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Volunteers Struggle to Keep Animals Warm

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MERLIN, Ore. — The Josephine County Animal Shelter is not having luck overcoming the cold weather.

Frozen pipes are affecting the shelter’s bathroom and laundry facilities. This means dirty towels, blankets and dishes are piling up, and volunteers are scrambling to keep animals safe from the cold.

In fact, kennels are closed at night to reduce drafts, and heat is turned up as blankets cover dogs awaiting adoption. But that’s not the only concern.

“All of our pipes are currently frozen. We have one working pipe at this point, so we’re cartin’ water from place to place…At night we try to crank up the heat a little bit and shut the guillotines down so that we keep them inside where they heat is,” said Brad Booker, Shelter Coordinator.

Washing feeding and watering dishes is also falling behind without water. And soiled blankets and towels from the cat and dog pens are piling up, waiting for someone to get them washed because the washing machine is also frozen up.

“At this point we’re running low on blankets, because we have not running water, so therefore I can do no washing of the blankets and beds and such, so we’re going through quite a bit of blankets and towels. So I have a big pile back there,” Booker said.

Most of the pipes are in the concrete block walls with little insulation. Volunteers are coming in to clean kennels and feed and exercise animals, then going home because the shelter is closed until things warm up.

Not only are water pipes frozen up and making it difficult to launder the blankets and towels needed to take care of the animals, the toilet is frozen. Therefore, the animal shelters can’t receive guests or do adoptions until they get things thawed out.

if you would like to help, contact the Josephine County Animal Shelter at 541-474-5458.