OHS Honors Volunteers

We’re Lucky to Have You

Honoring OHS Volunteers on March 13, 2016.
Honoring OHS Volunteers on March 13, 2016.

Compassionate and hardworking volunteers who helped make OHS a success were honored by staff and colleagues at a special event earlier this week. OHS volunteers walk dogs, find homes for cats, assist shelter veterinarians, rescue stranded dogs, and more. Last year, nearly 2,000 people contributed their time and talents to helping animals at OHS.

“We would need 129 additional full-time employees to equal the amount of time contributed by our volunteers last year,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS Executive Director. “The dedication of OHS volunteers never ceases to amaze me.”

During a festive awards ceremony with a St. Patrick’s Day theme held March 13 at the Red Lion on the River in Portland, OHS honored 22 volunteers and one staff member (chosen by the volunteers) in 23 categories (view them each below). Harmon presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Bobbi Waggoner of NE Portland; the Lifetime Achievement Award to Marty Brzana of Beaverton; the Volunteer’s Choice Award to Ed McClaran of NE Portland; and the End Petlessness Award to Karl Keener of NE Portland.

Top Honors

Volunteer of the Year

Volunteer of the Year Bobbi Waggoner
Volunteer of the Year Bobbi Waggoner

Bobbi Waggoner (NE Portland), winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award, is truly one of a kind. She is an enthusiastic, dependable volunteer who is willing to learn anything. In 2015, she contributed over 600 hours helping OHS with administrative work and at events.

Bobbi has also taken on a big role in visiting local companies on behalf of OHS, assisting with workplace giving campaigns. She is always willing to stay late, take on complicated tasks, and go the extra mile to help OHS succeed.






Lifetime Achievement Award

Marty Brzana
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Marty Brzana

Marty Brzana (Beaverton), winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, began volunteering for OHS nearly 16 years ago. Marty is a dedicated cattery volunteer who helps ensure that all of the cats at OHS are comfortable and well-cared for during their stay at the shelter. He travels to OHS from Beaverton by bus and train and works morning to night every Saturday in the cattery.





Volunteer’s Choice Award

Volunteer's Choice: Ed McClaran
Volunteer’s Choice Award winner Ed McClaran

Ed McClaran (NE Portland), winner of the Volunteer’s Choice Award, was selected by a vote of his volunteer peers. Ed gives a great deal of time and love to the dogs at OHS, ensuring that they get outside for walks and giving them one-on-one attention.

Ed is also an experienced trainer and mentor, introducing new volunteers to the basics of working with shelter dogs. His enthusiasm for teaching new volunteers the details of the dog kennels is infectious.






End Petlessness Award

End Petlessness Award winner Karl Keener
End Petlessness Award winner Karl Keener

Karl Keener (NE Portland), winner of the End Petlessness Award, was honored for contributing the most overall hours to OHS in 2015: more than 1,100 hours. Since Karl started volunteering in 2013, he has donated over 2,000 hours of his time.

Karl is involved in many areas at OHS, from walking dogs to training new volunteers; to working one-on-one with dogs and showing dogs to potential adopters. He also helps with emergency animal sheltering and the Second Chance transfer program. And not least, Karl is Vice-Chair of the OHS Corporate Council, which works with local businesses to gain support for OHS.






More Award Winners

Behavior and Training: Jacqui Dowsett (NW Portland). This award honors a volunteer’s contribution to the reward-based Pet Pals and Kennel Buddies training programs for shelter dogs.

Best in the West: Brenda Smith (SE Portland). This award honors a volunteer who has contributed to the success of the OHS Westside Adoption Center.

Cat’s Meow: Carole Graney (Beaverton). This award is for the volunteer who does outstanding work helping cats at the shelter.

Faithful Companion: Johnathan Goodwin (Gresham). This award recognizes a volunteer who has consistently helped the animals of OHS over an extended period of time.

Humane Education: Sarah Baran (Battle Ground, Wash.). This award honors the volunteer who has helped the humane educators of OHS in their presentations to and events for youth, helping to inspire the next generation to be kind to animals.

New Best Friend: Cecil Reniche-Smith (SE Portland). This award honors a volunteer who is new to OHS but who has helped the animals in a significant way.

OHS Technical Animal Rescue Team (OHSTAR): Alex Hughes* (Oregon City). This award honors OHSTAR volunteers, who help rescue animals who are stranded and in need of human assistance to survive. These volunteers climb trees, rappel down cliffs and search the wilderness when called to help pets in need.

*Alex was unable to attend the volunteer celebration because he is currently deployed to North Carolina, helping with the ASPCA rescue of 700 animals. Alex is one of 23 OHS volunteers lending their help with this case. His wife, Becky, accepted the award on his behalf.

Outta this World: Jennifer Li (SE Portland). This award recognizes adoption outreach volunteers who showcase OHS animals at locations outside the shelter almost every week of the year. Outreach venues include everything from shopping malls to Blazers games to OHS red carpet events.

Physical Therapy: Carol Haertlein (SW Portland). This award recognizes a volunteer who provides outstanding assistance with the Animal Physical Therapy program at OHS.

Pick of the Litter: Lindsay Brade (NE Portland). Voted on by the volunteers themselves, this award honors the OHS employee who they think goes the extra mile when it comes to working with volunteers.

Second Chance: Lynsey Howatt (NE Portland). This award honors a volunteer who has been a major help with the OHS Second Chance program. This program transfers pets to OHS from other shelters that are faced with too many pets and too few resources.

Shelter Support: Kelly Muller (SE Portland). There is a huge amount of administrative work done behind the scenes to help make OHS a success. This award honors an outstanding “behind the scenes” volunteer.

Small and Mighty: Laura Watkins (Beaverton). This award recognizes the volunteer who works with small animals, such as rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, chinchillas, birds and the occasional degu.

Surgical Sweet: Louis Eagle (NE Portland). This award honors a volunteer who has made a big difference by helping the OHS veterinary medicine team. The OHS Holman Medical Center is a major asset to shelter pets, and volunteers contribute significantly to its success.

Tony Platt Foster Care Award: Danni McLaughlin (SW Portland). This award honors volunteers who work from home, taking care of animals who aren’t yet ready for the shelter. Named in honor of dedicated foster volunteer Tony Platt, who passed away in 2012.

Top Dog: Maria Kuznetsov (NE Portland). This award recognizes a dog walking volunteer who has made a major impact on the dog walking program

Trail Wagger: Hal Needham (Vancouver). This award honors a volunteer who is part of our Dog Path Crew, which works to make the OHS dog walking path a relaxing and safe trail for pets and people.

Trainer of the Year: Sherry Adams (NE Portland). Some of the most valuable volunteers are those who mentor new volunteers. This award honors those who train others.

More Photos

Thank you to noremaC Studios for the event photography.

Thank You, Volunteers!

A toast to all of our dedicated volunteers. We’re lucky to have you!

Become an OHS Volunteer

Feeling inspired? You can learn more about becoming an OHS volunteer here.