▶️ Prineville shelter dogs wearing jackets until broken heater is repaired

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A heater failed this week at the Humane Society of the Ochocos in Prineville, leaving some adoptable pets very cold.  

The dogs available for adoption are staying warm by wearing jackets and snuggling in blankets donated by the community. 

Central Oregon Daily News visited the shelter and found the dogs enjoying the attention; the shelter enjoying the community support and getting a fix for the heater. 

Before winter arrived, the Humane Society of the Ochocos asked for and received donations of dog jackets and extra blankets.

The dogs ended up needing those donated jackets Wednesday night after the main heater in the dog kennel failed and indoor temperatures dropped into the 40s.

“Our dogs made it through the night,” said Shawna West, assistant manager. “We closed all their doggie doors. We had three emergency space heaters going in the back. They all had jackets and blankets. We made sure they were all warm and cozy.” 

“We called right away several services in town,” said Chanda Wallace, shelter manager. “The quickest we could get someone here was today. They came up. They gave us a quote and we are waiting for a second opinion.”

The first quote to repair the heater was more than $1,100. 

The second opinion showed up while we were there.

Rourke Ketchum, The HVAC Guy in Prineville, determined seized bearings in the draft motor are what caused the heater to fail.

“The motor is in Tacoma. I got it ordered. It should be here at 7 am tomorrow morning,” Ketchum said. “I’ll run to Bend, pick that up and get the dogs some heat.”

Ketchum offered to donate the nearly $500 motor and his time fixing the heater.

“Our community’s been great. We got quite a few donations this morning which will help with the expense,” Wallace said. 

The shelter’s air conditioning failed during last summer’s heatwave.

It was another unplanned expense that community members helped cover.

The Humane Society of the Ochocos is fundraising to build a new shelter with modern HVAC systems that should be more reliable. 

A three-dimensional model of the proposed new shelter should be available next spring for the public to review and comment on.

In the meantime, shelter staff and the animals are grateful for the community’s support. 

For ways to make a donation to the Humane Society of the Ochocos you can visit its website.

You can also donate to its Amazon Wishlist here.

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