Everyday Heroes: Doghouse delivery

Jennifer Adams (right) shows Ian Parker around Fences for Fido's warehouse in northwest Portland.

Jennifer Adams has seen a lot of dogs in need.

She’s a volunteer doghouse deliverer for Fences for Fido, a nonprofit founded eight years ago that builds fences in backyards so people can untether their dogs.

As soon as Jennifer hears about a dog in a desperate situation, she loads up her truck with pre-made doghouse pieces, drives out to meet the dog’s owners, and assembles the new doghouse right then and there.

“I’ve seen some of those dogs -- seven years, no doghouse -- just standing in the mud and snow,” Jennifer said. “I don’t want them to have to spend one more night just sleeping in the dirt if I can help it.”

In addition to building a doghouse, Jennifer also provides the dogs with a bed: a burlap bag stuffed with soft cedar chips.

Jennifer’s volunteer work has taken her all over our area, from Centralia to the Oregon coast.

She first heard about Fences for Fido when she was watching TV on New Year’s eve, 2009.

“I think I probably screamed to my dog, ‘Oh my gosh! Did you hear that? I’m gonna do that!’”

She went on her first fence build less than a month later.

Renewed Need in Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed into law a new bill limiting under what conditions people are allowed to tether their dogs.

Since then, Jennifer said, Fences for Fido has seen a big increase in requests from dog owners in the Evergreen State.

“The need in southwest Washington is reminding us of when we first started unchaining dogs in this [Portland] area,” Jennifer said.

More than money or materials, Jennifer said Fences for Fido is desperate for volunteers to help it build as far north as Olympia.

If you’d like to participate, or learn more about Fences for Fido, click here.

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