The Oregon Humane Society yesterday bestowed honors on a group of outstanding volunteers who helped make every aspect of the shelter’s operation a success. The theme of the event was OHS Volunteer All-Stars. 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.
“Our volunteers contributed so much time last year that we would have needed 112 full-time employees to replace them,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS Executive Director. “The compassion and dedication of OHS volunteers never ceases to amaze me.”
During an awards ceremony held March 22 at the Red Lion on the River in Portland, OHS honored 23 volunteers in 22 categories. Harmon presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Tim Hurtley of NE Portland; the Lifetime Achievement Award to Joe Cereghino of NE Portland; the Volunteer’s Choice Award to Joanne Hodgdon of Vancouver; and the End Petlessness Award to Margaret Spear of NE Portland. View all award winners below.
Volunteer of the Year
Tim Hurtley (NE Portland), winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award, began volunteering in October of 2012. He has been involved in many aspects of the shelter, including working with the Development and Volunteer Departments as well as the Spay & Save program. Tim has also been active as a dog walking team anchor (leader), a Hands on Trainer for dogs, a Pet Pal volunteer, and a mentor to new volunteers.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Joe Cereghino (NE Portland), winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, began volunteering for OHS in 1994. He started the Pet Pals for dogs program and has worked extensively with the Behavior department, assisting with rescued dogs and special needs dogs.
Volunteer’s Choice Award
Joanne Hodgdon (Vancouver) winner of the Volunteer’s Choice Award, was selected by a vote of her volunteer peers. She began volunteering at OHS in October of 2008. She is a cattery volunteer, helps with shelter laundry (a major task), and fosters kittens in need of extra care.
End Petlessness Award
Margaret Spear (NE Portland), winner of the End Petlessness Award, was honored for contributing the most overall hours to OHS in 2014: more than 1,500 hours. Spear is a dog walking anchor (leader) for the Friday and Sunday night teams, a dog walking mentor to new volunteers and helps every week with the Second Chance program.
More Award Winners
Behavior and Training: Vicky Bettancourt (SE Portland). This award honors a volunteer’s contribution to the reward-based Pet Pals and Kennel Buddies training programs for shelter dogs.
Behind the Scenes: Shannon Ansley (N Portland). This award honors volunteers who help the OHS Animal Care Technicians.
Best in the West: Andrea Dezendorf (SW Portland). This award honors a volunteer who has contributed to the success of the OHS Westside Adoption Center.
Cat’s Meow: Kathay Duff (SE Portland). This award is for the volunteer who has given the most hours helping cats at the shelter.
Faithful Companion: Helen Wolff (NW Portland). This award recognizes a volunteer who has helped the animals of OHS over an extended period of time.
Foster Care: Lisa Kreipe (NE Portland). This award honors volunteers who work from home, taking care of animals who aren’t yet ready for the shelter.
Legs of Steel and Heart of Gold: Lauran Hunter (N Portland). This award is for an outstanding volunteer in the Running with Dogs program, taking high-energy dogs into the community for extra exercise.
New Best Friend: Karl Keener (NE 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): Jennifer Stangel (NE Portland). OHSTAR volunteers 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.
Outta this World: Carol Christensen (Milwaukie). Adoption outreach volunteers 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.
Pick of the Litter: Lori Kirby (SW 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: Dennis Beard (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: Julia Alena (NE 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: Peggy Rielly (SE Portland). Small animal volunteers care for the little guys: rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, chinchillas, birds and the occasional degu. This award honors a volunteer who has done outstanding work for our small pets.
Surgical Sweet: Teri Taylor (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.
Top Dog: Judi Sprouffske (NE Portland). This award honors the dog walking volunteer who has put in the most hours in the past year and who has made a positive impact on the dog walking program.
Trail Wagger: Laura Jackson (NE Portland): 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.
Trainers of the Year: Carolyn Brock (SE Portland) and Jill Hurtley (NE Portland). Some of the most valuable volunteers are those who mentor new volunteers.
Become an OHS Volunteer
Feeling inspired? You can learn more about becoming an OHS volunteer here.