MADRAS, OR -- Nearly a dozen Jefferson County dogs have been placed in foster homes during this week's freezing conditions. The Three Rivers Humane Society in Madras has only 10 indoor kennels, which are currently at capacity with young puppies. Megan Wellinghoff, Executive Director for the Bend Spay and Neuter Project tells KBND News shelter workers were doing their best, given the conditions. "They have been busy shoveling snow and making sure the dogs have not frozen water, food and they're as comfortable as they can make them. So, I think they had been really overwhelmed," she said. "So, we saw a chance to give them foster homes, for the dogs that were staying in the outdoor kennels."
Bend Spay and Neuter issued a plea for help on their facebook page. "We thought about asking the shelter for help here in Bend, but just figured there's no reason to give them more work, when there's all these community members who are willing to take these dogs into their homes." Wellinghoff added, "The dogs also get to lay be a fire and be with a family instead of having to go into another shelter setting."
Wellinghoff says this is not an isolated issue. "These dogs are always outside, every night. Not just during these extremely cold temperatures, but every night. So, there's always a need for foster homes, not just right now." She said, "I encouraged the people that didn't get dogs to contact the shelter and let them know they were available to foster at other times as well."
Two Madras vet clinics took in 7 of the dogs. Bend Spay and Neuter then transported seven others to Bend, where they were placed in foster homes. Shelter officials hope all the dogs will be able to remain indoors until this cold snap is over. The Three Rivers Humane Society is looking for grants and donations to help build a new shelter facility.