coming up, jackets in sizes L and XL are needed. Also, cleaning supplies and indestructible toys and bones are needed as well.
Ranger is a 11-year old American Staffordshire Terrier, a type of Pitbull. He was brought to the Humane Society at the age of one and has lived there for 10 years. He is a happy boy, with a cute little tail. He does not show his age, as he is very happy and energetic. He does not like cats!
Mariah is a beagle wiener dog. She was a member of a family of six dogs who were surrendered to the Humane Society for adoption.
Joe is 9 years old and very happy; you can almost see a doggy smile on his face when he came out to the meeting room.
Brightside Animal Center, Redmond
Location: 355 NE Hemlock Ave, Redmond, OR 97756
There has definitely been an increase in adoptions. Pat, an employee of the Brightside Animal Center said this about the increase in adoptions, “people are at home with their kids, who can help take care of the animals and they have more time” …to train and be there for their new furry friend. Brightside opened back up at the end of May. The precautions are still in place for COVID-19: wear masks, stay 6-feet apart, and no groups (i.e. school groups).
Things are done a little bit differently at the Brightside Animal Center: their cats are free roaming. Adopters can walk around and interact with the felines. There are two large rooms with cats roaming and lounging around. If you want to meet the dogs, there are meet and greet rooms, where you can meet the dogs individually. There is also an outdoor area where you can see your new friend run around.
During the height of the fires season in September, Brightside Animal Shelter made a call for help to the community. “Central Oregon Community is amazing, truckloads of donations were received, and were given out to the Red Cross and relief centers for animals in need,” said Pat. They received 20 burn cat victims from the fires, and all but 2 have been adopted out. Most of the injuries consisted of burnt paws, noses, and ears, plus singed whiskers. Brightside Animal Center has a veterinarian staff to take care of injured animals that have been brought in.
Georgia is an energetic hound dog with soft gentle eyes. She is a very sweet and adorable girl, and may be looking for an adopter who has experience with hounds? She was given up because her owner could no longer take care of her. So far, she “has been looked over,” but is eagerly waiting for her forever home. She does okay with other dogs but may prefer a home just for Georgia.
Tiger: An orange cat, super chill and sweet. He is between the ages of 7-9 years old.
Meow Meow: One of the senior cats at the shelter, a handsome black and white boy. Very sweet and loves to be scratched on his back.
Chief: He is a beautiful cat. He is a FIV positive cat, and can’t transfer FIV unless he bites another cat. A home just for Chief would be nice and preferrable.
Central Oregon Humane Society, Bend
Locations: 61170 SE 27th St, Bend, OR 97702
At the Central Oregon Humane Society, shockingly, the numbers are down, “we don’t have as many animals,” said Ouchida. As soon as animals become available, they would be adopted out quickly. “People are waiting for animals to go on the website and even stopping by the Humane Society to see the animals before they are ready for adoption.” The increase in adoptions is described as, “Bends new competitive sport is trying to get animals from us.”
During March-May, adoptions were made by appointment only. When opening the doors, they were nervous and concerned that they wouldn’t be able to control the crowds. Lynn said that “the community was amazing, keeping the traffic down.” These are some of the COVID-19 precautions they currently follow: they have plexiglass installed, directions to follow in the facility, and they have a rigid cleaning schedule.
They didn’t foster animals during COVID-19; however, during COVID-19 shutdown was some of the best adoptions they have seen. The potential adopters had the whole building to themselves; they were able to ask many questions, had the whole back yard to play with the animals, and simply, “they had quality of time.”
There is a concern that once people go back to work after the pandemic, or the off chance that people impulsively adopted the animals during COVID-19, the animals may be returned to the humane society. The humane society has been monitoring the percentage of returns closely, and there has only been a 1% increase in return rates this year.
During the height of the wildland fire season, the humane society received burn victims, cats, bunnies and domestic birds. After achieving health, these animals were returned to owners. The only burn victim left now is Sarah, a cat who was badly burned. Most of the animals that came had owners who lost everything, and they needed the humane society to heal their animals and take care of them until they can find a place to live.
All the humane societies would love donations. The Central Oregon Humane Society needs non- clumping cat litter and financial support in order to buy dog food that their dogs are used to eating.
Find your new best friend today. If one humane society doesn’t have an animal you have fallen in love with, take your time to visit other shelters in the Central Oregon area.