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 Willamette Humane Society’s third annual Week of Wonder and help make a shelter pet’s life “wonder-ful” as we go into 2019. Our goal is to raise $15,000 before December 31, 2018, which means a healthy start for so many animals in the new year!
How do your donations help? You can check back every day from December 25-31 for a new story you helped make possible! Just click on the pet’s photo below to read his or her story. If the pet’s photo has lit up in color, it means that story is ready to read below. Check back every day for a new story until the end of 2018.
Or follow us on Facebook for daily updates on seven special pets whose lives were made better by community members like you.
Day One: Evelyn
When Evelyn was found as a stray on the streets of Stayton in February, she was in rough shape. When the Good Samaritan who found her called us, they thought she was a juvenile. In fact, she was an emaciated and anemic 10-year-old senior with diabetes.
Often times with severe medical cases, foster care is needed during the recovery time. This is the magical moment our expert medical team, donors and fosters come together as a hero tag-team. Donors provide the resources, veterinarians provide the expertise, and our fosters provide the care.
Evelyn went home with an amazing foster mom, who gave her insulin injections twice a day and constant care. The road to recovery was not a smooth one for Evelyn. Her insulin levels had to be checked and she was constantly hungry, stealing food from other cats and even the garbage. It took several months to regulate her diabetes, but she was calm and brave during her insulin shots.
After eight long months, Evelyn’s body weight was back up, her coat was long and luxurious, and her insulin levels finally balanced out. She was ready for adoption!
Here’s where the next magical chapter in Evelyn’s story begins. The 2017 #GivingMewsday campaign raised money for our Let Settle program, which included the purchase of movable kennels to use in the Let Settle room and around the shelter. On November 1, the kennels were delivered and coincidently it was also the day Evelyn arrived back at the shelter from foster. She had the distinction of being the first kitty to stay in one of the new kennels, front and center in the lobby.
That same day, a woman decided to stop by the shelter on her way home. She’d just lost her kitty and wasn’t planning on adopting a new companion but felt she had to visit. When she saw Evelyn, it was a match made in heaven. The cat she’d just lost had been diabetic and this woman was diabetic herself, so the daily insulin shots were nothing new to her. And she’d instantly fallen in love with Evelyn. After spending eight months in foster care, Evelyn was adopted two hours after returning to the shelter. A magical story indeed.
Day Two: Carly
In May of this year, Carly left Texas and embarked on her first road trip. Dedicated volunteers drove a group of dogs all the way to Willamette Humane Society through a life-saving partnership with San Antonio Pets Alive. Carly was adopted quickly, but returned a few days later. She wasn’t getting along with other animals and was easily frightened. Luckily for Carly, our donors have built a top-notch Behavior & Training Team of staff and volunteers. And they are experts at helping dogs just like Carly.
To the shelter team’s excitement, Carly was adopted a month later, but once again was returned. We knew she was a sweet and loving companion who would find the right home. She just needed a bit more time to blossom. Carly went to an experienced foster home where she was able to relax and focus on her training outside of the shelter environment. She went on special outings to help her feel confident in public, getting comfortable around new people and sounds. And her social time with other WHS dogs during shelter playgroup helped her flourish.
Six months later, a family drove down from Washington to meet another shelter dog who they’d read about on a volunteer-run blog. It wasn’t the right fit, but hey didn’t leave empty-handed. On November 19, Carly embarked on her second road trip as she went home to Washington with her forever family.
Since then, a volunteer who fell in love with Carly has gone up to visit her twice. She’s let us know that Carly is doing fabulously; she’s made friends who the family’s yorkies, hasn’t had any behavior issues, and loves going on hikes with her new family. Carly is home to stay.
Day Three: Prospero
Life on the streets can be a hard place for a cat. Never knowing where your next meal is coming from. Hoping to find a dry, warm place to sleep. Wondering if the humans you meet will be nice or not. However, from the moment a kind stranger brought this frightened, stray cat to Willamette Humane Society (WHS), our donors made sure he wouldn’t have to go another day without food, shelter and love.
Prospero, an approximately four-year-old male stray cat, came to the shelter in May – yes, May – over seven months ago. He faced some challenges that made it difficult for him to find a loving home. He was FIV positive. And while studies show cats with FIV can live long, healthy lives, the diagnosis still makes some people hesitant to adopt a cat with FIV. Also, Prospero was at that in-between age – no longer a kitten, but not old enough to warm the hearts of adopters looking for senior cats. And finally, he was a very active cat that loved to play. And play. And play. He would dive after a wand toy for hours, and then spend time pouncing in and out of cardboard boxes.
Thanks to your generosity, your donations made it possible for Prospero get the food, shelter, love and most importantly, the time he needed at WHS to find his forever home. Earlier this month, Prospero found his family. Or we should say, his family found him. It was love at first sight. And he is now happily in a home for the holidays. He wouldn’t be there without you.
Day Four: Neptune
Neptune came to us last February and needed a little extra coaching. He was easily excited and full of puppy energy. He was also deaf.
With help, deaf dogs can live wonderful and love-filled lives, but they do face different challenges. Luckily for Neptune, our donor-funded Behavior & Training Team was up for the task. They loved Neptune and committed themselves to his success. Neptune went on a special field trip to help increase his comfort level around new things. He went to visit Station One. He did wonderfully and made fast friends with everyone he met, especially the men!
In April, Neptune was adopted but returned the next day. His energy was just a little too much for the household. Another four months went by before he was adopted and returned again. ⛰ The family had tried everything, but he just wasn’t a fit with the other animals in the house.
But six weeks later, Neptune hit the jackpot. His new dad happened to check the website and came across Neptune’s smiling face. Excited, he showed his wife. It wasn’t until they read that Neptune was deaf that they knew it was fate. They’d recently lost a deaf dog of their own and had a deaf Great Dane still at home. They came to meet Neptune and fell in love.
After a few successful dog meets with his new brother Icarus, Neptune went home. He will ring in the New Year surrounded by the love of his family, who had this to say about him: “Icarus couldn’t be a more accepting roommate for Neptune…I can’t imagine not having him around. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for him, and us.”
Day Five: Suave
When the little chihuahua Suave arrived at the shelter, he was hurting. One of his eyes had ruptured. Unable to afford the medical care he needed, his previous owner trusted Willamette Humane Society and our trained medical team to take care of him.
Our shelter veterinarian examined him that day. Suave was shy and scared, not even wanting to stand up on the exam table. His ruptured eyeball was swollen, irritated, and crusty, and the veterinarian decided it needed to be removed.
After surgery, Suave started to feel better right away. Just ten days after surgery, he was ready to find his new home. And thanks to our amazing community, he didn’t have to wait long. Only three days later, Suave headed home with Jessica and Hayden.
But Jessica and Hayden’s compassion didn’t stop there. Since bringing Suave home in October, they’ve opened their home to two more special dogs from Willamette Humane Society including King, senior dog with health issues who needs a comfortable place to live out his final days and Benny, another chihuahua. .
This season, we’re thankful for people like Jessica who open their homes to our special needs animals. Whether or not you can take a pet home, you can help them find their home by making a donation today.
Day Six: Teddy
In April, a stray cat was brought in to the Salem VCA Emergency Clinic. This poor guy had been hit and dragged by a car. He was hurt, scared, and covered in fleas. Worst of all, his mouth was in bad shape. He lost most of his teeth,. His tongue was swollen and thick, sticking out of his mouth. He had to breath with his mouth open—how uncomfortable.
This little guy had a long way to go on the road to recovery. Because of the injuries to his mouth, he couldn’t eat–not even the softest food. For him to recover, he needed a feeding tube, and dedicated care until he was back on his paws. Fortunately for Teddy, our amazing Foster Program is here for cats just like him.
Luckily, there was a patient foster mom out there for him. She took him home and painstakingly tube fed him small amounts, six times a day. She named him “Teddy Bear” because of how much he loved to be held. For six weeks, she fed him, cared for him, and cuddled him until he’d recovered enough to eat on his own.
Teddy now eats wet food like a champ. And this June, he got something even better than tasty food. He found his forever home with his adopter, Amy. She says he was “a little rough around the edges” when he came home, but he looks “100% better now” after time with his new family. Now re-named Clovis, he enjoys wearing dorky holiday sweaters.
Because of you, we had the medical staff in place to take care of Teddy, now Clovis, right away. Donors, fosters, and adopters came together to give him another chance. Give more cats like Clovis their chance in the New Year by making a gift today.
Day Seven: Hoagie
Usually, adoptable pets spend a short time in the shelter—anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks. But sometimes, they stay with us longer. Thanks to your support, we can make sure their stay is a good one.
Last December, a very special dog came to Willamette Humane Society from a rescue in California. Hoagie was an energetic, fun-loving goofball. But sometimes, his energy comes out in the wrong ways—like climbing every single fence in the shelter or bouncing off of new human friends. Hoagie had a lot to learn before he was ready to go home.
Luckily for Hoagie, he had the donor-funded Behavior & Training Team made up of certified staff trainers and specialized volunteers. This team has taught Hoagie how to walk politely in his special harness; schooled him on the basics like “sit, down, and stay;” and improved his people skills. And a dedicated group of volunteers have come together to find Hoagie the perfect home, with special adoption meet-and-greets here at the shelter and out in the community.
Though he hasn’t found his home yet, Hoagie’s story is still a happy one. This adventure-loving dog enjoys regular outings, from hikes and trips to the beach, to enjoying “pupshakes” at Bentley’s Coffee, to visiting stores like Sportsman’s Warehouse. And his “fan club” makes sure he gets lots of love, treats, and belly rubs so he knows just how loved he is.
Your support gives Hoagie so much more than shelter as he waits for his home. A gift today can give shelter and more to thousands of dogs and cats in 2019.
Bonus Story: PEG
PEG (Pretty Eyed Girl) did not start off with pretty eyes. They were crusted shut and swollen with infection when she came to the shelter. She’d been abandoned in the back seat of a car with her littermates and weighed only five ounces upon arrival—half the weight of her siblings.
Thankfully, donations from supporters like you go to building an incredible medical team who went to work immediately. PEG’s eyes were cleaned out and miraculously, despite the fears of our medical staff, she sat staring back at them. She could see!
PEG went into our foster program where she was placed with a loving foster family. She was bottle-fed every 2-3 hours and continued to gain weight. But, she was fighting a nasty upper respiratory infection that threatened this already fragile kitten. She needed rest and continued care. That’s when she met her soon-to-be mom.
PEG is happy and healthy today thanks to our dedicated community of supporters. Her new mom took her home to foster while PEG continued to fight and recovery from her sickness, but we are happy to report that she is almost ready for official adoption. She found her happy ending, thanks to you!