Fairgrounds hosting evacuated animals

Lincoln County 4-H leader Rachel Wallace and her daughter on Thursday carry rabbits into a building at Lincoln County Commons in Newport, promising owners, fire evacuees from Otis, that animals will be well cared for. Horses are pictured at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds on Thursday afternoon. The fairgrounds are housing animals, other than dogs and cats, that have been evacuated due to fire. (Photos by Cheri Brubaker)

NEWPORT — “The community is ready to help with whatever you need,” Lincoln County 4-H leader Rachel Wallace told a family who drove to the county fairgrounds, where animals were being sheltered.

Clearly distressed, the family exited the car tearful and exhausted. Due to evacuation orders the family stayed in a hotel paid for by the Siletz Tribe on Wednesday night, the grandmother said. She told the News-Times she had two rabbits. Her daughter had rabbits. Her granddaughter had rabbits. They had puppies and kittens.

“We don’t even know if we have a house left in Otis,” she said. “There were two birds we couldn’t get out of the house, parakeets. We got the bunnies. We got the puppies, and we got the kittens.”

Wallace jumped into action, reassuring the women. Do you need cat food or dog food, she asked? It is available at the animal shelter, she told them.

Wallace’s daughter helped her carry a cage with several young rabbits in it. Wallace reassured them that their pets would be well cared for. “They’re just babies,” the grandmother said, the rabbits 12 weeks old.

The rabbits joined a flock of chickens in the large building. Lines of empty cages stood ready to house evacuated animals. Several horses were in another building, hay available outside, and helpful, sympathetic volunteers assisted those forced to leave their animals to be cared for by others.

Those needing to house evacuated animals and livestock should call 541-272-0406.

The Lincoln County Animal Shelter wrote on its Facebook page, “We’re here to help! If anyone is in need of animal supplies, please call the animal shelter at 541-265-0720. If you know of an animal in need or pets left behind, please call dispatch at 541-265-0777 to reach an animal services deputy. Hope everyone is staying safe!”

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