Helping Pets and People in our Community

by Oregon Humane Society
Helping Pets and People in our Community

My name is Tyler Jeffe, and I work with the Animal Care team at Oregon Humane Society. I spend my days caring for and preparing pets to go home with their future families. Exercising the animals, keeping kennels clean and comfortable, and administering medication are just some of my daily tasks. I’ve also fostered more than 30 dogs for OHS, and help run our Behavior Foster Program, which finds temporary homes for dogs, like Uma, who need extra support prior to being adopted.

One of the dogs I fostered is named Uma, and she has quite the story.

Uma is an affectionate, sweet senior dog who came to OHS through the Second Chance program. We don’t know much about her past, but when she arrived, she needed immediate medical care. Patches of her fur were missing, she appeared to have bite marks on her face, and her ears were infected. Thanks to the support of donors, we had the resources and expertise to help Uma right away.

Initially, we assumed Uma would be adopted quickly. However, a shelter environment full of loud animal noises and unfamiliar smells quickly grew too stressful for her. Uma became reactive and withdrawn, fearful of other dogs and even humans who would walk by her kennel. She was also struggling with chronic ear infections and hematomas – painful conditions that were adding to her stress in the shelter. My team and I saw glimmers of her sweet personality beneath her anxiety and wanted to see how she would do in a quieter home environment. I jumped at the opportunity to foster this special girl.

In foster care, Uma turned into the dog we all knew she could be! She proved herself to be a world-class snuggler and loved going on walks! She wasted no time making herself comfortable (usually under some blankets) while I worked with our Behavior Modification team on her training plan. She even looked to me when she felt stressed. From where she was starting, this was a huge improvement! Uma’s foster mom, Jamie, was integral to helping Uma re-learn how to be a dog and live in a home. Thanks to donors, Uma received behavior and medical support during the nine months she was in foster care, waiting to be adopted. 

Finally, after Uma had transformed, she had her first and only adoption appointment. When Uma met her new people for the first time, we all knew that this was it – this was Uma’s new family. It was a magical moment. Uma was all smiles, tongue out and tail wagging, when she rode off to her new home with the people who would spoil and love her. Today Uma has blossomed into a lovable, snuggly, carrot-chomping, blanket-burrowing girl who loves going on walks and giving kisses.

Donors are the glue that hold all the pieces of Uma’s story together. Donors provided everything that Uma needed while she waited for her family. Donors provided the resources that the behavior and medical teams needed to care for her during the nine months that she was in foster care. Donors supported the Behavior Foster Program that equips us to give extra attention to the dogs who need it the most. Donors provided the food, medical supplies, and enrichment she needed while staying with me. And it is because of donors that there are no time limits for the animals at OHS.

There are more pets like Uma who need specialized support and care while waiting for their family. We ask that you join with us and give today to help more vulnerable pets in need.

OHS Second Chance Transport
OHS Second Chance Transport
OHS Second Chance Program
OHS Second Chance Program
Tyler and Uma
Tyler and Uma
Uma in foster
Uma in foster
Uma can shake!
Uma can shake!


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Prince William
Prince William

This is Prince William. When I first met him and his dedicated and loving owner, it was plain to see that their bond was special. Prince William is a bit of a grumpy old man but loved his owner — especially when they would give him those irresistible cheek and chin scratches! When Prince William was diagnosed with diabetes, it turned their lives upside down. For a first-time diabetic pet owner, learning to care for a newly diagnosed cat is hard.

There is a slew of vet appointments, constant monitoring and managing insulin injections. For Prince William’s owner, who was facing their own health challenges, this made his care even more complicated. Thanks to donors, Prince William and his family weren’t alone.

My name is Kelly Bremken, and I am Oregon Humane Society’s first Veterinary Social Worker.

A Veterinary Social Worker is a bit of a unicorn, you probably haven’t met one out in the wild yet! It is a brand new specialty that focuses on the important and evolving bond between people and animals. When OHS is helping animals, we are also helping people. It’s why I joined OHS, and it’s how I came to meet Prince William and his former family.

We worked together for weeks to exhaust every option for managing Prince William’s new diagnosis; creating feeding and medication schedules, providing supplies and guidance to help keep this sweet and sassy cat together with his family. I also worked with Prince William’s family to ensure they were taking advantage of the social and health care services they needed.

Ultimately, Prince William’s family made the difficult decision to surrender him to OHS. This allowed Prince William to continue receiving the intensive care that he needed, and his owner could return to focusing on managing their own health.

While this was a difficult decision for them, this isn’t a story of heartbreak or sadness.

Prince William’s story is one of love. It is love that brought him to OHS and it is love that helped carry him through until adoption day.

After Prince William was surrendered to OHS, I stayed in contact with his former family. They were happy to get both health updates from the medical team, as well as photos from our adoring staff. They even donated to help sponsor his daily care. They missed him terribly, and I was available with resources for support.

Prince William wasn’t living in their home anymore, but they were certainly still family.

After his month-long stay with our fantastic staff, Prince William was adopted! His new family had recently lost their own diabetic cat, so they were well-practiced in the complex and lifelong care Prince William needed. His former family was ecstatic to learn the news.

The bond between people and their pets doesn’t just disappear when they are separated. Prince William’s happiness with his new family is built on the foundation of the love and care of his former family. Their bravery and commitment to his best life, as well as your support of pets in need, is what gives pets like Prince William their new chance.

When you give to OHS, you ensure that pets like Prince William have access to medical care and behavioral support, helping them through whatever circumstance brought them to the shelter. When you give, it generates the support and resources OHS provides to our community; resources like veterinary social work, helping to preserve the strong and loving bond between pets and their people.

You can partner in the work for more pets in need by giving today. Thank you!

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Duke and Julie taking a ride
Duke and Julie taking a ride

 The end of 2020 was the start of a new beginning for Duke.

In December, Duke was sick, emaciated and unable to walk. But a good Samaritan took him to Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital for critical care. He was then transferred to Multnomah County Animal Services since he was considered a stray.

On the last day of 2020, he was transferred to the Oregon Humane Society to continue his recovery while the OHS Humane Law Enforcement team opened an investigation. A dog in Duke’s state requires a slow, methodical plan to bring him back to health. He began a controlled refeeding plan while OHS veterinarians began to treat his other ailments including a skin infection, dental disease and an unexpected heartworm positive diagnosis.

Last year had also been extremely challenging for Julie. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. Due to the pandemic, she was forced to spend her recovery alone and isolated.

During this time, Julie began to think about getting a dog. It had been 20 years since she had a canine companion and watching dog videos online made her realize that she was ready. “I really needed a companion and someone to walk with while I continued to recover from surgery and chemo,” says Julie.

Meanwhile, Duke had spent almost two months in an experienced OHS foster home while he gained weight and learned to be a dog again. He was finally ready for his next step — a loving home.

Julie had been looking at pet profiles online when Duke’s photo caught her eye. “I saw his picture and I was hooked,” adds Julie. “I couldn’t stop thinking about him for about a week, so I submitted a questionnaire.”

Julie and Duke had an instant connection when they met. “He sat on my feet and just looked at me,” says Julie. “But knowing his story made me want to adopt him even more.”

Since Duke went home with Julie, their bond has only grown stronger. “He is so special, and I am so in love with him. He always has to be near me and touching me,” says Julie. “We have both been through hell and are getting better together.”

Recently, Julie has been well enough to participate in one of her other favorite activities: attending Mini car enthusiast rallies with the Rose City Minis club. Of course, Duke is at her side the entire time and has become a favorite among other club members. “He’s so adorable — like this little velvet cushion with legs. Everyone just loves him.”

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Oregon Humane Society transferred 43 dogs and 33 cats to our shelter in late July at the request of Multnomah County Animal Services. Multnomah County Animal Services is the taxpayer-funded county animal shelter serving the Portland, OR community. The animals were transported through the OHS Second Chance Program, which includes partnerships with agencies around the state to help ensure timely assistance during large-scale rescues and natural disasters.

These 76 pets are related to an ongoing case, but are not part of an active investigation. "Multnomah County is already caring for more than 100 animals from the case and needed support for these additional animals," OHS said in a statement on the influx of furry friends.

After arriving at OHS, the cats and dogs were examined and scheduled to receive any necessary medical care from the OHS veterinary team before being available for adoption.

"While this was a lot of animals to take into our shelter at one time, our team was able to mobilize quickly to prepare our facility and solicit extra help from volunteers," says Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. "We are grateful for the work of Multnomah County Animal Services and glad we were able to help out with this situation."

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Alone, in pain and wandering the streets of La Grande, poor Walter needed a miracle. His luck began to turn when a good Samaritan began to care for him in September.  But a trip to the vet uncovered some terrible news. Walter was suffering from a painful dental disease called stomatitis. The condition is difficult to treat and requires repeated, and often expensive, dental procedures. The good Samaritan who had been caring for him was no longer able to afford his challenging medical condition. So, in January, Walter found himself at Blue Mountain Humane in LaGrande. 

OHS’s Second Chance Program frequently works with Blue Mountain Humane so when the call came in to help, Walter’s case was reviewed by the OHS medical team and he was scheduled to be transported to Portland.

When Walter arrived, it was clear that his stomatitis was severe. He’d already had 17 teeth extracted and it was determined that the only way to alleviate his pain was to remove his remaining 13 teeth. His recovery was challenging, but after a few days of love and care in the OHS Medical Center he began to turn the corner. The team would coax him to eat and gave him special accommodations to make him comfortable.  He then spent a few weeks in foster care while his mouth continued to heal from oral surgery.

With all the surgeries behind him, Walter was ready for the next happy and healthy chapter in his life. A blog post featuring adoption-ready Walter was put on our website in February, drawing the attention of potential adopters, including Enny. Enny specifically wanted to adopt a cat who was having a harder time finding home. When Enny came into the shelter, they sat calmly and quietly with Walter, just letting him be while softly petting his head and gently reassuring him that better days were ahead. “I have a really nice window that you can sit and look out.”

As the paperwork was finalized, Enny got emotional. “Let’s get you home before I start to cry.”

Thank you for your support of the pets in our shelter and community, and for helping Walter find his happy ever after.

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Organization Information

Oregon Humane Society

Location: Portland, Oregon - USA
Project Leader:
Nicole Lutton
Portland, Oregon United States
$2,036 raised of $50,000 goal
38 donations
$47,964 to go
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