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Give Local: The shelter now owns its building, reaching a record number of adoptions

GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - Plenty has changed in the past 20 years for the Newberg Animal Shelter, but its board members, employees and volunteers are hoping the next 20 years remain as productive as the past few.

Plenty has changed in the past 20 years for the Newberg Animal Shelter, but its board members, employees and volunteers are hoping the next 20 years remain as productive as the past few.

No longer is the shelter's building owned by the city – that changed earlier this year. Now, with its building under its own jurisdiction and adoptions at a greater rate than ever, volunteers and workers can focus more on the work at hand: finding homes for animals.

Newberg used to have a run-down old animal shelter near the skate park, but a group of volunteers led by Darlyn Adams took on the task of raising money to build a new one – it took decades. The shelter, originally located on city-owned land, was completed in 2014, according to current shelter president Rick Lipinski, and the local animal control entities moved in to the space with volunteers.

Since that time, both the city and county have cut their animal control programs, leaving the responsibility for maintaining and running the shelter in the hands of Lipinski, board members and a batch of full-time employees working in conjunction with volunteers.

Animal adoptions are on the rise. In their first year, Lipinski said the shelter had 78 adoptions. It's approaching 800 this year.

"We are very happy that we've been able to find permanent homes for so many animals," he said. "We've done that with the help of the citizens of Newberg, Dundee and the surrounding area. It's very gratifying. There are certain times of the year like kitten season where it's busier, and that can be a challenge."

The shelter takes in dogs, cats and other animals in need of a home. They look after lost animals and reunite them with their families while also adopting out strays after keeping them at their facility. Their work is seven days a week and is buoyed by the handful of volunteers who help out workers.

"What people should know is that every animal that comes in is examined, given medical care, spayed or neutered and chipped," Lipinski said. "We do everything to make sure they're in good shape and that the people who adopt them get a good animal.

"We need staff there seven days a week because the animals don't take a day off and neither do we. We have someone there to meet the needs of the animals, but we also have many volunteers who foster parent kittens and puppies, and other volunteers who take animals around the community. We couldn't exist without these people who do this out of the kindness of their hearts."

For more information on animals up for adoption, lost animals or opportunities to volunteer at the shelter, visit www.newberganimals.com. The shelter is located at 1591 S. Sandoz Road in Newberg and can be reached by phone at 503-554-9285.

Adoption hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; stray hours are every day from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


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