Thank You from Home at Last Humane Society

The Dalles, June 17, 2021–Usually, the Home at Last Humane Society is the community’s safe sanctuary for dogs, cats and other animals in need of care—but on Thursday, June 2, it was the community that saved the shelter after the “Milepost 85 Fire” burned right to the property line of the facility, forcing a total emergency evacuation and prompting an urgent call for volunteer support and donations to cover the cost of the event.  

As the blaze crept closer to the shelter, which serves a five-county region in the Columbia Gorge and has facilitated the adoption of 1032 animals since Home At Last Humane Society merged with Central Oregon Animal Friends on January 1st, 2018. Staff saw an outpouring of support from first responders, volunteers and animal-loving partners throughout the community who showed up to fight the fire and do everything they could to get the animals out. They succeeded. All animals were transported safely and spent the night with volunteers.

“We could not be more grateful to everyone for the incredible outpouring of love and support during this emergency,” said Stephen Drynan, CEO of Animal Friends of Central Oregon, which operates Home at Last and a sister shelter in Madras called Three Rivers Humane Society. “The firefighters that fought the blaze and saved our shelter, and the volunteers that endlessly poured in to get our animals out have our deepest and enduring appreciation.”

In the days after the event, 100 donors across Central Oregon also gave generously through a Facebook fundraiser to raise more than $5,000 to cover the many unforeseen costs incurred during the emergency, including long overtime hours for staff, replacement of food, expensive refrigerated medications, and all the vaccines at the shelter which spoiled after the power had to be cut for 12 hours, transportation costs, and the many other incidentals that have racked up as the shelter resumed operations post-evacuation. 

“We are proud of our ability to stretch a tight budget to cover costs of running high-quality shelters in both The Dalles and Madras,” said Drynan. “But when a big event comes along, we have to scramble to make it work. We absolutely could not do it without the support of our amazing donors. We thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts for seeing us through this emergency and for your critical donations throughout the year. We are humbled to partner with you to care for the animals of our amazing communities.”

To donate, adopt, or to learn more about Home at Last Humane Society visit

ABOUT US: Central Oregon Animal Friends is a 501(c)3 promoting healthy, safe and lifelong relationships between people and their pets through sustainable programs of education, adoption and spay/neutering. We will endeavor to fight for the abused and abandoned, and foster a community where no companion animal will be killed because it is homeless. Learn more at