Oregon Humane Society’s Coronavirus Response

While this is an uncertain time, the need to rescue homeless, neglected and abused pets continues — and they are counting on you more than ever. Here are ways you can help pets in need right now.

If you have questions about COVID-19 and your pet, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Update 6/15

This week, OHS will be hosting a pet food bank at the shelter for essential employees and those whose employment has been affected by COVID-19. To aid this effort, we are seeking donations of cat food and litter. You can help by ordering these items online or dropping them off at the shelter.

Beginning this week, we are expanding the number of pets coming to OHS through our Second Chance partners. We have already seen a big need around the state to help with kittens. More than 187 kittens have arrived at OHS since June 1.

Spay/neuter surgeries of shelter pets resumed last month, but we are very eager to help the pets in our community by resuming the Spay & Save program. We anticipate that we will be able to schedule new appointments beginning sometime this summer.

In-person training classes and consultations are expected to resume on June 27. Along with our dog training services, we recently started offering virtual consultations and group classes for cat owners.

OHS volunteers are a critical part of our work and we hope to begin bringing them back when Multnomah County enters Phase 2. Opening the shelter to limited public walk-through will also begin once it is safe to do so.

As we slowly reopen, the health and safety of our employees and clients is the top priority. The success of each step will be closely monitored, evaluated and adjusted as needed. We are committed to caring for animals in need and serving the community as we continue to navigate the challenges ahead.

Update 5/20

As areas of Oregon move into Phase 1 of the state’s reopening, our team has slowly and methodically restarted a number of services. Even though we are resuming some of the work we did three months ago, the way we are doing it has been completely redesigned.

When you walk into Oregon Humane Society’s Holman Medical Center, you will see teams performing spay/neuter surgeries again — but there are some noticeable changes. To protect our staff, we are limiting the number of people in the hospital, requiring masks and have divided the team into two groups. Right now, our focus is on shelter pets, but we hope to resume Spay & Save next month.

Community members who need to find their pet a new home now have more options, as we have begun reopening our admissions services with a redesigned process and curb-side service.

Thanks to your support, we continue to work with shelters around the state to bring pets to OHS to find loving homes. Furthermore, we began a state-wide effort to deliver pet food to shelters, rescues and food pantries around Oregon last month. We are excited to report that, to date, we have delivered 58 pallets — approximately 50,000 pounds — of pet food. Our goal is to continue this important project while the economic effects of this pandemic endure.

Update 4/23

The CDC has issued updated guidance for pets after two pet cats in New York City tested positive for COVID-19. It’s important to know that there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare.

Until we know more, CDC recommends the following:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

Update 4/21

The Oregon Humane Society launches a state-wide effort to distribute pet food to shelters, rescues and food pantries for communities in need. More than 50,000 pounds of pet food is expected to be distributed over the next several weeks. Approximately 27,000 pounds of the pet food was supplied to OHS by GreaterGood.org. Read more information about the donation and where the pet food is being delivered. 

Update 4/7

Adoptions by appointment continue with 101 pets adopted in one week.

Update 3/30

Adoptions by appointment are continuing. Please visit our adoptions page and submit a questionnaire when you find a pet you are interested in. Our staff will contact you to go through your questionnaire and set up an appointment.

All group training classes and in-person training consultations have been suspended. However, the OHS training and behavior team has gone virtual with one-on-one training, puppy romps, webinars and classes.

On Friday, OHS donated 23,000 N95 masks and 100 Tyvek suits to health care workers and first responders. Read more about how OHS is helping our community

Update 3/21

Adoptions-by-appointment are continuing this weekend. On Friday, 16 pets were adopted into loving homes. The outpouring of interest in adopting a pet has been amazing. We ask for your patience as our staff works through the list of questionnaires. It may take up to 72 hours for us to get back to you.

We are also gathering names of those interested in being an emergency foster family for an OHS pet. You can submit your application here.

Emergency surrender of owned pets and end of life services are still available. OHS is also working with national leaders to implement protocols if OHS needs to provide emergency boarding for community pets due to COVID-19.

You can support shelter pets during this time by purchasing an item from our Amazon Wish List or by making a donation.

Update 3/18

OHS has made the difficult decision to limit admission of new pets to the shelter. Emergency surrender of owned pets and euthanasia services will still be available. As challenges related to COVID-19 continue to change, we are working on developing options to help the community while ensuring the safety of our staff.

Update 3/17

In light of the recent news around COVID-19, adoptions by appointment have been paused until Friday, March 20 while we work on refining our process to keep the public and our staff safe. Please  check back for additional updates.

OHS Shelter Response

With the news about coronavirus (COVID-19) changing rapidly, OHS is taking precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Starting Monday, March 16, all animal adoptions will be by appointment only.  Animal viewing areas will be closed to the public.

Also, numerous activities are being canceled or suspended until further notice. These include training classes, tours, group volunteers, after-school clubs and school visits. All events will be postponed, including our upcoming fundraisers, Doggie Dash and Pug Crawl. While we may not be able to come together now, we look forward to reuniting once it is safe to do so later this year. All adoption promotions, including the Free Pets for Seniors program, are also being temporarily halted.

If you are interested in adopting an animal, all pet meets will be done by appointment only by calling 503-285-7722.

These actions are being taken in response to the recommendation from local health authorities to implement social distancing measures where possible.

Coronavirus and Pets

During uncertain times, it’s a good reminder to have an emergency plan in place if you are no longer able to care for your pets. This includes ensuring pets are wearing proper identification, identifying a friend or family member who can help in case you get sick, and having extra food and supplies on hand. These preparations can also be helpful if there is a need to stay in your home for an extended period of time.

There have also been questions about whether pets can get sick from COVID-19 or if they can make us sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that companion animals, such as cats and dogs, could spread the virus that causes COVID-19 to people.

Be assured that we are monitoring the situation closely and following the advice from public health officials. The health and well-being of the animals in our care, OHS staff and the communities we serve is always our top priority.