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Clear the Shelters returns: Brightside Animal Center gets new kennels

The kennels were the biggest change for the shelter during the pandemic

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Mary Ellen Wright, the adoptions coordinator for Brightside Animal Center, said one of the biggest changes during the pandemic was replacing the outdoor dog kennels. 

She said the kennels they had a year ago were rickety and falling apart. They had tarp covers and were patched together with whatever materials were available at the time, including different wires and cinder blocks.

“They became a danger for us and the dogs,” Wright said. “They would poke themselves, and we would poke ourselves trying to get the dogs out.”

The onset of the pandemic more than a year ago became the opportunity to make some changes at the shelter. The first phase consisted of laying down concrete over the uneven gravel. The second phase was getting the new kennels installed.

“During the height of the pandemic, we were very low on dogs, and adoptions were very high, which was great,” Wright said.

Before the pandemic, during the 2019 calendar year, there were 361 dog adoptions and 746 cat adoptions. Additionally, there were 351 stray dogs and 19 stray cats that were returned to their owners.

So far this year, there have been 184 dog adoptions and 445 cat adoptions, while 155 stray dogs and six stray cats have been returned to their owners.

Wright said she’s glad to see the new kennels being used, now that there are more animals up for adoption.

She said she did not see an increase in adoptions due to more people staying home during the pandemic. In fact, she said adoptions seem to be going back to pre-pandemic levels.

“People are always worried that there’s a high increase of animals going back to shelters, less adoptions, and all that,” Wright said. “I personally have not seen that.”

NewsChannel 21 is participating in Clear the Shelters, a nationwide effort to find loving homes for animals in need. 

For more details on how to adopt during the Clear the Shelters campaign, visit the Clear the Shelters webpage.

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

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