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Oregonian Editorial Praises New OHS Center

March 2, 2006


Oregon's leading daily newspaper, The Oregonian, today strongly praised OHS' planned Animal Medical & Learning Center, calling it a "Win for Compassion." The paper's editorial said the planned $6.4 million center will further enhance OHS's reputation as one of the top humane societies in the nation and will be a valuable resource for Oregon State University students who will study at the on-site veterinary hospital.


The newspaper noted that all but $786,500 of the amount needed to build the center has been raised, but cautioned readers not to "simply assume that the money will come from somewhere. As in the past, the money must come from individuals whose love of and compassion toward animals leads them to help ...."


The complete text of the March 02, 2006 editorial is reprinted below, with the permission of The Oregonian.


Win for Compassion
The Oregon Humane Society remains a national leader with plans for an animal hospital with Oregon State University

When the Oregon Humane Society breaks ground on its planned Animal Medical and Learning Center in June, it will break ground figuratively as well. The $6.4 million clinic -- which will be operated jointly by the humane society and Oregon State University's College of Veterinary Medicine -- will be the only one of its kind in the nation.


For the humane society, the planned operation seems likely to add some more luster to a reputation that has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Oregon's is widely considered one of the top -- if not the top -- humane society chapters in the country. The society already operates a state-of-the-art animal shelter in Northeast Portland. The $8.2 million, 46,000-square-foot shelter was built entirely on the proceeds of private donations. No government grants. No subsidies. It began operation in 2000 and is widely cited for its "best practices" examples in everything from the physical facilities to its training programs for dogs -- and their owners.


The partnership in the new medical center is a plus for the OSU veterinary program, as well. The university has no similar small-animal clinic; thus OSU students were required to rotate into one operated by Washington State University's veterinary school. As useful as the OSU-WSU partnership has been, partnering with the humane society will allow the vet school to move more students through their required rotations more easily.


The university will supply a staff veterinarian (the society plans to hire another vet as well) for the clinic, and students rotating through the clinic can be housed in a dorm on the premises.


The humane society still must raise $786,500 of the $6.4 million it has estimated will be required to complete the clinic. When it opens, sometime in early 2007 if all goes well, the 22,000-square-foot animal hospital will allow the society to provide on-demand veterinary services for the first time in its history and further its missions of facilitating adoption of pets, offering education on humane-treatment issues, investigating animal abuse and advocating for animal-welfare laws.


Money raising is, of course, a daunting task for any charitable organization, but the humane society has reason to be hopeful. Portland and Oregon are famously supportive of the humane society's vision, and more than 7,000 donors helped pay for the Columbia Boulevard animal shelter, to which the hospital will be added. But it's unwise for the society's friends and supporters to simply assume that the money will come from somewhere.


As in the past, the money must come from individuals whose love of and compassion toward animals leads them to help -- through volunteer work and a substantial remaining amount of cold, hard cash.


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