Volunteer News for January 1st-6th, 2014

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Turning of the wheel…

The year closed a little rough for me. Like so many of you in 2013, I lost a dear four-legged friend. I had to let my beloved 16 year old dog Libby go Dec. 23rd. Many volunteers who have been around awhile will remember her coming to work with me when I was the kennel manager. She would help with temperament testing borderline dogs. She was amazing, sending perfect calming signals and helping dogs settle down. I would also let her teach manners to the adolescent young lab and pit mix dogs who needed to learn to play nice with other dogs, before we had playgroups. She was always fair and appropriate, and taught me so much of what I know about dog body language. She won a Diamond Collar award for animal heroism, and was the People’s Choice award winner also. It is really because of my relationship with Libby, a shelter dog, that I applied for work here 10 years ago. She will have a niche in the columbarium outside, so that she can continue watch over the shelter and share her generous and graceful spirit with the dogs and staff and volunteers.


Thank you Randy and Muriel, Shannon and Frank, and Susan and Jamie, for donating to WHS in Libby’s memory. She gave a lot to the shelter, and I could not imagine a more fitting tribute than for her to continue to help the animals through your donations.
Thank you Saturday cat volunteers! My last two featured pets, Stitch and Sheba, were both adopted last Saturday. Hurray!!!
Congratulations to all the staff and adoption ambassadors—we beat our goal of 200 pets home for the holidays. We had 223 adoptions in December- 147 cats and 76 dogs!! Great work everyone, and thank you to the community for opening your homes. I heard that one couple came in the Saturday before Christmas to adopt “an old dog and 2 black cats”. They took home Copper, the loud hound and Satin and Gail, two sweet black kitties. Way to make their Christmas merry!
News and Announcements:
Fix a Feral!
We have a terrific promotion going on now to help balance the overpopulation of feral and free roaming cats in our community.
Thanks to grants, and the anticipated proceeds from the Spay-ghetti benefit, we are able to offer free feral cat packages in the spay neuter clinic to residents of Marion and Polk county who trap a feral or free roaming cat and bring it in (by appointment) for spay or neuter, vaccination with FVRCP and Rabies, dewormer, flea and ear mite treatment and ear tip. Cats are then returned to their colony or neighborhood. Individuals who own semi-wild barn cats can trap them and bring them in for the same package for only $5.00! Trap rental is free with a refundable deposit too. See the website for more details.

January 21st: The Spay-ghetti dinner benefit!

Join us at Gamberetti’s for a delicious meal, good wine and great company while you help Willamette Humane Society stabilize the cat population in our community.
There will be four courses of food, including a vegetarian option, plus beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.
The ticket price of $43 is the same price as a Feral Cat Spay/Neuter package (sterilization surgery, rabies vaccination, flea & ear mite treatment, deworming and eartip)
 Tickets available from Board members or the Development Department.
Stay tuned for more details about the amazing program we have coming in January to help with spay and neuter services for free roaming cats in the community!
Thriftstore News:
I just talked to Carrie and Kit, and they mentioned they have a lot of really nice dog beds in the store, many of them brand new.
Spoil your best friend with a posh new bed and score a great deal at the same time!
Volunteering, shopping and donating at the thrift store are great ways to support WHS. As a volunteer, you receive 25% off your purchase of regular priced items every day!
It’s 2014 now, you need the Pets of Salem Calendar!
The 2014 Pets of Salem Calendar is now available at the Willamette Humane Society, the downtown Thriftstore and at Nature’s Pet Market in the SunnySlope Shopping Center. Only $19.99 and 100% of the proceeds go to support the Willamette Humane Society!! The calendar is filled with photos of local Salem pets, and special monthly money saving promotions. Check out two of my dogs, Luke and Murphy, on the October page!
A pack of reminders for dog walkers:

  • Please don’t put leashes in the laundry every time you use them. If they get dragged through the mud, sure, let’s wash ‘em, but otherwise just hang them back up on the hooks. And PLEASE don’t ever put the nice leather leashes in the laundry. The hot water wrecks them and makes them cracked and useless.
  • I have overheard a lot of people say they aren’t walking ISO dogs because they have dogs at home…that is no excuse to not walk those dogs. Dogs are in ISO because they have upper respiratory infections: colds. Unless your dog at home is very old or very young, or taking immune-suppressing medications, you can walk the ISO dogs with minimal risk. Just follow common sense protocols like washing your hands before handling your dogs at home, change your clothes if you want to be really careful. Your dogs at home most likely are under far less stress than shelter dogs and have much stronger immune systems, allowing them to resist infection, even with direct contact. My adult dogs have attended playgroups with shelter dogs for years without catching colds. So please, everyone share the load and walk and play with the ISO dogs.
  • Some people have mentioned that not all new yellow tag walkers seem to remember what it means to be a yellow tag. There are sheets in the wall folders in the volunteer room with all the yellow tag guidelines and maps on the back. Feel free to grab one for review while you walk dogs in other areas of the shelter. If you are not comfortable with the added responsibility of the yellow tag, you are welcome to remain a green tag walker as long as you like.
  • Please don’t show dogs to the public if you haven’t been trained by me to do so. There is a lot of material to check and review before you take a dog out of the kennel for a customer, and some of the info can be “deal breakers” for the customer. It is much easier for everyone if the person can learn that information, like “no cats” or “major medical issues” before they fall in love with the dog in a visitation room. And don’t get me started on how complicated “holds” can be for dogs!

All volunteers: Please wear your nametag at all times when you are “on the clock” here, even on closed days or in the morning. Staff like to be able to know your name!
My theme for 2014: Positive Service to All. If we give that to each animal and to each person on our shifts here at WHS, we are doing an amazing thing! We are demonstrating that we are an organization that anyone would be proud to support, in any way they can, and we are building the foundation of philanthropy, one interaction at a time. Thank you each for the part you play in making our shelter such a wonderful place to represent!