Photo: Oregon Humane Society
Oregon Humane Society (OHS) has announced a groundbreaking to improve the lives of vulnerable animals and further support under-resourced pet owners in Oregon. The project, which is made possible in part thanks to a total of $1.75 million in grant funding from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), includes the construction of two new innovative facilities to better support the future of animal welfare in Oregon. The New Road Ahead is the most ambitious expansion of OHS programs and services in its 153-year history.
The New Road Ahead includes the construction of two new buildings next to OHS’s Ernest C. Swigert Animal Shelter. The facilities will house a Behavior Rehabilitation and Rescue Center, Animal Crimes Forensic Center, and a Community Teaching Hospital. The project is scheduled to break ground in June 2021 and be completed by July 2022. The fundraising goal for the New Road Ahead is $36 million. More information about how to contribute to the project can be found at oregonhumane.org/newroadahead.
“Our mission calls us to create a more humane society,” says Sharon Harmon, OHS President and CEO. “The goal of the New Road Ahead is to keep pets and families together and prevent and eliminate suffering in all its forms - from the heartbreak of surrendering a pet with a treatable medical condition to fighting animal cruelty and neglect.”
“Oregon Humane Society has long been a national model for its visionary and innovative approaches to helping animals in need, and we proudly support their New Road Ahead project to advance the impact and reach of their lifesaving work,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO. “Providing at-risk animals with critical services above and beyond traditional adoption—including behavioral rehabilitation, animal crime forensics, and access to affordable veterinary care—demonstrates the dynamic opportunities these frontiers create for protecting vulnerable and victimized animals across the country.”
Behavior Rehabilitation and Rescue Center
The Behavior Rehabilitation and Rescue Center is dedicated to the behavioral rehabilitation of homeless animals to better prepare them for adoption and will also expand OHS’s capacity to provide care for animals who have been rescued from natural and man-made disasters.
OHS has 127 staff and volunteers certified in Emergency Animal Sheltering and has a long history in disaster response, dating back to Hurricane Katrina. OHS has partnered with the ASPCA in disaster response dozens of times since 2011 and has deployed teams to help during tornadoes in Missouri, hurricanes in the Caribbean and wildfires in California.
Trainers from OHS consulted with ASPCA experts during the planning for the New Road Ahead expansion, and OHS’s new Behavior Rehabilitation and Rescue Center is modeled after the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in North Carolina, which was the subject of a documentary called Second Chance Dogs.
Animal Crimes Forensic Center
The Animal Crimes Forensic Center at OHS will be the first of its kind on the West Coast. The state-of the-art facility is designed for the collection and analysis of evidence from suspected animal cruelty cases. This evidence will be used to support the prosecution of animal abusers and enhance OHS’s cruelty casework across Oregon.
Community Teaching Hospital
Preserving the animal-human bond is at the heart of the New Road Ahead expansion. The challenges of this past year have put many pet owners in the heart-wrenching position of having to give up their pet or delay veterinary care because of economic hardship. The Community Teaching Hospital will be dedicated to offering accessible veterinary care to thousands of under-resourced clients and their pets. Services will be on a sliding scale to ensure pet owners can access affordable care to help keep animals safe and healthy in their own homes.
While OHS is an independent Oregon-based animal welfare organization, it has a long history of partnering with the ASPCA, a national leader in animal welfare. The two groups share many goals including improving the lives of vulnerable homeless animals, providing resources to help keep people and pets together, and fighting animal cruelty and neglect.
“OHS and the ASPCA were both founded more than 150 years ago to fight animal cruelty and neglect, and we are so grateful for their support for the New Road Ahead and other projects over the years,” added Harmon. “The ASPCA’s support for OHS exemplifies how organizations can work together to end animal suffering across the country, save lives, and create a more humane society.”
Source: Oregon Humane Society