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Resources for Adopters

For resources week, I've included a variety of links to more information about all things dog adoption and shelter life.


Shelters and Rescues:


Oregon Humane Society: With locations in Northeast Portland and Salem, the Oregon Humane Society is one of the oldest shelters in the U.S. The admission team accepts surrendered dogs by appointment, while through the Second Chance program, OHS brings dogs from other parts of the country to be adopted in the Pacific Northwest. The training and behavior department offers training classes and staffs the new behavior center where dogs who need more time and help live until adoption. Last year OHS opened a community veterinary hospital with the goal of helping more pets stay in their homes through affordable veterinary care.


Multnomah County Animal Services: The county's only public shelter, MCAS accepts both pets surrendered by their humans and animals found as strays. MCAS also investigates cases of animal abuse and dog bites, assesses potentially dangerous dogs, and licenses pets who live in the county. If you've lost a pet, you can check their website's lost and found page.


One Tail at a Time PDX: Largely run by volunteers, OTAT PDX rescues dogs at risk of euthanasia in shelters and places them in foster homes where they live until adoption. The staff and volunteers work hard to make the best matches between people and pets. In late 2023 they are opening an adoption center and community space where people can meet dogs and take training classes.


Family Dogs New Life: Like One Tail at a Time PDX, Family Dogs New Life is dedicated to rescuing dogs who might do not thrive in a conventional shelter environment. In addition to a wide network of foster homes, Family Dogs has a physical location, though it is not open for the public to walk through. Instead, adoption counselors work with clients to make the best match based on the client’s lifestyle and expectations and their knowledge of the dogs in their care.


Agave Dog Rescue: Another foster-based rescue organization, Agave Dog Rescue brings dogs to Oregon from southern U.S. states with an overpopulation of dogs, places them in foster homes, and then adopts via appointment. After adoption they provide free behavior and training resources to help keep dogs in their new homes.


Oregon Dog Rescue: Like the other rescue organizations listed above, ODR takes dogs from other shelters where they are at risk of euthanasia, though they do also accept dogs surrendered by their humans. The dogs live in the shelter until they are adopted, spending their days playing with other dogs. Staff and volunteers get to know the dogs well, which helps them pair dogs with adopters.

Introductions to Other Pets


Introducing your new dog to your cat: This article from the Best Friends Society provides a thorough over-view of introducing your new dog to your cat, including three options for introductions and explanations of key body language to observe.


Introducing your new dog to your resident dog: The non-profit group Dogs Playing for Life has a fabulous explanation of how to introduce your dogs, including tips for making the transition to living together as smooth as possible for both dogs.


Resources for Shelter Staff and Volunteers:


Shelter Behavior Hub: Run by trainer and shelter behavior expert Trish McMillan, the Shelter Behavior Hub serves as a central location for many opportunities for learning more about shelter issues, including the Shelter Behavior Mentorship, which I participated in two years ago and highly recommend.

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Unknown member
Oct 27, 2023

In the Denver area, the Human Society of the South Platte Valley is a very good place to find a pet! We have our second dog now from there and as with our first dog Lottie, who we had 8 years, we feel so blessed to have Penny, our little Norfolk Terrier.

Thank you, Beth!

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