Each year, you help make it possible for thousands of local cats and dogs to find their forever homes. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us for Week of Wonder and help make a shelter pet’s life wonder-full in 2017. Our goal is to raise $30,000 before December 31, 2016, which means a healthy start for so many animals in the new year!
How do your donations help? Keep scrolling to read the stories of seven deserving animals who got a second chance thanks to donors like you. You can check day every day from December 25 to December 31 for a new story! Click on a highlighted pet to learn more:
Day 1: Kennedy
When Butler, now Kennedy, came to WHS after being hit by a car, he was lethargic and struggling to breathe. The staff wondered if this cute tuxedo kitten would even make it. He was rushed to our friends at Willamette Valley Animal Hospital where he was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia. This tear in his diaphragm meant nothing was keeping his intestines contained and the pressure had collapsed one of his lungs.
Kennedy needed emergency surgery that would cost thousands of dollars at a private vet practice. But thanks to our dedicated supporters and donors, the WHS clinic and shelter surgeon Dr. Harter had the necessary equipment to save Kennedy’s life.
It’s nearly four months later and Kennedy is enjoying his first Christmas (especially the tree) thanks to the kindness of strangers. His new mom says, “Bold Kennedy has adjusted to his new cat and human family with aplomb. When not busy getting into everything, he uses his purr to soothe and heal. He’s a blessing!”
Day 2: Flash
Calm and courageous, Flash was entrusted into our care when his owner could no longer care for him. We were struck by how expressive and confident he was given his lack of sight. The entire WHS team was thrilled when his new people took him home in April 2016. They were looking to adopt a companion for their terrier mix Ludo, and thought Flash’s demeanor would help reduce Ludo’s panic-like anxiety.
They were right. Maybe it was because they were both overcoming a disability or maybe it was just a perfect fit… either way, Flash and Ludo became instant friends.
With a touch of his nose or a gentle nudge, Ludo now guides Flash through life. In return Flash uses his relaxed nature to soothe Ludo’s anxiety and serve as his constant reinforcement. They depend on each other and thankfully they have each other.
Matches as magical as Flash and Ludo’s are only possible through the generosity of our supporters and the strength of our community; thank you for being a part of something so special.
Day 3: Rusty
Rusty is a pup who lived life with a smile on her face. The six-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix was a long-term (and well-loved) resident here at Willamette Humane Society over the summer, after being surrendered in June by an owner who could no longer take care of her.
During her time in the shelter, Rusty was adopted twice, only to be brought back after her new adopters decided she was unfit for their families or households. Despite her sweet smile and love for tennis balls, Rusty needed a home that allowed her to be one and only—no other cats or dogs to share with. She also needed a family that could give her the exercise she needed.
Finally, in mid-October, Rusty found the family she had been waiting for—a household of people who loved her just as much as she loved her tennis balls.
Rusty became living proof that there’s family for every dog. There’s no expiration date on a shelter pet who deserves that perfect fit. And your generous donations made it possible for Willamette Humane Society to try again and again to find Rusty her forever home.
Dubbed “Farm Cat” by his previous owners, Marshmallow Fluff (now named Barney) came to Willamette Humane Society in terrible condition. His previous owners sold their farm and the new owners fed him for a year, but given his obvious physical suffering, brought him to Willamette Humane Society.
After an antibiotic regime to reduce the swelling, Barney had both ears amputated to remove two massive growths. A biopsy was taken and sadly it was discovered that Barney had not one, but two aggressive types of cancer attacking his fragile body.
We decided that a hospice adoption would give Barney a shot at living out his days surrounded by love. And that’s exactly how it’s shaping up to be.
It wasn’t three days before a family decided to give him a wonderful life. June read a blog post about his story and knew that Barney didn’t have months to wait. His days are now spent in the company of his feline siblings and wrapped in the love of two wonderful people who have given him the world.
Day 5: Jaxxy
When Jaxxy came to Willamette Humane Society, he was scared and timid. As a puppy he was isolated during the critical socialization time he needed which meant he was a wreck when he was surrendered. After a failed adoption, Jaxxy became “the project” for our Behavior & Training program manager, Catherine Comden.
Catherine amassed a dedicated group of volunteers to act as Jaxxy’s “team” and they set off to help him find his fairytale ending. His specialized training was designed to build confidence with new people and new environments using daily practice. The team was undoing all the fears and habits of Jaxxy’s first year of life.
And it worked. In June 2016, after five months at the shelter, Jaxxy found his princess who took him home. He is making great strides in his recovery and his mom still works with Catherine to ensure his future success.
Catherine reflected on his happy ending: “Jaxxy showed me that every pet matters to the people who work and volunteer here. As soon as I sent out a plea specific to Jaxxy’s needs, I was overwhelmed with people, both volunteers and staff, interested in his care and training…Jaxxy went from being terrified, flat-to-the-floor and barely handleable to being the confident and trusting companion he now is”.
Day 6: Catundra
In November, a five-month-old stray kitten arrived injured at Willamette Humane Society. A good samaritan brought in the gray tabby after finding her injured on the road, presumably hit by a car and left on the roadside. A preliminary assessment by WHS veterinary Dr. Kristina Hogg, as well as radiographs from another local clinic, revealed the kitten suffered from a severely broken femur.
She faced two possible outcomes: amputation, or costly and specialized surgery.
Stacy Thurman, our Animal Care Manager, decided to name the kitten Catundra after the main character in a favorite children’s book – the story of a cat whose friends helped her become healthy and happy again. And thanks to your generous donations, we were able to do the same for Catundra.
Luckily, Tanasbourne Veterinary Emergency agreed to lend a helping hand in repairing Catundra’s broken leg. The cost of that surgery was fully covered by community donations, which means you helped give this spunky feline her kittenhood back.
Catundra is currently in foster care to recover from her injuries, but will be on her way to her forever home soon. In fact, the same good samartian that picked her up has plans to adopt the kitten following her rehabilitation.
Day 7: Static
In their old age, many cats are ready to retire to a life of warm laps and long naps. But that just wasn’t true for Static. The 18-year-old domestic shorthair came to Willamette Humane Society in October 2016 with enough spirit to inspire every single shelter staff, volunteer, and visitor who met him. He was surrendered after his elderly owner entered a care home and could not take him along.
Static had the patient temperament of an old man, but the adventurous, outgoing spirit of a cat half his age. He was always up for a walk around the shelter on a leash or play time with the many shelter team members who had fallen in love with him.
But despite the remarkable kitty that Static was, many people couldn’t see past his old age. He was FIV positive. He required a special diet. He was the cat who was overlooked.
But Static didn’t give up hope that he’d find a perfect family – and neither did you. His story was one of the most shared in Willamette Humane Society history in communities both online and off. The shared goal to find this deserving kitty a home was obvious, from the loving volunteer who came to visit him daily to the endless shares and comments on Facebook.
Just in time for the holidays, Static was adopted on December 26, 2016. His new family can’t get enough of his loving, laidback cattitude. Your generosity and caring supported Static throughout his long wait for a forever home – and it finally paid off.
Your donations are tax deductible, so it’s also the perfect chance to get your charitable giving squared away before tax season. Willamette Humane Society wants to save even more lives in 2017. Can you help make that possible?