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Low cost vaccinations and license clinic offered by dog shelter and local rescues - 05/03/18

Marion County Dog Services is partnering with local rescue organizations to host a low cost vaccination clinic and dog licensing on Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 10 a.m. to noon at Nature’s Pet Market, 4555 Liberty Rd. S #130, Salem. Dog Services will waive late fees and other license violations for dog owners who purchase a license at the event.

VCA Iris Animal Hospital is the partnering veterinarian that will be administering the low cost vaccinations for dogs. The event is also a fundraiser for two local rescues – Coalition Advocating for Animals and Prevent A Litter.

Community Services Director Tamra Goettsch said, “Dog licensing is an essential part of animal care in Marion County. In addition to helping return lost dogs back to their families, licensing helps prevent the dangerous spread of rabies.”

Rabies vaccinations are $9. Vaccinations for DHPP $15.50 and Bordetella $12.50 will also be available. Other services include $8 nail trims and canine influenza vaccine for $21. A portion of the proceeds will benefit spay/neuter assistance for dogs and cats and cat rescue in the Salem-Keizer area.

Dog Licenses are $17 per year for neutered or spayed dogs and $32 for unaltered dogs. The license fee for spayed or neutered dogs owned by seniors 65 or older is $5 per year. Proof of neutering or spaying must be provided for the reduced license fee and proof of owner’s age is needed to receive the senior discount. Multi-year licenses are also available. Payment is cash only. Dogs must be on leashes or in carriers.

All owners and keepers of dogs in Marion County are required by law to purchase a license when a dog reaches six months of age. Licenses are also required within 30 days of becoming a dog owner or moving into Marion County with a dog.

The Marion County Dog Shelter is located at 3550 Aumsville Hwy. SE, Salem. For hours of operation and information about licensing and other Dog Services programs, visit, call (503) 588-5233, or email  Adoptable dogs are regularly featured on the shelter’s Facebook page at

Niagara County Park_photo by Ron Cooper
Niagara County Park_photo by Ron Cooper
Marion County gives water safety reminders as seasonal parks open (Photo) - 05/01/18

By Dick Hughes, special to Marion County

Even first responders and expert swimmers gasp when they venture into Oregon’s snow-fed streams, rivers and lakes at this time of year.

“The best description everybody says is, ‘I jumped in the water and it immediately took my breath away,’” said Marion County Deputy Sheriff Dave Zahn.

As more Marion County parks open to the public on May 1, first responders are urging Oregonians to be wary around the water.

“May’s water conditions are frigid,” said Marion County Sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Wilkinson. And when it’s hot outside, “Everyone runs to the river to cool off.”

“The water is pure snowmelt. For even the strongest swimmers, it can shock them and cramp their muscles and cause them to drown.”

Deputy Zahn uses this exercise to teach children about the escalating effects of cold water: Put nuts and bolts in a bucket of ice water. Try to put the nuts and bolts together while keeping your hands in the water. Within minutes, the task becomes increasingly harder as your hands lose dexterity and the cold zaps your strength.

Every year, Marion County experiences one or two drownings and several near-drownings. That is why it’s important to always swim with a buddy, use life jackets and make an emergency plan before you start your outing. Being well-prepared makes it less likely that something will go wrong and increases your survival chances if something does.

Parks open to public

Among the Marion County parks opening May 1 are ones on the Little North Fork of the Santiam River and on the North Santiam itself: Minto, Niagara, North Fork and Salmon Falls. Bear Creek Park and Campground will open later in May.

Also opening are Aumsville Ponds on Bates Road SE near Aumsville; Bonesteele Park on Aumsville Highway SE; Spong's Landing on the Willamette River north of Keizer; and Scotts Mills Park.

Open year-round are Packsaddle Park on the North Santiam; Rogers Wayside near Silverton; and Auburn, Denny, Eola Bend, Joryville, Labish Village and Parkdale parks in the Salem area.

Cold water even on hot days

“Spring rivers are cold,” said Josh Weathers, recreation manager for the Detroit and Sweet Home ranger districts of the Willamette National Forest. “A lot of people seem to forget that.”

The North Santiam River never warms up, because it’s fed by water from the bottom of Detroit Lake. At this time of year, even the Willamette and Columbia rivers are relatively cold.

Cold water can cause shock in one minute and incapacitate a person within 10 minutes.

Plan for the unexpected

On hot days, many popular cooling-off spots are out of cell-phone range, which underscores the importance of having a safety plan. Emergency phones are located on North Fork Road at the entrance of Salmon Falls Park and at the Elkhorn Fire Department, 32788 North Fork Road SE, Lyons.

Deputy Zahn said to think ahead for how you’ll handle a water emergency. If someone is struggling, don’t jump in unless you’re trained in life saving and an expert swimmer; otherwise, the person could pull you under. Unfortunately, the would-be rescuer often is who drowns.

Instead, Zahn said, remember to “Reach, Row or Throw.” Reach out to the struggling person with a long stick or pole, row to the person if you’re in a boat, or throw something – even an empty, closed cooler – that a person can use to stay afloat.

As for life jackets, think of them like bike helmets. You might think they don’t look cool, but they can save your life – and there’s never time at the last moment to put them on. Wear them when you’re around water, including boating – especially if you’re not a strong swimmer and in excellent shape.

“Last year was one of our deadliest summers,” Sgt. Wilkinson said. “Taking these precautions could save a life.”

Marion County's second courthouse 1873-1952
Marion County's second courthouse 1873-1952
Marion County celebrates 175 years of service (Photo) - 04/30/18

Salem, OR – In anticipation of the 175th anniversary of the founding of Marion County, the Board of Commissioners will hold its regular board session at the Champoeg Visitor Center on May 2, 2018. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and the public is encouraged to attend. The visitor center is located at 8239 Champoeg Road NE, St. Paul, inside the Champoeg State Heritage Area State Park.

The meeting will include historical presentations featuring Champoeg State Visitor Center Park Manager John Mullen; Native American Historian David G. Lewis, Phd; Greg Leo from the Friends of Historic Butteville; and a special appearance by historical interpreter Michael Tieman from the Oregon Society Sons of the American Revolution as Gen. Francis Marion.

May 2, 2018, marks the 175th anniversary of the historic vote at Champoeg on the formation of Oregon’s first provisional government on May 2, 1843. Two months later on July 5, 1843, the Oregon Territory Provisional Government was formally established and divided into four districts including Tuality, Yamhill, Clackamas, and Champooick, which was later renamed Champoeg and finally designated as Marion County in 1849.

The board session kicks off Marion County’s “175 Years of Service” celebration for the remainder of 2018. The county is planning special festivities as part of the annual Marion County Fair, a self-guided tour of Marion County, 175 things to do in Marion County in partnership with Travel Salem, and more.

For more information, contact Jolene Kelley, Public Information Officer, at (503) 566-3937 or email