Caring for Pets during COVID-19 Crisis

by Oregon Humane Society
Caring for Pets during COVID-19 Crisis
Aug 3, 2020

Sancho Finds His Forever Home

Sancho and Jason
Sancho and Jason

Even during a pandemic, the need to care for shelter pets and find them new homes continues. This spring, our adoption process went to appointment-only to help keep adopters and staff safe during the crisis. This has reduced the number of pets being adopted at this time; but each and every adoption made is a cause to celebrate.

The adoption journey of a dog name Sancho is just one happy adoption story that occurred in the middle of a pandemic. Sancho, a seven-year-old German shepherd-mix, was rescued by the Sheriff’s Office in neighboring Clackamas County. Sancho was emaciated, his skin was raw and inflamed, and he was missing much of his hair. He was brought to Clackamas County Dog Services, where it was quickly determined he needed medical and behavior care before he could be adopted into a loving home. Knowing that OHS has the resources to provide personalized care to a dog like Sancho, Clackamas County Animal Services asked OHS if we could admit and care for Sancho.

Once Sancho arrived at OHS, he was examined by forensic veterinarians working with the Investigations team. They determined he’d been starved and had chronic skin allergies that had been neglected for a long time. The Medical team went to work, putting Sancho on a feeding plan to help him gain weight at a healthy pace. They also began to treat his skin issues, but his condition was severe. Sancho would need lifelong, specialized care.

Months after he was treated and ready for adoption, Sancho still hadn’t found the right person. The noise and activity in the shelter was stressful for him. Staff and volunteers worked hard to help him cope. He played fetch each morning and went on multiple walks every day. And he joined the OHS Running Team, a program where volunteers take high-energy dogs on multi-mile runs.

Then COVID-19 hit, and everything changed. With adoptions now appointment-only, many pets were moved to foster homes. Sancho was chosen to go to foster care, but he needed the right person to care for him and his unique needs. OHS put out a call for emergency foster homes, and an OHS volunteer named Jason responded.

Jason’s restaurants temporarily closed because of the pandemic, and so he had the perfect opportunity to look after a pet in need. This was Jason’s first time fostering an animal, and he was nervous. But OHS provided Jason with the training and supplies for him to feel confident in his new role as Foster Parent. Virtual consultations with OHS trainers helped Jason understand and manage Sancho’s stress around other dogs. Plus, OHS veterinarians gave him clear instructions to treat Sancho’s skin condition.

After months of devoting time to Sancho’s care and training, Jason and Sancho became inseparable. Jason decided to make it permanent and this June, adopted Sancho, giving him a forever home.

Thank you for your support of the pets in our shelter and community, and for helping Sancho find a loving home and family.

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Organization Information

Oregon Humane Society

Location: Portland, Oregon - USA
Project Leader:
Marsha Chrest
Portland, Oregon United States
$1,636 raised of $50,000 goal
34 donations
$48,364 to go
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