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Central Oregonians turn out to ‘Clear the Shelters’


According to the ASPCA, over 7.5 million animals end up in shelters every year. A one day, coast-to-coast pet adoption drive Saturday tried to do part to “Clear the Shelters,” with the local assist of three shelters and NewsChannel 21.

The 2015 Clear the Shelter drive resulted in almost 20,000 animals being adopted nationwide, and this year that number has already more than doubled.

Three organizations in Central Oregon participated, and it was a busy day for each.

“I would say it’s at least twice as busy, if not more,” compared to a typical Saturday, said Pat Bowling, shelter manager at BrightSide Animal Center in Redmond.

The almost 700 participating shelters across the country offered incentives for the public to adopt.

The Humane Society of the Ochocos in Prineville had reduced adoption rates. BrightSide Animal Center in Redmond had an adoption wheel, with a spin awarding 25-100 percent off adoption fees.

And for the first time in its 55-year history, the Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend waived its adoption fees.

The goal of the drive is simply connecting animals in need with suitable owners. Bowling said it was a great way to get people through the door.

“It’s a nice way to get people to your shelter and expose them to the animals we do have,” she said.

Lynne Ouchida, community relations coordinator for the Humane Society of Central Oregon, said the day was a success.

“Great adoptions, great families coming in, and I think everyone is having a really great day,” she said.

By the end of the day, the Humane Society of the Ochocos had 13 pets adopted, the Humane Society of Central Oregon had 20 adopted, and BrightSide had six.

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