Three Rivers Humane Society

by: HOLLY M. GILL - Steve Drynan, executive director of Central Oregon Animal Friends, will operate the county kennels as the Three Rivers Humane Society beginning Dec. 6. Drynan, with Brody, left, and Gracie, right, has been awarded a three-year contract to run the kennels.When the Jefferson County Kennels reopens for business on Dec. 6, it will have a new name and a new operator.

The Jefferson County Commission has unanimously approved a three-year contract with Central Oregon Animal Friends, doing business as Three Rivers Humane Society, to operate the kennels, under the direction of Steve Drynan, of Madras, the nonprofit's executive director on Nov. 13.

Until last week, Drynan was the director of the Humane Society of the Ochocos in Prineville. He resigned to devote his full attention to the Madras kennels, where the nonprofit's mission is to improve the lives of shelter animals and promote lifelong relationships between people and their pets.

by: HOLLY M. GILL - The Jefferson County Kennels will be closed from Dec. 1-5, and reopen as Three Rivers Humane Society, with a new director, on Dec. 6. Saturday, Dec. 7, the kennels will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Since forming Central Oregon Animal Friends in 2012, Drynan has been a familiar face at the County Kennels. Last year, he organized volunteers to build tarp covers for the outdoor kennels.

The group has also paid for veterinary care and medication for shelter dogs, and purchased toys and wading pools for the dogs.

"We have many plans to create a welcoming community shelter where individuals and families can find their new family member," he said.

Drynan is preparing to make the kennels' space more efficient — so it can accommodate additional dogs — and more comfortable for those dogs.

"We're going to try to get fencing up to make play yards for the dogs to have an off-leash place to run in," said Drynan.

The kennnels currently consist of nine indoor kennels and 27 covered outdoor kennels. By removing shelves from one of the indoor kennels and making simple outdoor changes, he expects to be able to house 10 dogs indoors and 30 outdoors.

Until recently, a major concern for Drynan had been raising money to run electricity to the kennels, estimated at $4,000, and to purchase electrically heated pads for the dogs' houses, and heated water bowls, estimated at $2,500, to protect the animals housed at the shelter during cold weather.

Drynan expects to have those improvements in place soon, since Central Oregon Animal Friends has already raised $2,800 through donations and fundraisers, and obtained a grant of $4,000 from 31 Paws in Bend, which provides grants for people who help companion animals.

Other goals include expanding the number of volunteers, foster homes and adopters available for the local Humane Society, named for the three rivers that pass through the county: the Deschutes, Metolius and Crooked rivers.

As part of the contract with Three Rivers Humane Society, for the first two years it will receive $3,333 per month, for a total of $40,000 per year, from the county, according to County Administrator Jeff Rasmussen.

The third year, the kennels will be paid $34,000 per year, plus 25 percent of all the dog-licensing revenue.

The kennels will continue to charge impound and boarding fees, which can't be higher than the current rates without approval from the commission, Rasmussen said.

For the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, the county took in $20,122 in dog license fees, $38,692 in adoption fees, and $6,065 in dog pound fees, he said.

The operators can renew their contract for three additional two-year terms, for a total of nine years, before the county rebids the contract. At that time, Central Oregon Animal Friends will be able to reapply for the contract.

The county anticipates that its expenditures will remain at about $52,000 per year, including money to fund enforcement by the Sheriff's Office.

"As a nonprofit, they'll probably be more successful in raising money for animal welfare programs," he said, noting that a nonprofit organization has different motivation and goals than a government organization.

The county will close the shelter, at 1694 S.E. McTaggart Road, from Dec. 1-5. The Humane Society will reopen the shelter for business on Friday, Dec. 6, and hold an open house on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the open house, society members will give tours, share their goals, provide activities for children, including pet photos with Santa, and serve refreshments. The organization's can and bottle recycling trailer, which is usually parked in the Black Bear Diner parking lot, will be at the shelter that day ready for donations.

Drynan encourages visitors to help decorate the trailer for the Christmas Lights Parade, and walk the dogs in the parade that evening.

Normal business hours for the shelter will be Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be closed Sundays and Mondays.

"This is a dream come true," said Drynan. "Doing work you love in the town you love — it doesn't get any better than this."

Drynan and his wife, Jerilee, moved to Madras from The Dalles, where they were the co-directors of the Home At Last Humane Society. Jerilee Drynan is a teacher at Juniper Junction Relief Nursery in Madras. They have three children, including a son who is a senior at Madras High School.

For more information, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call the shelter at 541-475-6889 after Dec. 5.

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