Stray dogs and cats overrun Bend shelter

HSCO workers, police urge pet owners to prepare for summer

Stray dogs and cats overrun Bend shelter

BEND, Ore. - Over the last 24 hours, dozens of cats and dogs have arrived at the Humane Society of Central Oregon.

"In cats, we are at capacity, in dogs we're at about 70 percent," Shelter Manager Karen Burns said Tuesday.

On top of 10 dogs, 38 cats and six rabbits up for adoption, the shelter is overrun with stray dogs and cats waiting for their owners to reclaim them.

"I know a good majority of these cats that we have here, that are sitting here as strays, have owners out there somewhere that just haven't started looking for them yet," Burns said.

Stray dogs are held for five work days, and cats for three, to see if their owners come to pick them up. After that, they go up for adoption.

Shelter employees and Bend police agree that microchips are a huge help in reuniting pets with their owners.

"Microchipping is always really good," said Bend Police Community Service Officer Crea Lancaster. "A lot of times, the dogs we pick up just got done having a bath, (and) they don't have their collar on."

Thunderstorms and fireworks are major anxiety triggers during the summer, and many times lead animals to run.

"We've got some pretty rickety fences, there are things that are just the bare minimum (for) keeping the dog in, and that causes the dog to be able to get out when they get scared," said Lancaster.

So experts say it's best to prepare for the boom of thunder and fireworks. Check your fence, always leash your dog, and keep identification updated.

If your pet does run, it comes with a hefty fine of $330, which can jump to $460 if you are cited more than twice in six months.
But shelters know with the right precautions, people can avoid a time-consuming and costly trip to the shelter to pick up their wayward pooch or cat.

"We're just trying to get these guys out and in good homes, and hopefully free up some space for all the incoming that we've been doing," said Burns.

The Humane Society of Central Oregon updates their stray and adoption page ( every night, but they always recommend coming to the shelter to see if your animal, or the future addition to your family is here.

The Bend shelter is running an adoption special for cats right now. You can name your own price for adult cats older than one year. There's also an 'Adopt a Buddy' special that means you can adopt two cats for that same price.

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