Where your furry friends can escape the wildfire smoke

Fire Season 2019: For the latest updates on fires buring in our region, go here: Fire Season 2019.

MEDFORD, Ore. — All of the heavy smoke covering the Rogue Valley can have serious health impacts not just for you, but your furry friends too.

If they’re needing a place to stretch their legs without going outside in the elements, there are options.

“My dogs have grown up here… learning to come in and jump up on the counter,” said Duncan Mcwhortor, a customer.

McWhortor has lived in the Rogue Valley for 35 years. He’s a farmer who’s been bringing his two Australian shepherds to the Grange Co-op in Medford since they were puppies.

“They jump up and they both give the blue eye look to whoever is behind the counter… and they just feed the cookies to them,” he said.

And with the heavy smoke that pours in during wildfire season each summer, he says taking a much-needed stroll around the store keeps them both out of the elements.

“The benefit to Charlie, probably from his point of view, is the treats the really nice people here give out to him liberally,” McWhortor said.

“Everybody is looking for an opportunity to bring their pets somewhere that is safe and inviting and Grange Co-op is a great place to do it,” said marketing manager, Jason Wall.

Wall says they’ve allowed pets in their stores for over 20 years

“Well, we treat pets like they are part of the family here,” he said.

He agrees with McWhortor that with the smoke becoming an ever-increasing problem in the Rogue Valley, it’s a great option to have.

“They use it as an outlet, I think, just to make sure pets aren’t cooped up all day long,” he said. “It’s not safe to leave them to be outside, so what better way to do it then come to a place where they are invited and welcome.”

Grange Co-op is not the only store in the valley that allows leashed pets inside.

You can also stop by Lowes or any local pet store.

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