Helping dogs find their way home
In an unassuming building off East Hwy 212, Clackamas County Dog Services (CCDS) quietly makes it happen for homeless dogs. Much more than a county shelter, CCDS has a mission that is served well by the staff and volunteers who care for the more than 1000 dogs that pass through their doors every year.
“I don’t think people realize how much we really offer here,” says Development Officer Maura White, “We really provide the whole wraparound of services to make sure dogs get into a home and stay in that home.”
To meet that standard, the folks at CCDS conduct classes on dog behavior, training, and responsible ownership, as well as emergency preparedness and pet first aid. They also provide support including dog rescue, protective custody for pets, spay/neuter clinics, and are currently fundraising for a mobile dental station to help low-income families keep their dog’s teeth healthy and prevent expensive vet bills.
White feels these services are essential to keeping pets at home. “We have people who feel they have to surrender their dog because they can’t afford to feed them, so we have resources like the food bank or Animeals. We recognize it can be a strain on people to feed their dog, but at the same time those dogs are the best companions they may have.”
When people are forced to surrender a dog, CCDS staff work hard to ensure that dog finds a loving home. “We really do an excellent job of matching people with dogs,” says White. “We work with families to find a good match because we want those dogs to stay in those homes and not be returned.”
For the more than 500 dogs who become lost in this rural county each year, CCDS provides an online service for pet parents to post pictures of lost dogs on its website in hopes someone might help reunite them with their loved ones. It’s all part of the primary mission at CCDS, says White. “Our goal really is helping dogs find their way home.”
Clackamas County Dog Services
13141 SE Hwy 212, Clackamas, OR 97015
Shelter 503-655-8628/Emergency 503-655-8211
This story made possible by VCA NWVS, which "adopted" CCDS this year!