By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
A truck crash in Prineville two months ago inundated the Humane Society of the Ochocos with more than 50 dogs and cats.
Law enforcement and animal rescue crews discovered the animals were being kept in a 29-foot tailer that had rolled down an embankment in Prineville in October.
Though three of the animals did not survive the crash, volunteers brought 42 cats, 10 dogs and a rabbit to the shelter.
“Taking in 50-plus animals overnight, it doubled our population so we had to be creative thinking, fast thinking,” said Heather O’Daniel, executive director of the Humane Society of the Ochocos.
The sheer amount of animals that needed to be treated forced staff to close down the facility for nearly a week.
They’ve also been forced them to limit their normal hours for weeks while they tried to care for the sudden influx and cats who are still very ill.
“We’re still dealing with very sick animals, trying to find fosters for them but that’s also quite challenge,” O’Daniel said. “We’re still dealing with those cats right now, trying to get them better, and they’re having babies. It’s been tight for us, it’s been hard.”
Thomas and Dorothy Misik, the original owners of the animals and trailer that crashed, were cited by Oregon State Police for Animal Neglect, a Class C felony.
And this week, the Humane Society received some good news.
“So we did get almost all of the animals surrendered, all but five dogs,” O’Daniel said. “We are still hoping that the owners will make the right decision for these animals.”
Wednesday, weeks after they first arrived, five dogs and dozens of cats, are on the road to finding new homes.
While the cats still have at least a little while before they’ll be ready to leave the shelter, the five dogs are ready to be fostered or adopted.
“I just want to see them in really happy homes where they can be properly cared for with nutrition and veterinary work and somewhere that they can just have their forever home,” O’Daniel said.