By Jason Kallingal, OHS Foster Volunteer & Owner, Life of Pie
Sancho experienced horrendous cruelty before he came to OHS. Even after he healed and was ready for adoption, months passed without him finding the right person — until Jason came along. Watch the video and read their story from Jason’s perspective below.
When this crisis hit, I wanted to help animals in need. I learned about the Oregon Humane Society and its commitment to saving animal lives. That’s why I became a pet foster parent through OHS, and that’s how I met Sancho.
But Sancho and I would’ve never found each other without donors. Donors helped rescue my lovable goofball from neglect and aided us in becoming a family.
Even during a pandemic, our community came together to make amazing things possible. Because of donors, Sancho was rehabilitated after horrible neglect, and I got a new best friend. I’ve seen the difference donors have made in Sancho’s life, so today, I’m asking you to please help pets in need by making a life-saving gift.
Long before I met him, Sancho was rescued by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. He was emaciated, his skin was raw and inflamed, and he was missing much of his hair. Clackamas County Dog Services asked OHS to take Sancho because of the high level of medical care and behavioral assistance he needed.
Once Sancho arrived at OHS, he was examined by forensic veterinarians working with the Investigations team. They determined he’d been starved and had chronic skin allergies that had been neglected for a long time.
The OHS Medical team went to work, putting Sancho on a feeding plan to help him gain weight at a healthy pace. They also began to treat his skin issues, but his condition was severe. Sancho would need lifelong, specialized care.
Months after he was treated and ready for adoption, Sancho still hadn’t found the right person. The noise and activity in the shelter was stressful for him. Staff and volunteers worked hard to help him cope. He played fetch each morning and went on multiple walks every day. And he joined the OHS Running Team, a program where volunteers take high-energy dogs on multi-mile runs.
Then COVID-19 hit, and everything changed. Adoptions moved to appointment-only, and many pets were moved to foster homes. Sancho was chosen to go to foster care, but he needed the right person to care for him and his unique needs. And that’s where I came in.
OHS put out a call for emergency foster homes, and I was one of many to volunteer. With my restaurants temporarily closed because of the pandemic, I had the perfect opportunity to look after a pet in need. However, this was my first time fostering an animal, and I was nervous. But thanks to donors, I was able to get the supplies and training I needed.
When Sancho was matched with me, I was a little unsure at first. But it quickly became clear that he’s a sweet and gentle pup. And I had plenty of help. Virtual consultations with OHS trainers helped me understand and manage Sancho’s stress around other dogs. Plus, OHS veterinarians gave me clear instructions to treat Sancho’s skin condition.
Sancho and I quickly fell into a rhythm. I had lots of time to devote to his care and training. Pretty soon, we were inseparable, and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I decided to make it permanent and adopted him.
The world is going through a health crisis, and all our lives have been transformed. But the most challenging of times provide opportunities to make a real difference. There are more animals out there like Sancho, and they’re counting on us!