ALBANY, Ore. -- The Albany Police Department is turning bottles to bills in order to help injured animals.
Community Service Officer Darla Luther said The Linn Animal Samaritan Fund was established around 2007 when she came across a sick dog that was more than likely going to be euthanized if no one stepped in. Luther herself decided to pay the medical bills and rescue the dog.
“Ultimately the dog was treated, rehabilitated and I gave the dog to my mother,” Luther said. “On that note, I decided it might be a good idea to get a fund started for law enforcement so that we would have funds readily available in case we had another situation like this.”
More than a decade later, Luther and the rest of the department have found another way to increase the money directed into the fund.
Community Service Officer Jerry Morris said the staff began placing recycling bins around the office to collect bottles, which then were turned in to BottleDrop and exchanged for cash. The money was then deposited into the animal fund.
At first, it began with a couple collection sites in the office. Morris said they were collecting about one to two bags of bottles each week, which over the course of a few months could equate to $1,000 deposited into the animal fund.
“That’s a lot of money for anybody, but that takes care of three injured animals,” Morris said.
The department typically handles around five to six animal injury cases each month.
Then last week, the department shared a post on Facebook asking for the public to pitch in, and the response was overwhelming.
“I'm totally blown away. I would not have expected this ever,” Morris said.
In about five days, Morris estimates 200 bags have been filled with bottles. Albany Police opened an account with Oregon Bottle Drop and are working with SafeHaven Humane Society.
Now, the public can get blue BottleDrop bags at the front counter of the police station or you can ask any officer that drives a black police pickup truck for a bag.
The bag can then be returned to BottleDrop, and the funds go directly to the Samaritan Fund account. You can also make monetary donations to SafeHaven Humane Society and request the money go to the Linn Animal Samaritan Fund.
You can donate online here.