What are your fostering needs?

We appreciate your willingness to open your heart and home to homeless animals.  Your dedication allows our organization to rescue animals we would not otherwise have the resources to adopt out.

The guiding mission of the Foster Care Program is to give animals individualized care, training and socialization to prepare them for adoption.  Additionally, information gathered during the foster process helps us place animals in homes and with families who can best meet their needs.

 Specific goals of the program include: 

  • Providing a safe, healthy, nurturing environment for nursing cats and dogs, as well as puppies and kittens too young to be in the shelter.
  • Providing behavioral and obedience training to dogs and puppies.
  • Giving our long-term residents time away from the shelter in a home setting.
  • Socializing shy or timid cats and dogs.
  • Allowing sick or injured cats and dogs to heal in a relaxing, uplifting environment.

What steps do I need to complete to be a foster parent?

Before you begin fostering, please: 

  • Complete a Volunteer Application online
  • Attend the Volunteer Orientation
  • Schedule an interview with the Foster Coordinator at the time of your Volunteer Orientation
  • Review the overview of key responsibilities and policies outlined in this manual
  • Attend our Dog Smart class if you are planning on fostering dogs or puppies

How do I volunteer?

Looking for a way to make a difference for dogs and cats in our community? Join our volunteer program! We hold an orientation on the third Thursday of each month (excluding holidays and the month of December) at 6:00 pm. No need to RSVP, but come early. Seats fill up fast.

Complete an Application Attend Volunteer Orientation

During your interview, you can pay your volunteer program fee.

What’s the photography package offered to adopters and volunteers?

Can I Perform Court Ordered Community Service?

  • Community service hours can be fulfilled at Willamette Humane Society (WHS) unless your crime is violent in nature, involved theft, or is animal related.
  • You must be at least 16 years old to perform community service at WHS.
  • Applicants must complete and sign a service contract, available here, or at the shelter front desk.

    Community Service Contract
    Community Service Contract
  • Orientations for new applicants are held at the shelter on Sundays at 1 pm.  Check in at the front desk before that time.
  • Duties will primarily involve cleaning.  Animal handling is not a part of community service duties or permitted.
  • If you have questions about performing Community Service at Willamette Humane Society, please call 503-585-5900 ext. 309 or e-mail to customer.service@whs4pets.org.

Why should I volunteer?

When you volunteer at Willamette Humane Society:

  • You are one of the most important people to the many animals that come through our doors every day.
  • You help create an environment of respect, responsibility, and compassion towards animals.
  • You improve the lives of the animals in our community.
  • You play a part in keeping the animals social and healthy, and keeping the shelter operating in an inviting manner.
  • You help provide community awareness of our programs and services.

Who’s on your Board of Directors and what do they do?

Willamette Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors.

Board Members as of July 2016

  • Mel Monroe, President
  • Terri Ellen, Vice President
  • Shannon Priem, Secretary
  • Terry Wade, Treasurer
  • Linda West, Past President
  • Tracy Crandall
  • Jean Dion
  • Paula Fordham
  • Kate Hager
  • Liz Henderson
  • Jenny Hudson
  • Terri Jackson, DVM


The Board of Directors has the legal responsibility and authority to manage the affairs of the nonprofit corporation. General board responsibilities include:

  • Setting the direction and making policies for the organization.
  • Raising funds, or making provisions to have adequate organizational resources available.
  • Overseeing the finances, including adopting the budget, ensuring that financial safeguards are in place, ensuring that taxes are paid and creditors are provided for.
  • Adopting personnel policies for staff.
  • Appointing and overseeing the Executive Director to manage the day-to-day activities.
  • Linking the organization to the community by helping form relationships.


Contact the board or ask about board service

Why do you write Humaneitarian Instead of Humanitarian?

At first glance it may appear as if we’ve made a typo on our website and printed materials!

In the case of the Humaneitarian Awards, we’re coining our own term.

A Humanitarian Award honors those who promote human welfare, but as a Humane Society, we hold our Humaneitarian Awards to honor people who exemplify Willamette Humane Society’s mission of providing compassionate services to pets and people.

We generally try to bold and italicize the e so our community knows that we’re putting it there deliberately, but unfortunately the style of our website headers and urls removes our formatting at times.

We hope you’ll join us for upcoming events!

Is there a fee to volunteer?

There is a one-time program fee of $25.00 for any volunteer 16 years of age or older.  Volunteers 12-15 years of age have no associated fee when they volunteer with a parent or legal guardian.  This program fee helps to offset some of our costs of training and supplies allowing more funding spent directly on the care of our animals. You can discuss options regarding this fee with the Volunteer Coordinator during your personal interview.

How can you work or volunteer at an animal shelter? It seems so sad.

Visit our shelter and you’ll find that it’s an inviting, bright, and clean facility. Thanks to hardworking staff and volunteers, pets in our facility receive quality care, social interaction, and exercise. We see the work we do as both rewarding and inspiring because we have a positive impact on the lives of many animals and on the people who adopt them. While we occasionally see sad cases of cruelty or neglect, we also experience the joy and satisfaction that comes when neglected animals are rehabilitated and find a loving, new home.

I want to volunteer at WHS. How can I get involved?

WHS relies on the help of hundreds of dedicated, hardworking volunteers who help with every aspect of our organization, from working with the animals to assisting with fundraising and outreach efforts.

Looking for a way to make a difference for dogs and cats in our community? Join our volunteer program! We hold an orientation on the first Monday of each month (excluding holidays and the month of December) at 5:30 pm. No need to RSVP, but come early. Seats fill up fast. Can’t make it on Mondays? Watch our website. In January, we’ll have more orientation options available! Email volunteer@whs4pets.org with any questions.

Is there a minimum age requirement to volunteer?

Yes.  Volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer on their own, or 12 years old if accompanied by an adult volunteer.  Kids under the age of 12 can help the animals by making treats and toys on this list, collecting food or other needed items, or attending a youth program.