Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current, October 01, 2007, Page 17, Image 17

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local community
Oregon Canine University Coming Soon to Vernonia
By Scott Laird
After numerous setbacks and delays, a
group of animal welfare activists have ac-
quired a sixteen-acre property on Airport
Way near the Vernonia Airport. They are
hard at work renovating the property and
creating a place where
both dogs and humans
can go to play and learn.
ditional use permit from Columbia County
which allowed them to go forward with the
purchase of the property. The group must
meet certain requirements established in the
conditional use agreement which includes
The Oregon Canine
University – a project de-
veloped by Indigo Rescue
based in Beaverton – will
provide boarding for dogs,
have a twenty-four hour
resident staff certified
trainer, and offer training
for dogs and their own-
ers. Types of training and
activities that will be of-
fered include obedience,
canine good citizenship,
search and rescue, agility,
and dog sporting games
and events (such as Fly-
ball, and Earthdog). There
are also plans to hold oth-
er events throughout the
year that cater to dogs
and their families.
“Vernonia is just such a beautiful
place, and this property is great,” said
Mills. “We hope that people will come
out here from all over the area to par-
ticipate in our activities and seminars,
or even leave their dogs here while they
go do something else around the area,
like golfing or shopping in town.”
adequate parking facilities and structural
requirements. During the hearing process,
the group addressed concerns that were
raised by the Vernonia Parks committee in-
cluding noise from barking dogs that might
affect campers at Airport Park and odor
from waste removal.
The property consists of three primary
buildings: the main house, where the resi-
dent trainer lives which includes a living
room area where the dogs have a variety of
The group was recently awarded a con- couches and dog beds on which to lounge, a
“We’re excited about the potential for
Vernonia and for this property,” said resident
trainer Trish Mills. “Initially we will focus on
boarding, but there are a lot of things that
we hope to accomplish through the train-
ing aspect of the facility. There are lots of
dogs that need a job, or need something
constructive to do. We hope to be able to
provide that for them and their people.”
Puppies and Parvo
By Lisa Edgar
Many of us have heard of Parvo but do not know the cause, prevention
or treatment, or more importantly, the signs or symptoms.
shop building, which will be converted over
the next few months to a training room and
boarding area, and a large barn which in the
future will be converted to possibly include
space for seminars, housing for overnight
guests, or additional boarding space
for groups of dogs. There are four large
outdoor fenced play areas for the dogs.
The property will board a maximum of
twenty dogs at one time.
Oregon Canine University will be a
business venture that provides fund
raising for Indigo Rescue, and will not
be a rescue operation in Vernonia.
Under the direction of Heather Hines,
Indigo Rescue helps save the lives of
hundreds of dogs and cats each year
who have run out of time in Washington
County animal shelters. Indigo takes
these animals, places them in foster
homes until permanent homes can be iden-
tified for them while taking care of medi-
cal expenses, vaccinations and spaying
and neutering that may be needed. Since
1998 Indigo has helped save the lives of
over 1,000 cats and 600 dogs. Indigo Res-
cue has also been responsible for starting
a program in the Portland area that assists
with spaying/neutering for cats in low in-
come areas.
Vernonia Rural Fire
District Needs You!
The Vernonia Rural Fire District is gearing up for its yearly entry-
level training and is seeking out new volunteers for training this spring.
If you are interested, applications are available at the Vernonia Fire
Protection District Fire Station or a current volunteer member can assist
In 2001 Ben and I opened “Creatures,” a pet store in downtown Ver-
nonia, with great dreams and goals; we knew we’d be learning a lot,
but just how quickly came as a surprise to us. Shortly after we opened
the store, a person brought in a box of puppies and asked us if we
would like to sell them. We didn’t have the heart to say no because
the puppies were filthy, smelly and in need of care. We did our best to
clean them up and soon found they were more than just dirty. Parvo
The Vernonia Firefighters recently held their annual picnic at Cedar
was part of the equation. The puppies had come from a home where
the parents of the pups were not properly vaccinated. This caused the Ridge. Eighteen volunteers brought family and friends totaling fifty-
disease to be in the ground or living area, thus passing the disease on eight people who enjoyed a Prime Rib and Salmon cookout followed
to the puppies.
by swimming and, of course, the “slip and slide.”
Parvo is a virus that attacks the lining digestive system, keeping ca-
nines from being able to absorb nutrients from their food. It can have
very severe consequences for your pet especially in younger dogs. It
can often lead to sudden death in puppies.
Our vet was notified when the puppies refused to eat and were vomit-
ing. We quickly learned how hard Parvo is on a puppy. Other signs
that puppies might have Parvo include diarrhea, lethargy and a defi-
nite odor. Even after a lot of care with IV Fluids, antibiotics and atten-
tion, we lost two of the five within a couple of days.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation to the District of
an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) from the District’s Physi-
cian Advisors, Donald Wiens and Jennifer Aponte. “This is a much
needed piece of equipment that will be on Rescue Unit 457 immedi-
ately, allowing us to better serve our community,” said Fire Chief Paul
With help and study we learned that with proper vaccinations to the
parents first, then making sure puppies get at least a series of three
The annual picnic is held on the second Sunday of September each
vaccinations over a period of weeks (contact your local vet for more
accurate information), can help in preventing the pain and discomfort year. All current and past volunteers, employees, and board members
these poor puppies went through.
are invited to attend.
We have seen a number of cases in the past years. Unfortunately it
Members of the Vernonia Rural Fire district took part in a march
has not been determined how long Parvo can live in the ground, and
taking puppies outdoors where other dogs could possibly have roamed through town to commemorate September 11th . The District takes part
carrying the disease is taking a big risk. Beaches, parks and even city
sidewalks are not necessarily safe until your puppy has had its first in this memorial each year and encourages the citizens of Vernonia to
series of immunizations.
turn out to honor those who lost their lives during this tragic event.