Sep 01,2006 00:00
Bend Weekly News Sources
Seven dogs from Bend are among those participating in the “10,000 Second Chances” Program.
How many second chances in life are there? At the Oregon Humane Society, a lucky Beagle from Bend received the society’s 10,000th second chance. Lollipop, a four-year-old Beagle found as a stray and first taken in by a shelter in Bend, will now be looking to OHS for a second chance at finding a home.
Lollipop and six other dogs came to OHS from the the Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend. Animal Welfare Director Troy Kerstetter frequently makes the three-hour drive from Bend to Portland when his shelter—which has one of the highest adoption rates in the country—runs out of room for adoptable dogs.
“When the choice is to euthanize a healthy animal because we have run out of space, I hotfoot it to OHS,” he said.
While visiting shelters around the state, Farnsworth offered OHS’s assistance to shelters that, no matter how hard they worked, could not find space to house adoptable dogs. “I asked these shelters to call us, and said we would find homes for these dogs. If necessary, we’ll send our van to pick them up.”
For Bend’s Humane Society of Central Oregon, the Second Chance program is a way to cope with the large number of dogs it receives—so many that the shelter’s kennels sometimes overflow. “We have an extremely high dog adoption rate, and people are always surprised that a shelter of our size can find homes for over 1,000 dogs each year” said Kerstetter. “We work hard to reunite strays with their owners and I am always looking for ways to find new homes for dogs, which includes taking them to OHS if I need to.”
Both Bend's shelter and OHS have adoption rates far above the national average--Bend adopts 96 percent of its dogs, and Portland has adopted 98 percent so far this year. The national average is estimated at only 25 percent.
“It always brings a smile to my face when I see a van filled with dogs from other shelters arrive,” said Harmon. “The drivers are usually unpaid volunteers who have been on the road for hours, and they are the real heroes for the dogs.”