Sheltering during the Cedar Creek Fire in 2022
At Greenhill, we provide care and healing for animals in need, but through this work, we touch the lives of the people in our community. Most of us have animals in our lives which makes pets an integral part of our families. Each of our homes varies from large, filled with the sounds of laughing children and barking dogs to smaller, perhaps an older couple with a cat or small dog that shares their laps. Even becoming more common, a single adult and a four-legged companion, with a bond as deep as any. We are finding more often that when a person needs help, there is a pet that also needs help; and when there’s a pet that needs help, there is a struggling person that’s connected.
This past year we saw a tremendous increase in the needs of our services that help both pets and people. In fact, we saw a 17% increase in the number of animals needing care and shelter this year. But it’s not the numbers that are as important as some of the individual stories that paint a larger picture of people and animals in desperate need.
There have been more cases of hoarding and neglect than ever before seen in recent years. These devastating cases involved over 34 dogs including Great Danes like Maggie, Bandit and Hercules. They also included cases with over 105 cats who came to us from multiple situations, that either involved abandonment or hoarding and housing crises. These situations involved people who were struggling to care for themselves and their pets. Fortunately, thanks to your support, Greenhill was here to provide lifesaving shelter and care.
We’ve also seen the worst of people – through the eyes and scars of the animals brought to us after years of abuse. Animals like Lovebug, who was found after she was locked in a crate and thrown down an embankment in the woods. We provided her with extensive medical care including treatment for multiple gunshot wounds, fractures, and removal of one of her eyes due to a bullet fragment. Despite what she’s endured, Lovebug’s resilience, gentle spirit, and unconditional love provides all who meet her with hope that we can get through our toughest challenges.
As seems to be the new normal, 2022 brought us the Cedar Creek Fire and the complete evacuation of Oakridge, a population of over 3,000 people. Fortunately, the fire didn’t destroy homes, but the evacuation itself was a traumatic event, especially for those people and families who were elderly, had physical limitations, or limited financial resources. Many of those people had pets and for nearly a week, over 120 scared people and over 120 scared pets were temporarily sheltered at the Lane County Fairgrounds – Red Cross provided sheltering for the people, while Greenhill provided sheltering for their pets. Thanks to your support, Greenhill was able to mobilize quickly and provide critical care at a time it was needed most and most importantly help keep families safely together.
Thanks to your support for Greenhill, this past year we expanded two programs to help meet the increasing community needs. We’ve grown our canine behavior program to address the increased number of dogs coming to us with very challenging, but treatable behaviors. By providing the proper behavior support and enrichment, we can help more dogs find stable, loving homes.
We also significantly increased our Pet Pantry Program for distributing pet food and supplies to people in need. Annually, we are providing over 25 tons of food and supplies including cat litter. We provide it directly to people and are also partnering with local non-profits to reach people where it is needed most. This year we started a partnership with United Way to have pet food and supplies delivered to people who are housebound. We have also developed a partnership with Greater Good Charities to receive large shipments of donated food and supplies from food manufacturers and retail businesses. This year we began construction on a warehouse to store these goods for our community to ultimately use.
Greenhill Humane Society has become an organization that not only provides life-saving care and humane treatment for animals but is also a critical provider of support and care for people in our community. Your compassion, your love, your hope, and your support for Greenhill enables us to meet the need – to be there for the suffering animal – to be there for the scared person in need.
Thank you for your continued support, we are ready for this new year and all that it will bring.
Greenhill's Pet Pantry
Rye, one of many rescued cats