A look back at 2019: honoring exceptional OHS volunteers during extraordinary times.
This year has brought so many unprecedented challenges, but one thing has remained constant: dedicated volunteers have been supporting the animals and working creatively to help the Oregon Humane Society continue to fulfill its mission.
When the restriction on large gatherings was put into place in March, the annual OHS volunteer party was postponed. So, the party went virtual and did not disappoint with dozens of videos featuring staff, skits and a heartfelt look back at the incredible work of OHS volunteers in 2019.
In 2019, more than 6,000 volunteers (including corporate and group volunteers) gave their time, talents and love to the pets at OHS resulting in more than 300,000 hours of service. These compassionate individuals worked in every area of the shelter; walking dogs, socializing cats, cleaning kennels, teaching pets good manners, staffing events and helping with administrative tasks.
Note: OHS is unable to accommodate in-shelter volunteer experiences during this time. If you are interested in volunteering, we encourage you to support our pets from home! View our guide to volunteering from home.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Susan Davis began volunteering in January of 2003 and has donated almost 3,000 hours to the animals at OHS. She originally started volunteering years ago with the Training and Behavior Department, volunteering to share her knowledge of the T-Touch (Tellington Touch) technique. The animals quickly began to benefit from the added care and T-touch methods were soon incorporated into OHS’s Pet Pals program. Susan has also provided invaluable support to the community outreach team over the years. Her commitment to OHS over the past 17 years sets an example to all volunteers of true dedication and the art of giving back.
Volunteer’s Choice Award
Lou Chapman was selected by her fellow volunteers for the “Volunteer’s Choice” Award. She began volunteering in 2001 and was most recently the leader of the Wednesday morning dog-walking team. Fellow volunteers love that she’s good-humored and generous, and provides invaluable training and mentorship to others. She also helps the Development department with various administrative tasks. Lou is always ready to pitch in wherever needed and frequently takes classes to refresh her skills.
Humane Hero Award
Amanda Ferguson was honored for her 2,400 hours of dedication to shelter animals in 2019. She began volunteering in 2007 and now helps in a variety of areas including Development, Events, Second Chance, Disaster Response and Fostering. Amanda’s expertise in caring for small breed dogs with behavioral issues has been invaluable to OHS’s Foster Care Department. She is always willing to take on challenging cases. Under her love and patient guidance, scared dogs transform during their time in her home.
Legendary Leadership Award
Ellie McDonald is one of OHS’s most dedicated dog walking volunteers and was most recently the co-anchor of the Thursday morning team. As a team leader she makes sure to go out of her way to watch over the newer volunteers so that they feel welcome and safe. Although Ellie loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, she has a soft spot in her heart for the senior canines.
Volunteer(s) of the Year Award
Two very special and talented volunteers were selected for the Volunteer of the Year award. Deb Morgan and Krystal Ragsdale are famous at OHS for their incredible makeovers. The pair can be seen working their magic in the groom room, helping dogs transform into beautiful pets who are ready to catch the eye of potential adopters. The before and after photos of their canine clients are truly amazing!
Full list of honorees:
80-Oh-Wonderful winner: Claudia Coughlin
Admissions winner: Rebecca Lacy
Behavior & Training winner: Marilyn Happold-Latham
Cat’s Meow winner: Jill Jackson
Client Companion winner: Lauren Thompson
Development Dynamo winner: Vicki Southard
Education Enthusiast winner: Mary Carter
Faithful Companion winner: Sue Richard
Foster Care winner: Alanna Lundin
Kennel Buddies winner: BJ McInturf
Loyal Friend winner: Meghan Eubank
New Best Friend winner: Adam Noble
OHSTAR winner: Susan Anderson
Outta this World winner: Sarah Medley
Party Animal winner: Teran Buckner
Pick of the Litter winner: Justin Bates
Second Chance winner: Kirsten Pontarelli
Small and Mighty winner: Priscila Martins-Read
Spay & Save winner: Jean Schifferns
Surgical Sweet winner: Fred Weaver
Top Dog winner: Jeremy Katz
Youth & Group Volunteer Champion winner: Antje Gillard