Obsidian, an 8-month-old Husky with ice blue eyes and a quirky personality, was found on the streets as a stray puppy with a wagging tail in September.
That makes him one of the longest-staying residents at the Marion County Dog Shelter.
Despite his loving and fun personality, director Lauren Thielke said there hasn’t been much interest in adopting him. She hopes a special event Thursday will be the day.
For the first time since the Covid pandemic, the county dog shelter will open its doors to the public with an adoption event where families, and their dogs, can meet, greet and take home a new friend within the day.
The event, on Thursday, Nov. 30, from 1-5 p.m., hopes to get as many dogs into loving homes for the holidays and to help free space at the full shelter, 3550 Aumsville Highway S.E.
Since the pandemic, the shelter has been by appointment only to alleviate the dogs’ stress from foot traffic and make things more manageable for staff. Now fully staffed and with fewer adoptions happening, they plan to have public regular hours and hope Thursday’s event will be the first of many.
“We’ve just had a huge influx of dogs this last year and our goal has been to open up to the public. Now, we’re fully staffed so we’re in a position where we can do it,” said Thielke.
Visitors will have 31 dogs to choose from, and the $100-350 adoption fee includes spay or neutering, flea and tick treatment, a microchip, vaccines, deworming and a goodie bag.
Meeting dogs will be first come, first serve in one of the visitation rooms at the shelter.
The kennels are all full, with mostly big dogs, all with sweet faces and many with wagging tails. Many of the dogs were happy to see Thielke, including a German Shepherd that pranced in its cage and a Pit bull that wiggled its whole body
“He’s a really sweet boy,” Lauren said of Obsidian as the dog trotted around the visitation room, alternating between smelling the shiny Christmas decorations and nuzzling against her lap. He gingerly lifted her pen from her clipboard and took it on a tour of the room. She laughed and called him a stinker.
Obsidian is a favorite of the staff, who hope to see him go to a home with a big backyard, enrichment toys and an active family.
“He’s definitely a dog that will make his own fun,” she said.
Meet some of the dogs up for adoption with quotes in the captions come from the shelter’s descriptions about their personalities. The list of all dogs available can be found here.
Bones – American pitbull cross: “I am considered a senior, but I still have some pep in my step!”
Chuck – German Shepherd/Siberian Husky: “I am an avid adventure seeker! I would love to go on hikes, do agility or anything that is highly active like me!”
Fayth – American pitbull cross: “I like to take things slow with new people and things, but once I warm up, boy oh boy lookout! I am truly a sweetheart!”
Goblin – American pitbull cross: “I am a huge goofball and am looking for someone that is just as silly as me!”
Hanson – Shepherd cross: “Going for walks is my most favorite-est thing to do!”
Junior – American pitbull cross: “I know a few tricks like sit and sit pretty. Have you ever seen a big dog sit pretty? Its adorable.”
Luke – German shepherd cross: “I am a high energy dog that needs daily walks, runs, playtime and mental stimulation!”
Osidian – Siberian Husky cross: “I am looking for a home that speaks my breed! I am very Siberian Husky savvy. Are you?”
Phantom – American pitbull cross: “When I first came to the shelter, I was scared. There we so many noises and smells that I didn’t know or understand.”
Raquel – German shepherd cross: “I am a big sweetheart, and will melt your heart with my loving nature!”
Willa – Siberian Husky cross: “I have done well in the managed playgroups here at the shelter. If you’re looking for a great husky look no further.”
Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.
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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.