Portland, January 3rd, 2013. The Red Cross, Oregon Trail Chapter is sending out a call for volunteers to help at an emergency warming shelter on Portland’s southeast side.  Wednesday, Red Cross volunteers helped accommodate 63 people. As the only local shelter that allows pets, volunteers were also able to give six pets a warm place to sleep.

On Wednesday, volunteers work to get ready for pets at the emergency shelter.

On Wednesday, volunteers work to get ready for pets at the emergency shelter.

Pets are kept in kennels and officials say if they didn't allow the animals into the shelter, many homeless people would not take advantage of the service.

Pets are kept in kennels and officials say if they didn’t allow the animals into the shelter, many homeless people would not take advantage of the service.

With overnight temperatures expected to be below 30-degrees it’s expected that the Red Cross Emergency shelters will be open for at least the next several days. To learn how to volunteer, visit www.redcross.org/or/portland/volunteer.

The video below has more information about volunteering.

Doors are opened to all.

Every winter, doors are opened to all.

The city of Portland funds the Red Cross efforts to save lives in the cold weather.

Guests come in from the cold with their pets.

The American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter serves as the regional hub for the Red Cross in the state of Oregon. The chapter is part of a nationwide network of nearly 600 chapters and blood collection sites across the nation. With 1,200 volunteers and 55 staff members statewide, the Oregon Region of the Red Cross is a leader in providing relief to victims of single-family and community emergencies; national and international disasters; and helping people to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters.

The Oregon Trail Chapter covers a 16-county area in northern Oregon, from the Pacific Ocean to the Idaho border. We serve the residents of Baker, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Gilliam, Hood River, Morrow, Multnomah, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wasco, Wallowa, Washington and Yamhill Counties.

If you live outside of the Oregon Trail Chapter area, you can find local Red Cross services at one of the other four chapters in the state.