Tracing our history back to the beginning

Way back 150 years ago, even before the streets of Portland were paved, a group of dedicated Oregonians was already fighting to stop animal cruelty. They were years ahead of their time, working to prevent animals from being beaten, starved and neglected.


Ever wonder how far OHS has come? Consider this: OHS didn’t have a shelter for the first 50 years, and has already outgrown two shelters built on Columbia Boulevard, the first dating back a century.

Today, 150 years after its founding, OHS finds homes for more pets than any other single-facility shelter on the West Coast, supports Oregon’s only dedicated animal cruelty investigators, and is a leader in providing veterinary care to thousands of shelter pets each year.

Take a journey through the Oregon Humane Society’s history. Pioneering Compassion: 150 years at the Oregon Humane Society exhibit at the Oregon Historical Society starts September 15.

150th Book: Pioneering Compassion

Now available for purchase! Copies are sold for $29.99. Find your copy here:

Want even more historical content? Explore the location and buildings of OHS over our 150 year history.