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Pet Camp helps shelter dogs displaced by fire

HOOD RIVER — With over 2,600 acres burning in the Rowena Wildfire this week, Cascade Pet Camp in Hood River and Home at Last in The Dalles have teamed up as part of a community effort to shelter the growing number of displaced pets.

As a result, orphaned dogs are experiencing the joy of a luxury summer camp.

About 600 people from 275 homes have been evacuated in the gorge during at least part of the fire and many of are heading to the homes of friends and family or to the local Red Cross Shelter. Pets are also among the displaced. The Home at Last Humane Society in The Dalles received several calls this week after the nearby homes of several dogs were threatened. With a facility already bursting, they agreed to take in as many dogs as possible.

It wasn’t long before there were enough dogs needing refuge to fill the entire shelter. That’s when Jenni Lott, owner of Cascade Pet Camp, got the call and joined the efforts.

Board member Suny Simon and her husband were among the Home at Last staff members and community members from The Dalles and Hood River who banded together with trucks, trailers, and service vans, to relocate the shelter dogs to temporary locations.

“Everyone came together. It was awesome!” said Suny, “and honestly, if it wasn’t for Jenni, a lot of those big dogs would have had nowhere to go.”

Cascade Pet Camp took on 11 of the largest dogs, and the refuge they’re getting there could be considered more of a treat. Cascade Pet Camp is a high end pet boarding facility that takes a summer camp approach to pet boarding and daycare. With luxury rooms and outdoor activities, the shelter dogs are having the time of their lives, getting a sort of vacation during a time of community need.

Lott says the call wasn’t unexpected.

“We do this anytime there’s a fire in the gorge. We’ll take misplaced animals in the event of emergencies like this or even after house fires.” This kind of charity isn’t uncommon among the tightknit communities along the Columbia River Gorge.

However, there may be a bit of an issue this time, as some counselors are having trouble giving up their orphaned campers. In fact, while most of the dogs will be able to return to Home at Last soon, two will remain behind, at the insistence of the staff, as resident campers until they’re adopted.

“What do you expect?” said Lott, laughing, “We’re dog lovers here. It was bound to happen eventually!”

If you’re interested in finding out more about the two dogs up for adoption at Cascade Pet Camp or about their boarding and training services, contact Cascade Pet Camp at 541-354-2267. Also, please remember that there are always dogs in need of a good home. To find out more, stop by the Home at Last Humane Society in The Dalles. Both of these reputable organizations are also available should your pet ever need relocation during an emergency.

READ NEXT TOP STORY: For the record, Aug. 8

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