Sunny Days for Uma

Tyler Jeffe walking UmaMy name is Tyler Jeffe, and I work with the Animal Care team at Oregon Humane Society. I spend my days caring for and preparing pets to go home with their future families. Exercising the animals, keeping kennels clean and comfortable, and administering medication are just some of my daily tasks. I’ve also fostered more than 30 dogs for OHS, and help run our Behavior Foster Program, which finds temporary homes for dogs, like Uma, who need extra support prior to being adopted.

One of the dogs I fostered is named Uma, and she has quite the story.

Uma is an affectionate, sweet senior dog who came to OHS through the Second Chance program. We don’t know much about her past, but when she arrived, she needed immediate medical care. Patches of her fur were missing, she appeared to have bite marks on her face, and her ears were infected.
Thanks to the support of donors, we had the resources and expertise to help Uma right away.

Initially, we assumed Uma would be adopted quickly. However, a shelter environment full of loud animal noises and unfamiliar smells quickly grew too stressful for her. Uma became reactive and withdrawn, fearful of other dogs and even humans who would walk by her kennel. She was also struggling with chronic ear infections and hematomas – painful conditions that were adding to her stress in the shelter. My team and I saw glimmers of her sweet personality beneath her anxiety and wanted to see how she would do in a quieter home environment. I jumped at the opportunity to foster this special girl.

In foster care, Uma turned into the dog we all knew she could be! She proved herself to be a world-class snuggler and loved going on walks! She wasted no time making herself comfortableUma the dog relaxing (usually under some blankets) while I worked with our Behavior Modification team on her training plan. She even looked to me when she felt stressed. From where she was starting, this was a huge improvement! Uma’s foster mom, Jamie, was integral to helping Uma re-learn how to be a dog and live in a home. Thanks to donors, Uma received behavior and medical support during the nine months she was in foster care, waiting to be adopted. 

Finally, after Uma had transformed, she had her first and only adoption appointment. When Uma met her new people for the first time, we all knew that this was it – this was Uma’s new family. It was a magical moment. Uma was all smiles, tongue out and tail wagging, when she rode off to her new home with the people who would spoil and love her. Today Uma has blossomed into a lovable, snuggly, carrot-chomping, blanket-burrowing girl who loves going on walks and giving kisses.

Donors are the glue that hold all the pieces of Uma’s story together. Donors provided everything that Uma needed while she waited for her family. Donors provided the resources that the behavior and medical teams needed to care for her during the nine months that she was in foster care. Donors supported the Behavior Foster Program that equips us to give extra attention to the dogs who need it the most. Donors provided the food, medical supplies, and enrichment she needed while staying with me. And it is because of donors that there are no time limits for the animals at OHS.

There are more pets like Uma who need specialized support and care while waiting for their family. We ask that you join with us and give today to help more vulnerable pets in need.