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For complete adoption numbers, including figures calculated in accordance with the Asilomar Standard, visit the OHS Adoption Statistics Web page.
General & Adoptions
In 2012 OHS found homes for 11,225 pets. Our "save rate" (adoptions, plus transfers to other humane groups and reunions with owners) for dogs in 2012 was 99 percent; for cats it was 98 percent. Our adoption rates are quite impressive when compared to the national average (25 percent for dogs and 20 percent for cats). We are proud of our efforts and the Board, staff, and volunteers of OHS are committed to placing 100 percent of the animals brought to OHS for adoption into new, loving homes.
Pets surrendered by their owners make up the majority of the animals received at OHS. We do not accept stray dogs, as by law these animals must go to Multnomah County Animal Services or the local jurisdiction in which they were found. We often have stray cats as the shelter, as some jurisdictions have no facilities for stray cats.
Through our Second Chance Program, OHS saves more lives by accepting animals from shelters and animal control agencies across Oregon, Washington and California. In the case of a national disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina, we accepted dogs from Georgia and Louisiana. In a typical year, we'll receive thousands of animals from other shelters. These shelters typically face the dual problems of too many abandoned animals and too few adopters.
How do you decide who is adoptable?
Our goal is to place 100 percent of the pets received at our shelter. Pets placed up for adoption need to be of sound temperament and good health. Pets with a history of severe aggression or major medical problems that cannot be resolved without extensive veterinary care are not suitable for our adoption program. That being said, many animals undergo substantial rehabilitation prior to placement for adoption. Our "Pet Pals" dog obedience program, staffed by a group of dedicated volunteers, works with difficult to place dogs to resolve behavior problems that would be a deterrent to adoption.
Pets stay up for adoption as long as they remain physically and emotionally healthy. For some dogs this can mean living at the shelter for six months or more until the right home is available.
When looking for a new home, dogs generally wait an average of 8 days or less and cats wait an average of 9 days or less (kittens average 1 day while puppies are 3 days). OHS has found homes for dogs in less then 4 days and waited over 120 days to find the perfect home for some of our feline guests.
OHS has 249 volunteer foster families who care for newborns, pregnant cats, and recuperating dogs until they are ready to be placed up for adoption. In addition, foster families will shelter and care for animals when the kennels are full or if an individual animal needs a break from the stress of staying in the kennels. Our foster families directly saved the lives of 1,359 animals in 2011 alone.
We estimate that about 25 percent of the animals brought to the shelter are purebreds. If you are interested in specific breed, check our pet lists to see if one is available. OHS also works with purebred dog rescue organizations. Many times, these dogs are transferred from OHS to rescue groups who specialize in adoption of a particular breed. That way OHS has more room for mix breeds and the purebred gets the attention it needs as well.
Information on how to adopt a pet is available on the How to Adopt page of this Website.
We are committed to ending pet overpopulation and consider spaying and neutering the number one solution to this tragic problem. Many of our pets are already spayed or neutered before coming to OHS. Those who have not been are spayed/neutered while they are at the shelter. Barring an illness that would prevent such operation prior to adoption, 100 percent of the cats, dogs, and rabbits adopted are already surgically altered.
The Find a Home page of this website contains information on OHS's pre-admission policy and links to print out the necessary forms. We want to do everything possible to help you keep your pet. However, we know that this is not always the best solution and we are available to help when you need to find a new home for your animal. When you contact OHS at (503) 285-7722, ext. 211, you will be asked several questions about your pet and situation. Admissions staff answering this extension will provide you with helpful information on how you might change a behavior difficulty or give you information on other community resources to place your companion animal. You will be given the opportunity to schedule an appointment with the OHS admissions department. This way we can provide you and your animal with the time needed to complete the process.
Pets who cannot be considered for adoption include:
Do you wonder why puppies cost more? At the Oregon Humane Society, we cheer for ALL the animals! However, we know some animals are more desired by the public: small breed dogs, puppies, kittens, and some popular breeds.
Having a higher adoption fee for animals we know will go home quickly enables us to care for long-time or special needs residents until they find their new homes. Long-timers like Utah. He is a great dog and OHS staff and volunteers have become very fond of him in the months he has been here. One of these days, someone from the public is going to walk in the door and realize what a terrific guy he is. Until then, he sits and watches as the cute little ones go home. Puppies fly out the door with families. Cute, smaller dogs are barely here for a day before their new pet parents adopt them. Luckily for Utah, pets like these are subsidizing his care, as well as the veterinary care of, for example, dogs with broken legs or cats with respiratory infections.
Our adoption fees are based on an animal's age, breed, temperament, behavioral issues, and physical condition. The adoption fee includes a certificate for a free health examination by a participating vet, first vaccines (cats and dogs), spay/neuter surgery, a microchip, ID tag, collar, and an informational booklet. Cats, rabbits, and pocket pets (rodents) also include a carrier to safely transport your pet home.
Microchips are a safe, permanent way to identify your companion animal. A pet microchip is a small computer chip (about the size of a rice grain) safely injected between the animal's shoulder blades. Having your pet microchipped greatly increases the chances of it being returned to you when lost. All pets should wear an ID tag with a contact number on it, preferably your mobile number - but microchips are the best backup for a collar and visible ID tag.
What microchips are NOT: GPS trackers or similar devices. A pet's geographic location cannot be tracked by a microchip. The chip must be scanned (at a vet's office or shelter, for example), which will provide the scanner with owner contact information from a computer database. Be sure to keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company so you can be contacted if your pet escapes and is found and brought to a vet or shelter.
With the help of over 7,000 donors, the Oregon Humane Society in 2000 completed its most ambitious project in its then 132 year history. The new animal resource center and educational facilities -- conceived in 1993 -- were completed in June 2000. With this achievement, OHS begins a new chapter in its long and successful history as a progressive animal welfare organization. Learn about the capital campaign that raised funds for the project, budgets, information about the corporate partners, details about the building, and other useful data in the OHS New Shelter Project 2000 book, prepared by Skanska USA Building.
The Oregon Humane Society is thrilled to have the technology to post photos of all the animals available for adoption as soon as they become available. Some of the photos are taken on arrival to the shelter. These photos may not be the highest quality nor show off the animal very well. However, OHS is very lucky to have a team of excellent volunteer photographers who spend hours at the shelter every day taking quality photos of the animals. These are then uploaded to replace any that may be blurry. There are times when the pet finds a new home before the volunteer photographer is able to replace the arrival photo. If you have good digital photography skills, contact the volunteer department to help us always have terrific images of animals for adoption on the website.
We test every cat for feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Tests for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are administered when we have reason to suspect the cat has FIV.
OHS Services and Policies
We are fortunate to have most of our food donated by pet owners, veterinary clinics, retailers, and wholesale pet food brokers. The food is of good quality and is mixed to reduce the shock of a change of diet. Using quality, donated food saves over $30,000 a year. We also accept monetary donations to our food fund. This fund is used to purchase special food for animals with allergies or other health problems, as well as kitten food and other high demand diets as needed.
Spaying and neutering saves lives and OHS has many programs to financially assist pet owners with the cost of a spay/neuter surgery. You can check out all the resources we offer on the Spay/Neuter Assistance page.
If you need help with your dog's spay/neuter surgery, OHS will loan you the money. The loan is provided regardless of your financial abilities and we charge no interest. For indigent dog owners, we do provide limited assistance similar to the Spay and Save program for cats.
Finally, anyone is welcome to pick up a discount coupon at OHS. The coupon is good at several clinics around the Portland Metro Area.
Contact the Portland Veterinarian Medical Association at (503) 228-7387 for information about local animal clinics and veterinarians. Statewide, check out the Oregon Veterinarian Medical Association.
There are no time limits placed on how long an animal is available for adoption at the Oregon Humane Society. Animals available for adoption are never euthanized because of space limitations. OHS euthanizes only for significant health or behavior issues and does not take lightly the decision to end a life.
Many "no kill" shelters are more accurately defined as limited admission facilities. The term "no kill" has, unfortunately, become a marketing tool rather than an honest description of the enormous undertaking of providing care for homeless pets. Some "no kill" shelters pick and choose which animals are acceptable for adoption, turning away many others who have a medical or behavioral condition or are deemed, according to that shelter's criteria, as unadoptable. Use of such vague, hard to define terms and ideals makes it confusing for pet owners trying to obtain services.
"No kill" does not mean no euthanasia, a key point often lost in this discussion. In the case of true "sanctuaries," where no euthanasia is practiced, there are painfully few instances where companion animals are maintained in a manner that preserves their physical and mental health.
Through effective use of our resources (including foster care volunteers, the Second Chance Program, and volunteer trainers) and medical care, OHS can provide rehabilitation (both behavioral and medical) treatment for many animals, increasing their chances of finding a home. Success is seen every day - for example, when an untrained 9 month old Labrador mix pup is transformed into a well-mannered dog who can now sit, stay, and heel on command. Even a cat with a severe disability receives a new lease on life thanks to a foster volunteer and veterinarian who did not give up on the cat. OHS is a place for second chances.
If you suspect or know an animal is suffering from neglect or abuse, file a report with OHS's Investigations Department online or call (503) 285-7722, ext. 214. OHS does not provide emergency response. You will be prompted to leave detailed information about the location, animal in question, and potential suspect as well as your contact number, which will be kept strictly confidential. Being able to contact you should more information be needed will assist in the quick resolution of your concerns. Due to the confidential nature of the investigations, you will not receive any information regarding the results of the investigation.
You can also contact your local police department, sheriff's office, or animal control agency for assistance.
Purchase a copy of the new "Oregon Animal Cruelty Laws," which is a reference guide to Oregon Revised Statutes and Administrative Rules pertaining to animal welfare laws in Oregon. To order this pocket reference guide, send $5 to: Oregon Humane Society, Investigations Department or you can download a copy here.
The Lost/Found Page has details on what you can do. There are several options to help find the animal's family. If you can keep the animal until his/her owners are located, here are some suggestions:
If you are unable to keep the animal, you should take him/her to your local animal control agency. OHS will take in stray cats if you call first and make an appointment. OHS is no longer able to take in stray dogs for Multnomah Country residents; stray dogs need to be taken to the Multnomah Co. Animal Control Services shelter in Troutdale. The Lost/Found page of this Web site has more details on OHS's stray pet policies.
First remain calm. OHS's lost/found web pages has information, resources, and advice to help you find your pet.
Please contact your local animal control agency with this information.
The Oregon Humane Society respects the bond pet guardians have for their beloved companion and knows it continues even when the pet is no longer alive. We offer a special resting place for those wishing to utilize the services of our Pet Memorial Gardens. Under no circumstances do we release any animal remains to rendering plants, landfills, or for medical research. The remains are respectfully cremated on-site.
No. Under no circumstances are OHS animals utilized for experimentation or research.
The Oregon Humane Society (OHS) is opposed to rodeos because the way in which they are conducted today inevitably results in injury, pain, torture, fear, or harassment being inflicted upon the participating animals. Studies by veterinarians have documented such visible injuries as broken limbs, flank sores, open wounds, abrasions, broken horns, and spur marks. Some events render animals dazed or unconscious; there are instances when rodeo animals are so badly injured they must be destroyed. Many roping and riding events are both obviously injurious and involve use of devices to make the animals react violently.
The Oregon Humane Society receives no tax money or government support. OHS is funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals and businesses in this community.
With regard to how OHS compares and differs with county animal control agencies in Oregon, OHS operates the largest animal shelter facility enabling us to place more homeless animals. Both OHS and animal control agencies have the similar goal of controlling the population of homeless pets by stressing the importance of spaying/neutering. Both also place pets into new, loving homes.
The difference between OHS and animal control agencies lies in the focus of each organization's protection arm. Your local animal control agency is generally charged with the duty of protecting you from animals. They are the ones you call when a dog is running at large or barking too much. Animal control is also the agency that deals with vicious dog bites or attacks. The license your pet wears comes from your local animal control agency and you'd visit their shelter if your pet were lost. Most animal control agencies are also the ones you contact if there is a dead animal in your yard, road, or neighborhood.
The Oregon Humane Society works to ensure quality lives for all animals. Our main concern is for the well being of the animal, protecting them from abuse or neglect. OHS is the place to call for help finding a home for your pet, to get information on responsible pet ownership, for tips on solving training and/or behavior difficulties, to find out about animal welfare legislation, and more.
The Oregon Humane Society's Investigations Department works throughout the state, many times assisting local law enforcement agencies including animal control, looking into allegations of animal abuse or neglect with the emphasis being on making the conditions better for the animal - whether that includes providing education for the owner or removal of the animal.
What is the difference between the Oregon Humane Society and other animal welfare organizations that solicit funds from me through the mail (such as Humane Society of the United States, PETA, American Humane, ASPCA, Friends for Animals, etc.)?
While all these organizations work to help all kinds of animals, what sets OHS apart from the national organizations is that it operates a local shelter that receives and houses animals with a trackable adoption program. OHS works directly with members of this local community to find homes for homeless pets, help increase the value of companion animals, stop abuse and neglect, and solve training and behavior difficulties.
OHS is a non-profit independent organization funded mostly by the voluntary donations of individuals and businesses in this community. OHS receives no on-going support from national organizations but occasionally receives funding for special projects. Funding for OHS's services and programs from donors is received in the form of cash donations, bequests, trusts and endowments, and fees.
Let us count the ways - OHS greatly appreciates donations of cash, time, and items. The Oregon Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible as allowed by law. Your financial support helps us maintain and even expand the programs and services we offer to the community. Many of OHS's programs would not exist without the generous donation of time by volunteers. Volunteers work in all areas of the shelter operation - working directly with the animals, foster care, education, adoption, retail, administration, legislative, and more. There is a world of opportunities offered to individuals who want to volunteer at OHS. Finally, to reduce expenses, the public is encouraged to donate needed items directly to the shelter. This not only reduces OHS's costs but you may be able to write off the donation on your taxes.
OHS Animal Adoption Statistics
OHS found homes for 11,521 animals in 2011, setting new records for the percentage of animals saved and the number of cats adopted. OHS’s adoption rate is consistently 3-4 times above the national average, in 2011 OHS overall adoption rate for all animals was 98 percent - a new high! The rate is even more impressive because it includes 3,727 animals transferred to OHS from 49 animal welfare agencies (such as humane societies and animal control agencies) in Oregon, Washington and California. These animals were given a “second chance” at finding a loving home through OHS when time and resources had run out at other shelters.
In addition to keeping figures on the number of animals adopted, OHS also calculates a “Save Rate” according to the nationally recognized Asilomar Standard. The save rate accurately reflects the many options for pets that come to the shelter besides adoption, such as animal transfers to breed rescue groups and animals who are returned to their owner. The OHS save rate for dogs was 98% in 2010. For cats, the save rate climbed to a new high of 95%. Small animals had a save rate of 95%. A total of 11,416 animals were saved by OHS last year, or 97% of all animals who were taken in by the shelter. OHS is confident in its adoption figures because staffers conduct monthly physical inventories as well as spot audits of animal counts.
OHS and other organizations belonging to the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland have adopted a common language that makes it easier to follow the progress made in adopting animals and reducing euthanasia. The new language includes a matrix of definitions reflecting how the community believes shelter animals should be treated. The basis for the definitions is the standard of care that a reasonable and caring individual would provide. This can be a very different level of care from what individual shelters can feasibly or even realistically provide. Gathering statistics using the community standard offers a look at animal issues from a community standpoint, not from the perspective of what an individual shelter can or can’t do.
Complete OHS animal statistics are posted below in two formats: an easy-to-understand animal activity report and a more complex format conforming to the Asilomar Accords. The more complex reporting form, which is provided by the Maddies Foundation, is the basis for the new community-wide look at animal statistics. If you have questions about OHS animal statistics or would like a printed copy, contact David Lytle of OHS at (503) 416-2985.