Local News

Santa Express Returns To Bend Monday

BEND, OR -- Bend Firefighters launch the annual Santa Express drive Monday. They’ll collect food, clothing and toys for families in need, while spreading a little holiday cheer.

Fire trucks will drive through neighborhoods Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Click HERE for the complete schedule of locations. 

You can also drop off donations at any Bend Fire Station, the Bend Airport Flight Center or at the Salvation Army through December 15th.

Curbside pickup is also available in Bend. Call 541-322-6386 to arrange a date and time. 

Last year, they were able to help more than 600 families.

Madras High Evacuated After Reported Bomb Threat

MADRAS, OR -- Madras High School was evacuated Thursday morning after what the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office described as "a threat made specific to Madras High School." Families were told not to come to the campus, to allow law enforcement to investigate. JCSO later revealed the agency received a bomb threat against the school at about 8:15 a.m.

Joey Prechtel, with the Jefferson County 509J School District, tells KBND News initially Madras High was put into lockdown. Two neighboring schools were also impacted, "Once Madras High was placed into lockdown, the decision was made to place those two elementary schools - Buff Elementary and Madras Elementary - into what we call a secure status. Secure is where school is operating as normal inside the building. Exterior doors are locked and no one is supposed to be going in and out of the building." 

Within an hour, MHS was evacuated, "It was a police-led evacuation. We bussed all of our Madras High students, as well as our - we have a preschool program within Madras High School - those students were bussed as well, to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds." All but about a dozen students were picked up at the fairgrounds. 

"We had received the all clear from law enforcement. They’d conducted several thorough searches throughout Madras High School, they deemed it safe to re-enter. So, our staff, as well as the students who were not picked up, returned to Madras High School," says Prechtel. About 90 minutes after returning to the campus, those final students were bussed home. "We did make the decision to hold our after-school programming at Madras High School that we’d normally have Monday through Thursday, and then we also made the decision to hold our athletic practices, as well."

JCSO says there is no credible threat and classes will resume Friday. According to Prechtel, trained staff will be on hand today (Fr) for students who need to talk to someone about the incident.


file photo

Envision Bend Shifts Focus

BEND, OR -- Envision Bend is moving from planning to a guiding stage. The group released its Vision Action Plan in September. Executive Director Matt Muchna tells KBND News they identified short- and long-term goals in growth, economic, inclusivity, and environmental areas, “Wanting to take on projects that are near the finish line that might just need an extra push this next year. But then also maybe look at one or two of those bigger, more aspirational kind of move the needle projects that we think really need a spark.”

Projects include public transit, mental health, and adaptation to climate change.

Over 3,500 people participated in a survey for the action plan and 128 partners are onboard. Muchna says they’ll start with a mix of easily attainable goals and larger challenges, “So, I think partners will work with Envision Bend and let us know what support might be needed and we're going to do the same. We're going to reach out to partners to figure out how we can best support these organizations in their work. …Trying to balance and pick a couple of strategies this year to throw our weight behind and try to make some action happen.” He considers the Vision Action Plan a living document, “Things are already changing and partners are moving. And so, it's important to us to have a framework that updates this plan on an annual basis. Having an annual update to the plan will help. It won't be a full revamp, but rather just additional tweaks and changes and making sure that it's current to reflect the community.” Envision Bend took input for the Vision Action Plan from surveys and meetings over a 17-month period.


Downtown Bend Tree Lighting Kicks Off Holidays Friday

BEND, OR -- Bend officially kicks off the holiday season Friday. "This is a really big weekend for downtown Bend," says Shannon Monihan, Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association, "The fun starts about 4 o’clock, when Santa Claus arrives outside the Commons Plaza, kind of perched to the left, if you were to walk up to the door of the Commons coffee shop. He’s going to be out there ready to greet children."

The tree lighting program starts at 5 p.m. "We’re going to have children from Silver Rail Elementary talking about what Christmas means to them. We have several dance groups performing, the Oregon Youth Choir," Monihan tells KBND News, "We’re going to do the countdown of the tree lighting at 5:30. And then we’re going to follow that immediately up with more performances until about 6:30 or 7."

First Friday Art Walk also runs from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. "Once we get through Art Walk, we have our Christmas parade Saturday." Just before the parade, kids can take part in a new free fun run at 11 a.m., "It’s called the Reindeer Rush. It’s going to take place from Goody’s to 900 Wall, and it’s just a short little run to get everyone’s Christmas energy out," says Monihan, "It’s geared towards the sixth grader, that age bracket. Cascade Relays is putting that on and they’re giving out 500 antlers." Click HERE for more information and to register for the kids fun run. Bend's annual Christmas Parade starts at noon, weaving around Drake Park and Mirror Pond. This year’s theme is "The Lights of Christmas."

Santa will also appear at Kobold Brewing Company and the Oxford Hotel for families to visit throughout the season. Click HERE for more information. 

File photo couresy of Visit Central Oregon

Mt. Bachelor Plans To Open Saturday

BEND, OR -- Mt. Bachelor plans to open its ski and snowboard season this weekend, thanks to an "atmospheric river" forecast for the Cascade Mountain this week. The resort will open Little Pine and Sunrise lifts Saturday morning, December second, conditions permitting. Mt. Bachelor’s Nordic Center also expects to open for the season on Saturday. Mountain Gateway at West Village, West Village Lodge, and Sunrise Lodge will be open daily starting Saturday.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. Thursday,  the mountain will be closed to all uphill travel to allow for season preparations. Uphill travel will reopen on opening day and a new Uphill Policy will go into effect. The Cinder Cone Route will be the only uphill travel route available starting on opening day until Pine Marten Express opens.

Bachelor officials say they will continue to assess conditions and expand terrain as conditions allow. More updates are available at the daily Mountain Report.

Vets Suggest Precautions For Dog Owners

BEND, OR -- Oregon is one of a number of states reporting a mysterious respiratory illness infecting dogs. Since August there have been 200 reports in the state.

While canine illnesses are not uncommon, veterinarians and the state Department of Agriculture are trying to narrow down the cause of the disease. “A few years back, there was canine influenza. So, this is not out of the norm to see these kinds of outbreaks. We want to encourage people to be just preventative and be cautious, not to panic and not to be worried,” The Humane Society of Central Oregon’s Lynne Ouchida says there are precautions dog-owners can take, “Keeping your dogs current on vaccinations is key. Talk to your veterinarian and see what vaccines they've had. And if they recommend anything else, that's the advice that you should pay attention to.”

And avoid popular spots. “Find alternatives to dog parks. Great time to go, maybe check out the Badlands or teach a dog how to play fetch or frisbee, and avoid those public water bowls,” she says.

This particular disease resembles kennel cough but does not respond to antibiotics, and could lead to pneumonia. 

No cases have been reported in Central Oregon. Ouchida says no cases have been reported in shelters, which is generally an area of concern for spreading illness.


Pedestrian Killed In SW Redmond Crash

REDMOND, OR -- An 85-year-old woman was killed while crossing SW Canal Blvd. Tuesday evening. Redmond Police say Maria Socorro Nunez Rodriguez attempted to cross two lanes of traffic just north of Odem Medo, at about 5 p.m. She was struck by a southbound pickup and died at the scene.

The 45-year-old Bend driver was unhurt and police say he is cooperating with the investigation. 

RPD reminds drivers to remain vigilant, especially at night, and urges pedestrians to wear light-colored or reflective clothing after dark.

Redmond Schools Joins Lawsuit Against Social Media Giants

REDMOND, OR -- A local school board believes social media has led to a massive jump in depression, anxiety and social isolation among students, and wants those companies to pay up. "The Redmond School District has joined up with other school districts to sue social media companies," says Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline, "For the amount of mental health damage that we believe social media is causing our kids over time."

Several other Oregon districts are involved in this and other lawsuits against companies like TikTok, Google, SnapChat, YouTube and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram. More than 200 districts around the country have reportedly also launched similar legal battles. The suits claim the companies take advantage of vulnerable young minds. Cline tells KBND News, "We’re having huge, huge spikes in mental health issues in kids - not just here in Redmond but around Oregon and around the nation. A lot of researchers link that to social media. Since social media and smartphones came out in 2008, the big jump in mental health issues have been huge." 

Dr. Cline says the district’s budget also suffers, "We’ve calculated over the last three years, including this one, we’ll spend about $10 million on mental health issues. Those are counselors and specialists. That’s money that can be better used for instructional purposes." But he acknowledges winning the suit is a longshot, "I don’t know that we’ll win that, as they have all the money in the world. But I do think it’s important for our community to know that our school board is taking it seriously enough that they want to try and do something about it."


BPRD Winter Rec Registration Opens Monday

BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Rec kicks off winter recreation activities, leagues and classes very soon. "We are going to be opening our winter registration next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday," says the parks district's Julie Brown. 

Sign-up periods will again be staggered. "Next Monday, December fourth, is when we’re going to open our Recreation, our Enrichment and some of our sport camp-related programs," says Brown. Also Monday, families can register for upcoming no-school days, including during Spring Break. "Tuesday, December fifth, is going to be our swim lessons; that’s always a big day. And then on Wednesday, December sixth, is when we will have our sports leagues opening." She tells KBND News, "Now, our sports leagues, in particular, are going to be for winter and spring. So, you really have to be thinking about - not only what you might be wanting to do in January, but all the way through into that March timeframe." Brown says, "Our sports leagues that are going to be opening are going to include hockey and another season of curling at the Pavilion. It’s also going to include lacrosse and softball."

Each days’ registration period opens online at 6 a.m. Brown acknowledges stretching sign ups across three days can be inconvenient, "For some folks, that means having to get up at 6 a.m. three days in a row. But for us, it means that it has spread out the amount of activity that we were having with registration, so everything goes a lot smoother and we’re not having those long wait times that we had before."

If you haven’t accessed your Bend Parks and Rec account in a while, Brown recommends logging in this week, just to make sure you remember your password. 


Deschutes Co. Discusses Accommodations For Safe Parking Program

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners continue to look for ways to create more safe parking sites - locations where the unhoused can live in an RV or car while receiving case management services. 

Commissioner Patti Adair has asked for months for more safe parking locations. At Monday's work session, she expressed frustration only four churches have signed up for the program. "It’s been incredibly successful. And I would love the message to get out that when you actually have safe parking in your parking lot, it actually makes your entire property safer." She added, "Fewer kids come in and have parties in the middle of the night, all kinds of things. Because these people actually look out for the church property. It’s quite amazing."

Commissioners discussed potential code changes to make it easier for shelter sites like safe parking to come online in unincorporated areas. But they noted much of the land in rural Deschutes County is zoned Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) which, under state land use laws, isn’t allowed to be used for emergency shelter.

Also Monday, County Health Services Director Janice Garceau provided an update on homeless outreach efforts. She told said neighborhoods aren’t willing to support more shelter sites because of what they hear about the homeless community; much of which she says is inaccurate, "What I have observed over and over again are horror stories being told in public because they are eye-catching and attention grabbing, and scary for all of us who live in the community." She told Commissioners, "We are going to struggle to ask our neighbors to welcome the people we serve into their community if we only talk about how dangerous these folks are. The vast majority of the people we serve are not dangerous. In fact, they are ten times more likely to be victims of crime."

Garceau said, "I’m just inviting our community, our leaders to reflect what’s true about the vast majority of the people we’re serving. Which is they are in quite dire straits. They are welcoming of assistance; they may not use it the way we would always want them to. But that may be because of conditions they’re experiencing that most of us have no idea."


Hospice Of Redmond Festival Of Trees Saturday

REDMOND, OR -- The annual Festival of Trees is back at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds this Saturday, December 2nd. This 40th edition is expanding into two buildings to showcase over 30 decorated trees for an anticipated 2,500 guests.

“It's a popular event and so we want to do it justice. So, we've reserved both the Middle Sister and the South Sister,” Hospice of Redmond’s  Marketing Coordinator Lauren Lebien tells KBND News they appreciate the community support, “Basically all the funds that we raise help us offer services which are not covered by Medicare or private insurance… bereavement counseling… veteran services.” There are trees dedicated to specialty programs, as well. “A Camp Sunrise tree. We have a grief camp for Children in the community who might have lost a loved one. So, we have a tree for that.” There’s also the ‘Pet Peace of Mind,' “It's basically a program where people who are on hospice who don't have a caregiver need help caring for their dog or their cat,” she says.

There are many trees to bid on at the gala. “We're featuring a live auction of about 33 creatively decorated holiday trees. We have raffles, live entertainment and refreshments. So, we're hoping for a good turnout this year since it's our 40th anniversary,” she adds the festivities kick off in the morning, “We have a free family event starting at 10 a.m. So, families can come from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 2nd and just enjoy the trees view them. We've got a kids' corner and Santa.”

Doors open for the gala 5 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Hospice of Redmond website


Redmond Home Destroyed By Fire Caused By Unattended Cooking

REDMOND, OR -- A manufactured home in southwest Redmond was destroyed by fire Friday morning. Firefighters responded to the house on SW Harvest Ave. at about 9 a.m. The first arriving crews found fire pouring through the roof. There are no fire hydrants in the area, so water was shuttled in by truck. 

No one was home at the time of the blaze. Investigators determined it started with food left cooking. The estimated loss is $500,000. The Red Cross is helping the displaced family. 

Redmond Fire & Rescue reminds everyone to never leave food cooking. If you must leave the kitchen, turn off the stove and move items away that could burn. 

Hiring Blitz For Crook Co. Bus Drivers

PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crook County Schools is trying to avoid a future bus driver shortage. The district’s Jason Carr says they have enough for now, but they  anticipate several retirements. CCSD also needs more substitutes to cover other drivers’ time off. 

Carr tells KBND News drivers enjoy building relationships with students and families, "That’s probably one of the things that you’ll hear a lot of bus drivers talk about is the relationships. And, especially in a small community like Prineville, you really get to know a lot of folks that way."

Starting pay is between $20 and $25 an hour. Drivers get weekends and holidays off. "We run a split schedule," says Carr. "Our elementary students are on one timeframe. They generally start around 8 o’clock in the morning, and are done around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. And then our middle and high schools start around 9 a.m. and finish between 3:30 and 3:45. So, our bus drivers are essentially running two routes in the morning and two routes in the afternoons." He adds, "Many of our bus drivers do also take kids on field trips and will choose to take the high school and middle school teams to sporting events." 

Carr says the district offers full benefits, "Generally when you’re around 30 hours a week; there’s a certain threshold. And we pay for your training. Because it’s not a job that you can apply for like today and start on Monday. You’ve got to go through the training and get certified to get there."

You’ll find more information on bus driver and other job openings for the district HERE


Search & Rescue Readies For Winter

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is getting set for another season of helping the lost or stranded. Lieutenant Ty Rupert, Search and Rescue Supervisor tells KBND News teams are ready for emergency calls, “That time of year where we're going to have the snowfall season. So, we're preparing for that. We have 133 SAR volunteers that are equipped and ready to go out at a moment’s notice if necessary.”

If you do get stuck, hurt, or disoriented don’t hesitate to call 911.

“Please call. Volunteers are excited. They want to go out on missions… But we want to make sure that everybody is safe and that they get to enjoy our beautiful back country. But we want them to be able to return home safely,” he says, while reminding that you should 'know before you go', and prepare for winter weather, even if you’re just out to find a Christmas tree, “Just do your research ahead of time. Don't always trust your GPS because it could take you on a detour route that you're not familiar with or prepared for.”

He says there are areas where they know they will be deployed, “Some of the trouble spots, obviously for us, for (rescuing) the snowmobilers... we always have issues with the Bend watershed area. Also, any of your backcountry skiing, snowboarding.”

The sooner you call for help the better chance for a positive outcome. “If you are in need of Search and Rescue or any service from the sheriff's office, please call. Call 911. Don't be afraid to call. Search and Rescue does not charge to come out and rescue people.”


Two Apartment Fires Keep Bend Crews Busy

BEND, OR -- Bend firefighters responded to two apartment fires over the long weekend. The first was on Atwood Drive, Thursday. Everyone evacuated the building after the batteries of an electric skateboard caught fire while charging in a bedroom. The building’s sprinkler system extinguished the flames and damage was limited to the bedroom.

Friday evening, a new tenant moving in to a newly constructed building in southwest Bend inadvertently turned on a burner while setting something on the cooktop. They quickly used a hallway fire extinguisher before the sprinklers activated.

Photos Courtesy of Bend Fire & Rescue

Bend Transient Arrested For Weapons Offense

BEND, OR -- A 34-year-old transient was arrested near China Hat Road Friday after allegedly threatening a group of UTV riders near his camp. Deschutes County deputies say Nathaniel Bennett pointed a gun at the group, and fired near a girl during the confrontation.

SWAT responded with an armored vehicle and tried to negotiate his surrender but authorities say he was uncooperative, retreating into his van where they believed he had more weapons. Eventually, two K-9s were deployed and captured Bennett.

He was evaluated at the hospital prior to booking. Bennett is charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Coercion, Menacing, Attempted Assault and Reckless Endangering. 

Mt. Bachelor Opening Delayed

BEND, OR -- Mt. Bachelor announced Wednesday it has postponed the start of its winter season due to a lack of snow. Initially, the resort hoped to open Friday, November 24. 

Director of Marketing & Communications Lauren Burke issued a statement Wednesday, saying in part, "While we have received some solid early season storms in late Oct/early Nov, we’ve also seen a few rain events and warmer temps. In order to build our base for skiing and riding, we’ll need another solid winter storm to safely handle the volume of skiers and riders once the lifts start spinning." Currently, the base is just 8" on the lower mountain. 

Burke says there is not yet a date set for opening, but promises it will be "as soon as possible based on conditions and snowfall." 

Guests booked for this weekend will be refunded. 


Photo from Pine Marten Lodge, 11/22/23

BPD Increases DUII Patrols

BEND, OR -- Dedicated DUI patrols are looking for impaired drivers over the long holiday weekend. Bend Police Sergeant Tim Guest says everyone can keep an eye out, “We absolutely want our citizens and community members to call into dispatch when they see intoxicated drivers. So, if you believe it's an emergency situation, as some of them often are, call 911. And if you do not believe it's an emergent situation, then call our non-emergency dispatch number.”

He says there are no excuses to drink and drive, “Well with Lyft and Uber it’s all too simple to get a safe ride home these days.”

Police are increasing patrols in all areas of the city. “We're going to have multiple DUI patrols out. Some of them are regularly scheduled officers that are on DUI patrol and then through ODOT DUI grant funding, we have additional resources and officers that are out there as well,” Guest says.

Cat Dies In Redmond House Fire

REDMOND, OR -- A northeast Redmond home was heavily damaged by an early morning house fire. Firefighters responded to NE Shoshone Drive at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday to find fire spreading quickly in one house, extending to a second. Families inside both homes safely evacuated after they were woken up by the smoke alarms. 

Firefighters quickly knocked down the blaze and rescued numerous reptiles from inside. Unfortunately, a cat did not survive. 

Investigators believe the fire started with a pellet stove that wasn't properly vented. 


Photo courtesy of Redmond Fire & Rescue.

Bend Woman Last Seen In June Reported Missing

BEND, OR -- The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help to find a Bend-area woman who hasn't been seen since June. 

DCSO says 31-year-old Kasie Marie Mae Jones was recently reported missing. She was last known to be living on the east side of Highway 97, just north of Bend, in an area commonly called "Dirt World."

Jones is white, 5'1", weighing about 130 pounds. She has brown hair and green eyes. The attached photo is from 2018. 

Anyone with information or who may have seen Jones is asked to call non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911 and ask for Detective Bryan Morris. 

Madras Tries To Prevent Camping In Willow Creek

MADRAS, OR -- Dozens of new signs are going up in Madras this week, reminding people there is no littering or camping in waterways or water rights of way, like on and under bridges. Community Development Director Nick Sneed says it’s in response to issues discovered along Willow Creek, "With our new Code Enforcement officer, we have enhanced capacity to assess the amount of trash that’s in our community. One of the areas that we’ve determined there’s a lot of trash and a lot of risk is in our waterways."

He acknowledges littering has always been illegal. But tells KBND News signs make it easier to enforce, "Some people may not know that these regulations already exist. But by putting up a sign, we can say, ‘Hey, as we’ve posted right here, what you’re doing is inconsistent with state law.’"

Willow Creek is a dry stream-bed right now, "But when large water events come - That could be where we have a lot of snow and it melts really quickly - water can flow through Willow Creek very quickly. That’s a problem," says Sneed, "We also have large rain storms, usually with thunderstorms, things like that in the spring, maybe fall, sometimes summer, can create water in Willow Creek all of a sudden." He says a wildfire near the creek could also make it very dangerous, making it necessary to keep people out of the area, "So that during inclement weather, we can keep our residents safe. We want to remove the trash; we want to find safer places for people to live, if they happen to be camping there."


Redmond-Dallas/Ft. Worth Flights Begin In May

REDMOND, OR -- After several years of work, the Redmond Airport has secured its easternmost route, with American Airlines. "Starting May 6 of 2024 until October 6, we’re going to have a seasonal direct Dallas flight from Redmond," announced Airport Director Zach Bass on Monday. "We’ve been looking at Dallas for quite a long time. It’s one of the larger markets that we don’t have direct to." Bass says several major hiccups led to long delays in negotiations, "COVID and some of the pilot shortage issues that are going on in the industry have made it take a little longer than I would’ve liked." He tells KBND News, "We got a grant from the Department of Transportation to help kind of push this along, which we were hoping to use earlier. It just kind of - it came to fruition now and will start in the summer. So, we’re excited."

The Nonstop flights will depart Dallas at 10:15 a.m. and land at Redmond at 12:31 p.m. The outbound flight leaves RDM at 1:16 p.m and arrives in Dallas at 6:57 p.m. "It’ll be daily and on an Airbus 320, 150-seater," says Bass.

The new destination provides a lot of opportunities for local travelers, "It is [American Airlines'] headquarters and largest hub. Almost 800 daily flights on American leave Dallas-Fort Worth," says Bass, "So basically, you can get from Redmond to Dallas, and I think from there almost anywhere you want to go; especially with connections to the southeast part of the country, and then even Mexico, Central America and basically anywhere."

The announcement comes just ahead of the return of Alaska Air's Portland-Redmond flight, which starts November 29th after a two year hiatus. Flights to Palm Springs on Avelo Airlines have also returned for the season. 


Giving Plate's New Holiday Fundraiser Nears

BEND, OR -- The Giving Plate’s Jingle Store opens next month, for low-income Central Oregon children. 

“It's really grown over the years that it was sparked by one little boy's question for a gift to give his mom for Christmas,” Executive Director Ranae Staley tells KBND News the nonprofit expects 900 kids to pick out gifts for their family at the River House Convention Center. “We take over the whole downstairs and it's now an experience where they walk through Winter wonderland. They meet Princesses, and Buddy the Elf, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus, ballerinas… and then get to go into the Jingle Store and shop and have presents wrap.”

Staley says the Santa’s Plate event helps provide funding for the Jingle Store, “Families get the same walkthrough experience as they do with Jingle. But kids get to decorate cookie plates as keepsakes and it's really fun. We had great feedback last year.”

It’s a unique experience according to Staley, “Really, really magical. There's nothing quite like it in Bend. So, we are pretty confident that families who get to come and experience it will create memories that they cherish forever with their kids.”

The second annual Santa’s Plate fundraiser is at the Riverhouse Convention Center December 17th and 18th.

Ticket and information can be found here.


Redmond Parks Could Get More Pickleball Courts

REDMOND, OR Changes are planned this spring for two Redmond parks. City Council is expected to award a contract tomorrow night for renovating Tennis and Pickleball Courts. “Starting in April we'll do the resurfacing and conversion of our Valleyview tennis and pickleball courts. Currently, there's two tennis courts, we'll be resurfacing them and converting one of those into four pickleball courts.” Redmond Parks Planner Maria Ramirez says Valleyview’s courts will be done by May, “Shortly after the (high school) tennis season concludes, we'll be resurfacing the Sam Johnson tennis courts and resurfacing and repairing the Sam Johnson pickleball courts.”

Ramirez tells KBND News the sport’s booming popularity is behind the department’s decision to convert one of the tennis courts at Valleyview Park into four pickleball courts. “Everyone agreed that this is a great opportunity to alleviate some spacing that's happening at Sam Johnson and bringing them to the Valleyview area. It's a prime location for size and noise away from neighbors. So, that's ultimately the decision that we move forward with.”

Parks system development charges will pay for the project which is included in the fiscal year 2023/24 budget.


Humane Society Shelter Stresses Appointment Policy Over Holidays

BEND, OR -- The Humane Society of Central Oregon is struggling to accommodate everyone who needs to give up an animal, at a time when shelter capacity is unpredictable, "The drive for adoption around the holidays is usually very high. But we also see an uptick in intake during that time, as well," says HSCO Animal Management Director Karen Burns. 

She tells KBND News, since the pandemic, the shelter has asked people to make an appointment if they need to surrender a pet. Pre-scheduling allows the Bend shelter to make sure shelter space and appropriate staff are available for things like medical care and kennel cleaning. But, Burns says, too many pet owners aren't following that procedure, which strains resources. "It’s detrimental to the animal, at that point, too, because you’re forcing a same-day intake when we don’t have the resources to take care of that animal."

Late last week, someone left a litter of puppies in the Bend shelter’s parking lot. "Three-week-old puppies that are left in our parking lot with no mom; I mean, that’s basically worst case scenario." Burns says HSCO was very lucky to be able to find foster homes on such short notice, "It can be really hard, especially around the holidays. Trying to get those puppies out the week before Thanksgiving was a challenge."

Reasons for a pet's surrender vary, but Burns says many come in because of changes in living situations. "Sometimes I get calls from people who say it’s an emergency because they knew they were moving for two months and they waited until the last day to call me. To me, that’s not an emergency." She adds, "If you know you’re moving in a month, even if you’re not 100% sure that you want to surrender your animal or that you need to surrender your animal, call me. We can have a conversation, I can get you on the schedule. And, if you’re able to rehome them or you’re able to find housing in that time that allows your animal, then it’s just simply canceling your appointment, and you have that appointment to fall back on."

If you’d like to help, HSCO needs more foster families. Donations of canned dog food and treats are also appreciated. The shelter reports food donations have declined this year, leaving some cupboards empty



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