You Make Life Wonderful for Shelter Pets

And we’re celebrating that during Willamette Humane Society’s fifth annual Week of Wonder! Our end-of-year storytelling tradition is all about retelling the amazing stories our donors and communities made possible this past year. Whether it was a sick kitty who needed a comprehensive and costly medical procedure, to a long-term resident dog who just need a little extra time to find that perfect family, these are the amazing happy endings that YOU helped Willamette Humane Society write. 

Week of Wonder is about celebrating happy endings, but it’s also about making sure we can keep making them happen. Consider making a tax-deductible donation by the end-of-year deadline to make 2020 a truly wonderful year for shelter animals in your area.

Check back daily from December 25 to December 31 for a new story! You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook. And remember, because of you, this turbulent and challenging year was oh so wonderful for the pets of WHS. 

Help us raise $30,000 to create more happy stories in 2021
Total: $40,633

Our 2020 Week of Wonder Stories

Check back daily for a new story between December 25 and 31, 2020! Stories are released by 10 a.m. each day. You’ll see the specific animal’s photo become full-color and his or her story will appear below the image. You can also find daily stories on Instagram and Facebook

Day Seven: A Cat Called Caterpillar

Some of you may remember this face from Week of Wonder 2017. Caterpillar (now Ray Ray) came to the shelter with deformed and infected eyes. He couldn’t see and couldn’t eat. Thankfully, he was brought to Willamette Humane Society. and Oour donor-funded medical team removed both eyes and got him back on his feet. 

Three years later and nothing stops this gentleman from enjoying his life and family. Here’s what his “meowm” has to say about Ray Ray:

“He has been such a light in our lives! Hard to believe he can’t see. He literally goes anywhere our two other cats go, except the tops of the cupboards, thankfully.  He will climb up into any window and find every empty box! He loves it when Dad comes home because they do cat-jit-su together. He is the best fetcher!  He knows when I throw a toy mouse before it leaves my hand! He’s amazing and we love him so much!

He’s funny. He knows everyone’s movements. It cracks me up! Most everyone that’s met him doesn’t notice he has no eyes at first. He likes me to hold him like a baby. Spoiled baby. You can’t totally cuddle with him such as nuzzling or he will nip. Sometimes I think it’s a return love nibble,  other times I’m convinced he’s part vampire.”

It’s important to see that you give more than money when you support Willamette Humane Society. You give thousands of laughs, smiles, furry vampire nibbles, and especially important this year—you give companionship. 

Keep giving cats like Ray Ray medical care and new homes by sharing a year-end gift with Willamette Humane Society. 

Day One: Ringworm, Fostering, and Puppies

What do these ten puppies have in common? Ringworm!

As you can see, the itchy condition is affecting each one to a different degree, but they’re all feeling better today, because of our community!

When foster mom Vickie and her family took on this monumental task, they knew it would involve stinky baths twice a week—times ten. Ringworm is a contagious rash, caused by a fungal infection, that can affect dogs, humans, and other animals. And if you’ve ever had a puppy, you know the destruction they can cause. Imagine that—again, times ten.

She had this to say about fostering Tamara, Tammy, Tatiana, Trixie, Topanga, Toby, Tim, Thomas, Trent, and Trigger: “Not to sound corny but the rewards of fostering puppies far outweigh the amount of work it takes…even if for a litter of 10 puppies. The mischief they can get into means I’m always keeping my eyes open when they are out to play, they sure can eat a lot of food (like 16 cups a day!), and what goes in must come out so garbage cans do fill up rather quickly. These pups had the misfortune of contracting ringworm so need medication daily along with very stinky medicine baths twice a week.

They may look like they are in the holiday spirit wearing their ugly Christmas sweaters but by the end of the holiday season they will change out for some beautiful winter coats. Sound like a lot of work, but I’m rewarded with 10-fold puppy cuddles, wiggly tails, and puppy kisses.”

Each of these cute pups will find new homes because our donors give them the resources they need to rest and recover, while dedicated foster families give care and love until they’re healed.

Day Two: A Blind Kitty Name Angel

It isn’t easy for most cats to live on the streets. But some cats have challenges that seem overwhelming. Take Angel here. 

This pretty kitty is about 2 years old, and he was found in a Salem community with severe eye injuries. We don’t know how they happened, but our veterinarians think he had ulcers that never healed properly. His eyes were incredibly painful, and we don’t think Angel could see. 

Our team made the difficult decision to remove both of Angel’s eyes. He had lifesaving surgery right here at the shelter, and he went into a foster home to heal. 

And there, everything changed. Angel mapped out the contours of his foster home in just days, and he delighted his temporary family with his exceptional play skills. Wand toys, dangling bells, and kickers were his favorite. As long as it made a sound, he wanted to play with it! And he settled in for plenty of cuddles when playtime was through. 

Angel healed up from surgery beautifully, and he came back to the shelter to find true love. It only took 11 days for a Salem family to choose him for their forever family member. 

Angel got the happy ending because of donors just like you. His 2020 may have been rough as well, but he’s going into 2021 feeling better and ready to love. Join him in celebration with a gift today.

Day Three: Tail-Waggin' Timmy

When Timmy came limping into Willamette Humane Society on a badly injured front leg, it was obvious he needed help. Our donor-funded medical team quickly went to work. They determined the injury was so severe that his leg couldn’t be saved and amputation would be the best option.

Even though Timmy was in severe pain for who knows how long, he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He eagerly let the medical team go to work—all the while wagging his big, floppy tail.

After a long surgery, and over 100 staples later, Timmy was recovering in a kennel in the shelter’s medical clinic—complete with an I.V. drip and a huge cone around his neck to protect the staples while he healed.

But Timmy was a big dog, and clinic staff knew he would be more comfortable recovering for a few weeks in a home. That’s when his foster mom Sherri, who also works at the shelter as our Community Philantropy Officer, entered his story.

“The first thing I remember when I saw him in the kennel, with that big cone and an IV in his leg was hearing this thump, thump, thump sound,” said foster mom Sherri. “I didn’t know what it was, but soon realized it was his tail wagging, even though he couldn’t really move any other part of his body.”

And it may sound corny, but it was love at first sight. Timmy found not only a home to recover in, but the family that fostered him decided to adopt him as well.

“We were so inspired by this dog’s determination and incredibly kind personality after everything he’d been through,” said his new mom Sherri. “We just couldn’t imagine our home without him. Our hearts are filled with such joy and appreciation to everyone at WHS who gave Timmy a second chance at a wonderful life.”

Day Four: Santiam Fire Survivor Savage

Many of you will remember the story of Savage, a cat brought out of the Santiam Canyon after wildfires swept through his home in September. He came to us burned, unable to stand, and separated from everyone he loved.

If it weren’t for the dedicated community members who discovered him, and the donors of Willamette Humane Society helped ensure WHS had the resources to care for him while he healed, this big orange tabby cat could have had a tragic outcome. But thankfully, Savage got the help he needed—just in time.

Savage spent weeks with us at the shelter, taking over the hearts and offices of our Spay & Neuter Clinic staff. He also showed us the tenacity that got him through the devastation of the fire. He had spunk and overwhelming sweetness to boot! 

This is our last picture of Savage, as Steffanie, our Adoptions Supervisor, took him out to be reunited with his family. You can see his paws had healed and his hair was beginning to regrow. We sure do miss this big boy, but are so happy he found shelter and healing with us. 

Donors to Willamette Humane Society do more than help animals find homes. They help injured animals. They help lost animals. And they also help other community members. We evolve our programs to meet the needs of the community and you, our supporters, are the cornerstones of our progress. Thank you.

Day Five: Heros for Huskies in Need

As wildfires raged through the Oregon wilderness in early September, Willamette Humane Society got a call about dozens of huskies abandoned in the path of one of the fires. They’d been rescued, but needed a safe place to go. It was a call for help, so how could we say no?

Thanks to our incredible donors, we were already loading our transport van with supplies to take to evacuees, so off we went to unload the supplies and load up a small group of the huskies!

This began their long journey with Willamette Humane Society. A number of these pups were undersocialized and had never lived indoors. But our donor-funded Behavior & Training Team took on the task of socializing and working to understand the needs of each individual dog. They had specialized training schedules and they often walked and played together, which helped them feel comfortable in this new space. 

Three short (but long) months later and they will be ringing in the New Year inside their new homes. All thanks to the generosity of our community. 

Can you help prepare us to answer future calls for help?

Day Six: Beautiful Tabitha's Happy Ever After

In late September, a veterinary clinic reached out with a difficult problem. Someone had brought them a cat with a terrible facial wound, and they didn’t know what to do next. Because of people just like you, we were able to say “Yes!” for Tabitha. And her whole life got better.

We think Tabitha is about a year old. We have no idea what happened to her poor face. But she had a deep, open wound when she arrived at the shelter. Quite a bit of her facial fur was missing, and she looked so sore and painful. 

We clipped and cleaned her tender face. And we performed a spay surgery, so she’ll be less likely to wander from home to seek out mating partners.

So much happened to Tabitha in a short time period. She was a bit shy and worried with us at first, but she began to blossom and warm up. In time, she even started greeting her visitors with purrs and kneading paws. We knew it was time for her to find her family. 

We took Tabitha to Meow Town, our offsite adoption center in Salem’s PetSmart. And there, she wooed the perfect family. She went home with them in mid-October. 

Because of people just like you, we can say “Yes.” You have the power to treat and care for injured animals, give today!