During the pandemic-induced shutdown, the Rescue Ranch is still in need of daily dog walkers, and the dogs are eagerly awaiting someone to take them home.

If the stay-at-home order has got you feeling like a caged animal, the dogs at the Yreka Rescue Ranch are there to commiserate. During the pandemic-induced shutdown, the Rescue Ranch is still in need of daily dog walkers, and the dogs are eagerly awaiting someone to take them home.

“People that have completed the orientation are welcome to come in,” said shelter manager Rick Formanek. Aside from some slight changes, the shelter is still in operation and placing dogs for adoption.

“Normally we have an orienting period on the first Sunday of each month. That has been changed to appointment only due to the current situation. As far as cleaning, it has remained the same. Everything is disinfected daily. Visitors are encouraged to follow social distancing. We would like them to come in the front door and wash their hands immediately before they sign in.”

Parking has been moved away from the facility, but Formanek says the public is still welcome from noon till 4 p.m. during the week.

The pandemic has caused some problems for the shelter both in funding and in the number of dogs being surrendered, but people are still interested in adopting a pet.

“One aspect that has been very favorable is the increase in number of potential adopters over the last week. It has been encouraging. We have had a couple of adoptions recently, and it looks like we will have more (this week),” Formanek said. “On the downside, though, we had to close our thrift store, and our boarding is pretty much shut down now. We have lost those two sources of revenue. Donations are off considerably. We all are going to have to hunker down and make do with what we have to try to get through this.”

As volunteers stay home, the daily work of running a shelter is left to a shelter staffer such as Courtney Casson. In addition to caring for the dogs’ physical needs, Casson and other employees are spending more time walking dogs and doing things volunteers would usually be tasked with.

“We’ve got a lot to do,” said Casson. “There are a lot of dogs here right now.”

Volunteers have plenty of space to distance themselves at the Rescue Ranch and can take certain shelter dogs to walk at Greenhorn Park if they choose. Hand sanitizer is placed throughout the facility both inside and outside near the dog pens. In contrast to the funding and materials shortfall, the shelter itself is full right now due in part to an increase in owner surrenders.

“We have seen an increase in number of people wanting to surrender their dogs, but we cannot take dogs right now,” Formanek said. “We are completely full. Both our organization and the Siskiyou County Animal Control cannot take anymore animals. If you happen to get a stray dog, just foster it temporarily to keep them safe off the street and out of harm’s way.”

For dogs that are injured or in need of immediate medical attention, contact the Siskiyou County Animal Control or the Yreka Police Department. While animals cannot be taken in currently, the shelter is in desperate need of food donations. In addition to placing dogs for adoption, the shelter runs a food bank for owners in need of dog food assistance.

To comply with social distancing measures, containers have been deployed by the gate to receive food donations. The Yreka Rescue Ranch is located at 2216 E. Oberlin Rd. in Yreka. Find out more about the dogs available for adoption at www.rrdog.org.