Courtesy of Ani-Care (File photo)

ONTARIO - Ani-Care Animal Shelter is moving to a smaller, concrete-floored building with no playrooms — but the move is a temporary stop in a bigger plan to benefit the dogs.

The shelter, a non-profit charity focused on relocating stray and owner-surrendered dogs in the county to new homes, was reaching the end of its Oregon Highway 201 location lease and opted to pursue a better location. Finding a new space is something the shelter has wanted to do for a long time, according to co-director Kim Hanson. 

Hanson says that the ideal location would be central within the county and have large grassy areas where volunteers and visitors could play with the dogs, as well as an interior that feels less like a kennel. Hanson and the other directors believe that having a space that mimics, or at least has elements of, a home environment will help adopted dogs move to new families, as well as boost adoption rates.

“The more you can take them out and let them be dogs, the better they are when people come to see them,” Hanson said.

But that dream location has yet to be found, so Ani-Care will bide its time leasing month-to-month at 55 N.E. 2nd Ave. in Ontario, below the water tower.

“I’m always hopeful that when one door closes another opens, so I’m hopeful it won’t be too long,” Hanson said. 

But months of searching have yet to yield any properties within the shelter’s price range. The temporary location is fitted with heating, so Hanson feels confident that the team can make the smaller space work through the winter if need be. If no properties show up by next spring, Ani-Care may settle on buying land and building its own facility—a pricey decision, but one that would support the shelter’s longterm goal of becoming a full-fledged animal sanctuary that can take in all animals, not just dogs.

Between the moving costs, outfitting the new location and planning for the future payments for that dream location, the shelter is looking to the community for support. The fundraising post on the shelter’s Facebook page has been shared over 200 times and garnered $775 in donations in three days. 

“We are indebted to this community because of all of their donations,” Hanson said. “With everybody helping it’s been a wonderful thing.”

The shelter hopes to have completely transformed the temporary space with dog runs, as well as move their current 26 adoptable dogs, by Sunday, July 7. 

Reporter Isabella Garcia: [email protected] or 541-473-3377

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