By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Homeward Bound Pets continuing to care for animals

Submitted photo ##Homeward Bound is caring for dogs and cats during the crisis. Dog adoptions are available by appointment.
Submitted photo ##Homeward Bound is caring for dogs and cats during the crisis. Dog adoptions are available by appointment.

With its popular thrift store closed and low-cost spay and neuter clinic on hold because of coronavirus, Homeward Bound Pets no-kill shelter and adoption program is hurting financially.

The nonprofit is experiencing an average monthly income loss of $49,700, Executive Director Ronnie Vostinak said. It’s also receiving fewer donations and recyclable bottles, less traffic at its online store, and fewer adoption and surrender fees.

The organization has had to trim staff, a painful move, she said. But its dogs and cats still need food and care, just like always.

Still, Vostinak said some donors are offering financial support, for which she’s grateful.

The shelter just resumed dog adoptions Friday after stopping the program in mid-March.

Kennels were filling with animals, including some from Yamhill County Dog Control, and it needed to resume dog adoptions to make room, as well as to meet demand, Vostinak said.

Recent arrivals include a pair of 11-week-old Plott Hounds, large hunting dogs with brindle-stripe coats in brown, black and russet. The American Kennel Club claims Plott Hounds are good with children, but need plenty of room to run.

The hounds and other dogs can be adopted by appointment only on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. No one should visit the shelter without an appointment.

Potential adopters should leave a message at 503-472-0341. They will need to bring their other dogs and proof of home ownership or approval by the landlord for a rental.

Adoption appointments take place outdoors.

Cat adoptions are still on hold, largely because they must be done inside — impossible because of social distancing requirements and sanitizing needs,

Vostinak said Homeward Bound is preparing for an influx of animals surrendered by families who can no longer care for them.

It’s not a matter of fear of infection, she said. Dogs and cats don’t contract coronavirus, and owners can wash their pets if they’re worried the virus may be lurking.

Rather, she said, it’s usually a financial problem.

If possible, though, she said, “we want to help them keep their pets” by helping them obtain food and care.

People need their animals, she said, especially now when there is so much stress. “Pets help reduce anxiety,” she said. “It helps us so much to love on them.”  

Homeward Bound has contributed to alleviating stress and fighting coronavirus by donating medical supplies from its spay and neuter clinic. It provided surgical gloves, masks, shoe covers and both reusable and disposable gowns to Willamette Valley Medical Center.

In addition, she said, the shelter’s small staff is redoubling its own efforts in the emergency. Staff members are “working diligently to care for the animals and maintain a safe and clean environment for all, with operations changing day to day.”

The clinic is also closed and Dr. Jennifer Choate and volunteers plan to call those who’ve scheduled appointments.

Items from the Homeward Bound Thrift Store on Lafayette Avenue are being sold online through Etsy, Ebay and Poshmark.

Vostinak said Homeward Bound is asking the community to continue monetary donations. The organization also needs more volunteer foster families.

Donations can be made through the organization’s website,, or by mailing a check to Homeward Bound Pets, P.O. Box 8, McMinnville, OR 97128.

Yamhill County residents can become volunteer foster parents to animals by contacting the foster coordinator, at, or by leaving a message at 503-472-0341, Ext. 7.



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