It was just before dawn when Street Dog Hero’s partners and volunteers set out on a snowy drive from Bend to Warm Springs. This December day was weeks in the making, with coordination amongst Street Dog Hero, Fences for Fido, Humane Society of Central Oregon, volunteer veterinarians and medical staff, as well as the families living in Warm Springs.
The goal? To pick up 21 pet dogs on the lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, transport them to HSCO’s spay and neuter facility in Bend, provide free sterilization surgeries to those pups and get them back home to their owners by nightfall.
This was the first time SDH, FFF and HSCO had tried a strategy using a satellite clinic like this: picking up the dogs, transporting them to and from surgery and then bringing them home that same night.
The team worked well into the evening, and, with only one hiccup, the day was a success! In all, 17 pet dogs (plus nine free-roaming and three pet cats) were provided with essential spay and neuter services, and three families were thrilled to have their pups delivered back home. SDH, FFF and HSCO were grateful for the opportunity and for the families’ obvious trust and love for their pets.
SDH embodies a deep local commitment: rescuing homeless dogs and providing much-needed spay, neuter and wellness services to the communities that need them most, right here in Central Oregon. In fact, in 2021, SDH provided free or low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to 407 local dogs and cats as well as provided wellness services to 100 local animals in Warm Springs.
Surprisingly, one female dog if left unspayed and her unaltered puppies can produce around 67,000 unwanted puppies in the short span of only six years. Similarly, one unspayed cat and her young can produce around 420,000 kittens in that same time span. Many don’t survive, or sadly, spend their lives plagued by disease. Those that do survive go on to breed and continue the cycle.
Luckily, Junior Heroes, an SDH program whose mission it is to break the cycle, educates and inspires the next generation by engaging kids ages six and up in volunteering at events with foster dogs and at clinics. Today’s youth will make decisions in their lifetimes that will dictate the outcome for future dogs everywhere.
That’s why SDH also engages children in all regions served: offering the opportunity for participation and education at international pop-up clinics.
SDH also saves dogs across the globe from neglect, hunger and abuse, transports them to Oregon, provides them with veterinary care and then fosters them in loving homes until they are adopted into their “Furever Families.” In 2021, SDH rescued 522 dogs and seven cats.
Organizational rescue efforts last year were primarily focused in Central Oregon, Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, British Virgin Islands, Guam, Mexico and South Korea. With knowledge of the impending withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, SDH facilitated some of the most compelling rescues in 2021 including six dogs from Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR).
Also in 2021, SDH hired Diana Fischetti as its first executive director. Fischetti is thrilled to provide strategic direction and operational oversight for SDH.
“Having fostered and adopted a dog from South Korea through SDH in 2017, I have a deep heart connection with the organization’s mission and work,” - Diana Fischettitweet this
SDH envisions a world where all dogs are healthy, safe, well cared for and most importantly, wanted. Concentrating its efforts where animals are least likely to receive care, and focusing on the root causes of pet overpopulation, SDH serves dogs in need and their communities around the world, making lasting positive changes in the lives of dogs and their humans.
To learn more about the efforts of SDH or for volunteer information, visit their website: streetdoghero.org