Dogs who walk in the doors of Oregon Dog Rescue have been known to bark with joy. The reason? These furry friends are being given a new outlook on life. The non-profit organization located in Tualatin saves dogs from high-kill shelters all over the West Coast and takes in dogs from local owners who can’t care for them. Founded in 2007 by Deb Bowen and Krystyna Schmidt, the organization has many helpful hands assisting the canines in finding their forever homes. There are three full-time and 10 part-time employees, in addition to a team of 12 core volunteers and upwards of 500 more people who help with drop-in dog walking or fostering. Together, the team cares for and adopts out an average of 150 dogs a month, or close to 2,000 dogs per year.
Oregon Dog Rescue offers a non-typical shelter environment as it’s set up like a doggy daycare. Dogs are not in cages or runs during the day, and at night, they sleep in private crates. The dogs can play together and socialize with staff and volunteers, and they get long walks each day, too. This gives the team the ability to get to know the dogs and their unique personalities, giving the team what they need to know to match the dogs well with prospective owners.
Kim Harney, Manager at Oregon Dog Rescue, explains that the organization runs solely on adoption fees and donations to care for the dogs and keep the facility running. She shares that partnerships are also a key part of their success so far. “We have a great relationship with Willamette Valley Animal Hospital. They provide 90% of our medical care for every dog that comes into rescue, offering 25-30 surgeries per week, in addition to medical care. We could not exist without their huge partnership.” Harney says that they also partner with a local groomer and photographer that donate their time to help with adoption photos and grooming, in addition to other local businesses that help with fundraisers like Lexidog Boutique and Social Club, Petsmart and Mercedes Benz of Wilsonville.
Oregon Dog Rescue also works with A New Leash on Life, an organization based in Eugene that helps provide bi-weekly transports for dogs coming from California. Harney shares that part of their donations come from sponsors that want to ‘buy a seat on the bus.’ “This allows one lucky pup to get out of the overcrowded kill shelters in California and get on their way to Oregon Dog Rescue. Any and all donations help us continue to save lives,” she says.
With medical costs running upwards of $40,000 per month, Oregon Dog Rescue leadership plans to continue fundraising and focus on growing their base of partners. Also, because they have grown substantially, they have begun growing out of their current facility. Oregon Dog Rescue plans on expanding operations to a larger facility in 2021.
For more information on rescuing a dog, Oregon Dog Rescue posts fundraising and event information, in addition to pictures and descriptions of adoptable dogs daily on their www.oregondogrescue.org or facebook.com/oregondogrescue.