Animal protection — New building is functional and can house dogs and cats, but additional work remains to be done before it is 100 percent complete

By Heather DeRosa, Graphic intern

Things are looking up for animals in Newberg.

The old Newberg animal shelter building on Blaine Street has been reduced to rubble and a gleaming new building on Sandoz Road is complete. With a functioning space and dogs already in about half of the kennels, shelter officials will gauge the readiness of the facility for full-time operation during the first three Saturdays in December. by: GARY ALLEN - Fit for fido - A volunteer cleans a canine kennel in the Newberg Animal Shelter complex on Sandoz Road last week.

“We’re on the home stretch,” said Stacie Morrell, elected president of the Newberg Animal Shelter Friends in January. “It’s functional, just not complete.”

Within the past few weeks, fencing was installed to give dogs freedom to exercise outside and for animal control officers to back patrol vehicles up to the building without the chance of an animal escaping, said shelter volunteer Janet Floren.

A sound system filling the cages with soothing music specialized for pooches was recently added as well. Floren credits Police Chief Brian Casey for bringing in the calming music for the hounds.

Floren said a reception desk is still being constructed and the grooming room remains a work in progress. Relying heavily on donations from the nonprofit Newberg Animal Shelter Friends (NASF), a refrigerator, counter, display case and volunteer hours have been donated to get the shelter to the functional state it is in now.

Floren said the shelter is a joint effort between police and the NASF.

“We appreciate the willingness to work together to finish and operate the shelter,” Floren said, adding that the partnership is working out really well for stray and abandoned animals in the community.

“Typically there is a county shelter or the humane society,” Floren said. “This is a hybrid situation.”

Until the shelter is completed the facility can house eight to 15 dogs at a time. When the shelter is finished, they will be able to house up to 30 dogs at once, with potential for more with the use of temporary kennels. A separate room for stray cats, removed from the dog kennels, will also house more than a dozen felines as well as the odd rabbit or other small animal.

Morrell said resources for abandoned animals or animals in need were limited in the local area in the past, so she is excited to see the results that the new shelter will bring.

“It’s going to be a wonderful thing 13 years in the making,” she added.

To that end the NASF needs volunteers to help with cleaning and exercising animals. Floren encouraged those people interested in volunteering to download an application from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department website and turn it in.

“There’s a lot of responsibility that goes into being a volunteer,” Floren said. “But it’s rewarding when you see animals reunited with their owners or when you see animals being adopted and going home.”

Floren encourages owners to call the NDPD non-emergency line at 503-538-8321 if their pet goes missing, as well as remembering to license, tag and microchip their pets.

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