ANOTHER VOICE: Please foster a shelter dog and teach it to trust

Hood River Adopt A Dog (HRAAD) rescued 10 dogs on Friday, March 15, from a Washington farm where they had been housed in less than desirable conditions, and is seeking help in their care.

HRAAD had been contacted by someone who knew of the dogs and coordinated the release by the owner who willingly turned the dogs over. The mostly Chihuahua mixes (originally 18 but the owner had already found homes for some) had been allowed to breed indiscriminately and were being housed outdoors on the farm.

When Shelter Coordinator Janette Skarda, adoption counselor Joe Eckert and I arrived at the property, they encountered the mob of small dogs in generally good shape. A few, however, were terrified of human contact.

While catching one of the fearful dogs, Skarda discovered the remains of days-old puppies, trampled by livestock, and the barn full of animal feces where the dogs had been living.

It saddens us that these situations exist. The woman who owned the dogs was meeting their basic needs of food and shelter, so there were technically no animal cruelty laws broken, but it really doesn’t have to be this way.

Nonprofits such as Promoting Responsible Ownership of Dogs (PROD) or Portland Animal Welfare Team exist to provide financial assistance to individuals to help for spay/neuter costs or in-clinic zeutering. Had the owner spayed/neutered/zeutered she would not have gotten to the point of having 18 dogs and the death of four newborn puppies.

Adopt A Dog’s volunteer vet, Dr. Cynthia Mills, has recently become trained in “zeutering” — nonsurgical alteration of male dogs by zinc gluconate injection. This is a very inexpensive method of altering a male dog, and does not change the look of the dog other than a little “z” tattoo on its thigh. We are hopeful that this low-cost non-invasive method of alteration will encourage additional dog owners to be responsible and stop their dogs from reproducing.

Hood River Adopt A Dog operates out of the county-owned Hukari Animal Shelter in Odell. The shelter is mainly for Hood River County strays/impounds but the county has graciously allowed the intake of the Washington dogs through Adopt A Dog.

The HRAAD volunteers are doing a fantastic job of socializing and calming the dogs; however HRAAD needs to move the dogs out of the shelter as quickly as possible to accommodate the county’s usual kennel capacity. They are looking for foster homes capable of building trust and house-training the dogs.

Hood River Adopt A Dog also needs donations to help with spay/neuter and basic vet care. If you’d like to foster, donate or adopt, or want more information on spay/neuter/zeuter please contact Hood River Adopt A Dog at or 541-354-1083, or visit


Linda Vandenberg is executive director at Hood River Adopt A Dog.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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