| Oct 15, 2023
A busy year so far
A German Shepherd carried into the shelter
It is no exaggeration to say that this year has been the busiest year ever for Greenhill Humane Society. There have been some very challenging situations in our community over the past few months, and thanks in large part to your support, Greenhill has been there to meet the needs.
So far this year, Greenhill has sheltered over 3,600 animals. That’s a 23% increase compared to last year. This summer, a number of those animals came to us under very distressing circumstances. In June, July and August of this year Greenhill was called to assist in three separate hoarding / neglect situations that involved over 110 animals.
In June, Greenhill worked with Eugene Animal Services to take in 30 German Shepherds in an overcrowding case. The dogs ages ranged from 3 months to 7 years old. Many arrived underweight, and all were under-socialized. They had never been on a leash, received veterinary care, or training and they were covered in dirt and feces. When they arrived at Greenhill, our team jumped into action to safely get these scared dogs into their kennels. Most of them needed to be carried because they were so terrified. Our veterinary team provided medical care to address old and active injuries. And, Greenhill’s canine team, including staff and volunteers, worked closely with each of the dogs, building trust, teaching leash skills, basic obedience, and providing play-date interactions with other dogs in the shelter. While they were shy and cautious, in just a few short weeks, they proved to be friendly, curious, and extremely smart dogs. They were coming up to strangers, accepting treats, accepting pets, and giving kisses. One by one, with the last one leaving us nearly 4 months after the first one arrived, these German shepherds got adopted into loving new homes to relax and enjoy being pampered.
While we were still caring for many of the German Shepherds, we received another call for help in July. This time, the situation involved over 40 Great Pyrenees who were living in a farmhouse with an older couple. The dogs, who ranged in age from a few months to several years-old, had significant medical and behavioral concerns. They were under-socialized and had never received veterinary care. Greenhill’s team worked with Lane County Animal Services and the regional Great Pyrenees rescue, Great Pyrs and Paws, to remove the dogs from the home, and then provide the medical care and attention they needed to recover and heal from their previous living conditions.
And then, in August we took in 35 cats who were abandoned in a rented apartment. Their living conditions were inhumane. The cats, having been neglected, were covered in filth, had parasites, fur loss, were malnourished, and suffered from dehydration. Some of them had severe medical concerns. When they arrived at the shelter, they were immediately placed in isolation because of the contagious diseases they had and were provided with medical care. These cats will require months of treatment. We have been adopting them to loving families who are willing to continue nursing them to health, and we still have 17 in our care, hoping for those perfect families to open their home to them.
On top of these challenging situations, our community was also dealing with multiple wildfires, extreme heat, and dangerous air-quality. The Bedrock Fire started in July of this year; the Lookout Fire started in August. By the middle of August there were evacuation orders in place for parts of eastern Lane County. In addition to the fires, that week in mid-August we saw multiple consecutive days above 100 degrees, resulting in severe heat and an air-quality emergency. Hundreds of people were impacted by the evacuation orders, many of them with pets. Likewise, many people, mostly our unhoused community members were impacted by the heat and the smoke, and many of them had pets. During this time, while firefighters locally and from around the region fought the fires, several non-profit organizations stood up shelters for people and pets in need. Greenhill worked in coordination and collaboration with Lane County Public Health and the American Red Cross to set up two separate shelters. A cooling shelter was set up for 3 days at the fairgrounds, and a fire evacuation center was set up in Lowell for 10 days. Because Greenhill was there to provide direct shelter support for animals, people with pets could find safe respite. These shelters are a critical lifeline for the people who have no other options. If the evacuation and respite shelters didn’t exist, or if people with pets weren’t welcome, those families would literally be living or staying on the streets.
Thanks to your past support, Greenhill was able to be there for the animals and people in our community. If you are able, please consider another gift at this time to ensure that Greenhill can be there to step up in times of crisis.
One of the many rescued Great Pyrenees
Kittens from hoarding case on day of arrival
Smoke from the wildfires tints the sky orange