COVID19 Update – 11/16/20

Phase One: Closed to General Public

Earlier this week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown placed a “freeze” that has gone into effect statewide. DBL will be opting back into its’ own Phase One for its Southern Oregon campus for the remainder of 2020. This means the following applies beginning Wednesday, November 18th:

  • Only essential staff will be working on campus during this time period including Kennel and Training  staff; and limited staff in Finance, Operations, Program, and Development.
  • All essential staff on campus must strictly adhere to COVID workplace guidelines, including but not limited to, wearing masks when within 6 feet of any co-workers and frequent handwashing.
  • All other DBL staff will be working strictly remote during this time period. All remote staff will have access to their office phone lines via phone forwarding and email.

Moving back into Phase One, DBL adopted the following interim plan, observing the Governor’s guidelines for employee safety:

  • Dog acquisition and travel is on a limited basis.
  • Limited travel has resumed for placements to areas that have reopened.
  • Dogs are continuing to stay on campus full time.
  • No meetings with the public on campus.
  • Public tours are still on hold and in-person meetings are on approved invite only at this time.

In early January 2021 we will reevaluate, assuring DBL continues to be in compliance of state and national guidelines.

COVID19 Update – 5/5/20

Phase Two: Open With Restrictions

Oregon Governor Kate Brown approved Jackson County’s request to start Phase Two reopening. With Phase Two now activated, DBL adopted the following reopening plan observing the Governor’s guidelines for employee safety:

  • Dog acquisition travel has resumed.
  • Limited travel has resumed for placements to areas that have reopened.
  • Kennel Techs are working on campus full time.
  • Majority of staff are continuing to work remote, with periodic meetings on campus.
  • Public tours are still on hold and in-person meetings are on approved invite only at this time.

In addition, all DBL employees and visitors are required to take a DBL COVID-19 Screening prior to coming on campus. Screening link is available on this page.

We are really excited to get back to work and to resume full training of our dogs to serve our amazing clients. Please continue to stay posted to learn when we’ll begin Phases Three where we’ll be fully operational.

We Care
We care about you, your families, and our life-changing dogs, and ask for your patience in responding to your emails, calls and letters. Please feel free to contact us:

Please know that Dogs for Better Lives remains fiscally strong and committed as ever to our mission, our dogs, and to all who care and support us. There is nothing more powerful and resilient than you – our wonderful DBL community – and we want to thank you for showing your love for our mission and being a part of DBL.

Stay well,
Bryan Williams, CEO



Q: If you and I both play with and hug our dogs, and our dogs play together, and one of us has the virus, can the other dog act as a vector to carry the virus to a new household?

A: In our current understanding of the disease, it appears very unlikely that dogs playing in a dog park could vector the disease between people. However, given the growing pandemic and the responsibility we all have to be extremely cautious during this time, I would recommend that dog owners follow the same social isolation recommendations for their pets as have been made for people - keep people (and their pets) 6 feet apart.  

– Dr. Jennifer Babineaux, DVM 

Q: When will the public be allowed back on the DBL campus for tours, meetings, and pet adoptions?

A: Currently DBL’s campus in Central Point (OR) is closed, as the entire state is under “Stay-Home Order” from Oregon Governor Kate Brown. We anticipate until at least April 6th, this order will be enforced. DBL leadership continues to monitor this situation daily and encourages you to check back periodically to our website for news updates. You can also visit our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn) feeds for breaking news. 

Q: If all staff are being asked to stay at home, who is taking care of the dogs?

A: Currently we have a limited number of staff on campus, caring for our dogs in training. Most of our Career Change Dogs (non-graduating) have been placed in temporary foster homes for the time being. 

Q: How can we (public) help during this concerning and unprecedented period?

A: While we appreciate your concern and desire to help us, we ask that you please think about yourself first, ensuring that you are taken care of. DBL is in good shape and we will persevere. Thanks to our staff and local volunteers, we have all essential services covered at this time. If you wish to help in other ways, obviously we are always appreciative of donations. 

Q: In addition to your website, where else can I go to learn about DBL's response to COVID-19 and any impact it may be having on your dogs and staff?

A:  In addition to our website, please follow us on social media where we provide more frequent and daily updates, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Q: If most of the staff is working remote, what is the best way to reach them?

A:  All remote staff have their office phones set to forwarding and should be accessible by cellphone from DBL’s core hours of 9:00 am (12:00 pm, EST) to 3:00 pm (6:00 pm, EST), Mon – Fri. If unable to reach them by phone, please try email. In most cases, that’s firstname @

Q: How can I keep working on my Assistance Dog's professional behavior during this time social distancing?

A: You can practice with your Assistance Dog by reenacting training scenarios at home as much as possible- such as treating a sit down dinner at home like you are at a restaurant.