Happy Tails: Our Favorite Adoptions of 2023 

There have been more than 11,000 adoptions this year at Oregon Humane Society. This extraordinary number of pets finding new homes showcases the compassion in our community and the commitment to helping animals in need.  

Even with thousands of adoptions, we never lose sight of the significance of each individual pet going home. It is a special moment and represents a new chapter in a pet’s life. We are grateful for every adopter who comes to us to welcome a new pet into their family.  

There have been so many special adoptions in 2023—here are some of our favorites! 

Portland Campus

Maggie arrived at OHS Portland Campus in September 2022, having been surrendered by her previous owners when they determined she deserved more attention than their family could provide.

Maggie’s sweetness, loyalty, and silly personality quickly won over staff and volunteers. To help manage her energy, she joined the running team and was taken out weekly by volunteers for adventures. Other volunteers dedicated their time to take Maggie on walks and to outdoor play yards for one of her favorite games—fetch.

Maggie was in our care for ten months before she found her person—one who understood her completely.

Each time Michelle visited the adoption page on our website, she paused on Maggie’s profile. She grew up with similar dogs and decided it was time for Maggie to come home. “Maggie, like other German shepherds, are all about trust and loyalty. Once she received that from me, she knew she was home,” says Michelle.  

Settling into her new routine, Maggie loves to follow her person around the house and cuddle with her tiny human siblings. “She brings us so much joy. I’ll play music when cooking dinner, and she’ll jump and put her paws on my shoulders and dance with me. She’s what I needed. Thank you so much for what you all do. I’m especially grateful that you loved my baby until I found her. I’m tearing up. I mean it—I’m so grateful,” says Michelle.

From Maui to Michigan—with a stop at OHS.

Meteor was transferred to OHS after the Maui wildfires. He was from Lanai Cat Sanctuary and part of the effort to free up space in Maui County to help animals directly affected by the wildfires.

He lived his whole life, 6 years, at the sanctuary so shelter life was tough for Meteor. It was clear he needed the specialized care of our Behavior Modification Program.

Meteor was moved to the quiet space of the Behavior and Rescue Center and began working with our cat behavior specialists.

It turns out, the universe had big plans for Meteor.

Dianna and her son Matthew had made a special connection with Meteor during a trip to Lanai Cat Sanctuary earlier this year and became his sponsor. When they found out that Meteor was OHS, they made plans to come out to adopt him. On Nov. 25, Dianna and Matthew flew in from Michigan for an emotional reunion. The next day, they flew home with their beloved Meteor in first class.

Asher arrived at OHS in horrific condition. He was emaciated and showed other signs of neglect. After an exam by an OHS veterinarian who specializes in forensic work, it was determined that Asher was indeed suffering from a lack of nutrition and other medical issues. 

OHS Humane Special Agents cited his owners with animal neglect.

Asher was in OHS’ care for more than a year—receiving love, regular meals, and time in a foster home. OHS’ Humane Law Enforcement worked closely with the District Attorney on Asher’s case to ensure that the evidence was irrefutable, and that justice would be served.

Asher’s owners eventually pled guilty.

After more than a year, Asher became available for adoption in April 2023. But even still, he continued waiting.  Arthritis and a disc issue in Asher’s back meant that he needed the right adopter who would be able to provide the medical care that he needed.

An OHS staff member, who had become particularly attached to Asher, was grieving the loss of one of her dogs when she started to think about bringing Asher into her family. She’d had pets with special medical needs before and was more than willing to take on any future care Asher needed.

On Oct. 16, Asher was adopted and began a new chapter—one he’d waited for so patiently.

“Asher has fit into our family better than I could have ever imagined,” his adopter says. “He and our other dog have become best friends, and he is so gentle with our cats. I am so grateful for everything that OHS did for him. I can’t imagine our life without him.”

Kallie Allie Ann was brought to OHS due to housing restrictions faced by her former family. She was very well loved in her previous home, but the shelter environment was too scary for her. Kallie became closed off and would hiss and swat at people who tried to interact with her.

Our Behavior Modification Program took her to the cattery at OHS’ Behavior and Rescue Center. The BRC provided her with a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of the main shelter. She worked with trainers on her fearful behavior, and with time, patience, and one-on-one attention, she thrived. She started bonding with staff and her personality began to shine. She chirped about her day to anyone who would listen and enjoyed playing with wand toys.

Kallie needed a patient family where she could be the only cat in a quiet home with no children. Kallie found her new loving home in April. 

“She is absolutely wonderful! She’s adapted very well to our household and is very curious about everything,” says Kim, Kallie’s adopter. “She started bringing toys out from my bedroom to the living room and talking to them when she brings them out to us. Thank you so much for not giving up on her. All she needed was a loving home, and she’s got it now.”

Salem Campus

Orange cat, Toast, was an instant staff favorite at OHS Salem Campus. While awaiting his 90-day stray hold before he qualified for adoption, the team kept him company and got to know his sweet personality. 

After his stray hold was over, Toast waited patiently for the right family to come along and scoop him up. Now that he’s settled in with his new family, they tell us he’s made himself right at home.  

“Toast is the sweetest cat I’ve ever met,” his adopter says. “He gently boops my nose with his paw and loves to headbutt right into my face. He gets along so well with my other cats and is best friends with my other male cat. He follows me everywhere and is also not afraid to hop in the shower with me. 10/10 would recommend visiting and adopting from OHS.” 

Here’s a toast to the happy family! 

From the moment we met her, all the staff and volunteers at OHS Salem Campus fell in love with Beya. Our team described her as “a total couch potato” and “a Chihuahua trapped in a 90-pound body.” Though she could be a bit timid around strangers, she opened up quickly and was a total sweetheart with all the dog walkers and Animal Care Technicians.

Despite Beya’s kind and mellow temperament, she had a hard time finding a loving family to adopt her. Because OHS puts no time limit on pets, our team was happy to continue enjoying her during her stay at the shelter.

After several months of waiting, in February 2023, Beya finally met a family who saw her for the gem she always had been. Her family recently reported, “Beya has bonded well with everyone and seems to enjoy it here. We love having her as a part of the family!”

Lovey was surrendered to OHS Salem Campus in April 2022 when her former family was no longer able to care for her due to a family member’s health.

As a six-year-old cat arriving in early spring, Lovey struggled to find a family that wasn’t looking for a kitten. After spending just over two months at OHS Salem, she had her lucky day.

Tyler and Alto were seeking a mellow cat to become friends with their small dog. When they met Lovey, they were smitten. Our Customer Care Representative encouraged slow introductions to ensure both pets felt safe. Now they’re best friends!

Lovey’s new family writes, “She’s doing great. Lovey settled in right away. She’s aways laid up next to the dog and is very talkative. Thank you for all you guys do for all the animals. We’re so happy she’s a part of our family now, and we love showing her off!”

Rosie’s journey with Oregon Humane Society began Dec. 2022, when she and another dog were brought to our Salem campus as strays.

Rosie was initially very frightened of our staff, so we gave her a private kennel where she could decompress. Within a few days, she began to develop relationships with a few members of our team. Once our staff gained Rosie’s trust, she began to learn new skills like sit, stay, wait, and fetch. She was so playful and loving with the people she bonded with.

Even though Rosie was available for adoption, she wasn’t having any luck finding a new family. As the weeks turned into months waiting for a new home, her progress at our Salem shelter stalled.

In April 2023, Rosie was transferred to the Behavior Modification program at our Behavior & Rescue Center  in Portland. The new purpose-built, calm environment and specialized staff were exactly what she needed to continue to develop skills to help her cope with new environments and people.

In July, she finally found her new loving family, who reports, “She likes her home so far. We know it’s a journey, but we are adjusting to each other nicely.”

Have you adopted from us this year?

We’d love to hear how it’s going! Share a pic of your #ohspet adopted in 2023 and tag us on our social pages: @oregonhumane (Portland) and @ohssalem (Salem).