Adoptions down at Three Rivers Humane Society
When people want to adopt a dog at Three Rivers Humane Society, they like to come in and look around.
While the shelter is considered an essential service — there are still owners surrendering their pets and strays who need a safe place — the adoption process has changed.
"We have had to make our adoptions by appointment only," said Jerilee Drynan, director of operations. "You have to have a dog in mind and then do an application in advance."
Potential adopters are given just one hour. They have to sanitize their hands and stay at a distance from Three Rivers employees.
"People are still adopting, but it definitely is putting in a numbers crunch," Drynan said. "Normally, our foot traffic is much more consistent."
That means less income, but not less work, for the shelter.
"We still have to make payroll," Drynan said. "We didn't lay anybody off."
While the animals are still coming in, Drynan said there are no more than usual.
"I don't think people are panicking and dumping their animals," she said, although requests for pet food are up significantly.
But there is a silver lining.
"The positive is we've had a lot of people step forward and foster animals for us," Drynan said.
One of those is Teresa Brothers, who lives at Crooked River Ranch.
"I started fostering in Portland before I moved here, and I knew I wanted to continue when I arrived," she said. "I'm in Jefferson County, so I went in to say hi, and here I am a year later."
She is already on her third foster dog since March 22. That's in addition to her three dogs, one of whom was a "foster fail" named Alura Louise. She was looking for a third dog at the time.
"Now I was looking for a small, elderly dog, and I got an extremely vigorous young German shorthair," Brothers said. She just couldn't resist.
Her current foster dog is a puppy named Kree, a special case, Brothers said.
"She had a brother and a sister. All three are very shy," Brothers said.
Each dog has its own unique joys and challenges.
The puppy before Kree was a snugglebug named Elodie who was obsessed with shoes. She went back to the shelter to be spayed, and Brothers expects she'll have a new family soon.
Brothers has never been much of a joiner, she said, and she's been even more secluded since Gov. Kate Brown restricted gatherings in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"I laugh and say basically the whole country is living my lifestyle," Brothers said, "and no one enjoys it very much."
But the dogs help.
"I'm doing something that I feel I'm contributing, and it makes me happy," she said. "There's nothing like a cuddly puppy to perk you up."
The shelter asked the city for a grant, which the City Council discussed at its April 28 meeting.
Adoptable animals can be viewed at http://threerivershs.org.
Staff is available by phone from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 541-475-6889.
One-time or recurring donations can be made online at the website above or sent to:
Three Rivers Humane Society
P.O. Box 66
Madras, OR 97741
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