Category Archives: Blog

Become a part of the fabric of our shelter by donating to our facility remodel this season

“The heart dog is born with great purpose, but he looks like any other.
He will find you, walk by you, and leave you better than you were…
The heart dog is one you needed more than he needed you.”

– Cristine Dahl, “My Heart Dog”

Dear friend of Animal Aid,

If we asked you to tell us about your heart cat or dog, what would you say? Would you describe their physical characteristics in vivid detail or delve straight to the core of their personality? Would you share the day you met, your life together, the moment you knew they were the one? Would you break out in a smile or in tears? Perhaps you’d simply look us in the eye and share something that goes beyond words.

Our work at Animal Aid began from this same ineffable relationship. In 1969, we set out to provide for the animals in need in our community, and what we were provided with in return was an identity and a purpose. We found ourselves in the hearts of our rescue animals and made it our lifework to serve their needs first.

Now, nearly 50 years later, that bond and the mission that emerged from it are stronger than ever. But we need your help to see us through the next 50 years and beyond.

This summer, we broke ground on our Shelter TransFURmation Remodel Capital Campaign, a two-year, $300,000 renovation project that will expand our rescue capacity by 25 percent. Phase 1 of the remodel—completed this November—saw our ground floor converted from basement storage space to a second operational level of the shelter, including the construction of two new cat intake rooms, a new meeting room, and the refurbishment of our emergency dog kennel, laundry nook, restroom, and animal care supply storage.

When we begin Phase 2 in 2018, we’ll add three new cat rooms to our upper floor and undertake major renovations to our current animal care, administrative, and exterior spaces, including an upgraded lobby, a pedestrian walkway, and a giant cat tree that will serve as the focal point of our main free-roam cat room.

But what does all of this mean for the animals we serve?

It means we’ll be able to rescue more animals with behavioral needs like Bixby and Eugene, who both came to Animal Aid extremely frightened of the world around them. Now, through the attention and care of our staff and volunteers, the benefit of a free-roam shelter environment, and the time necessary to build their confidence, both cats have made considerable strides, with Bixby’s forever mom describing him as “the sweetest cat I’ve ever known.”

      

It means we’ll be able to foster more senior dogs like Barney and Ruthie, for whom a larger shelter environment is particularly overwhelming. Today, both pups enjoy the tranquility of their foster homes, with our emergency dog kennel ready to serve as a home-away-from-foster-home should the need arise.

     

It means we’ll be able to shelter more cats with medical or dietary needs like Gloria and Diego, whose food allergies used to leave them feeling itchy and uncomfortable and who subsequently benefit from a room of their own to maintain their special diets. These days, both kitties enjoy their own cat suites and room service meals catered to their specific needs.

     

Our work is only made possible through your generosity, and every dollar counts, now more than ever:

  • $10 will help pay for a giant cat tree and bench seating in our largest cat room, for greater enrichment and interaction.
  • $50 will help pay for a walkway between parking lots, for enhanced safety.
  • $100 will help pay for new windows throughout the shelter, for increased comfort and decreased utility costs.
  • $500 will help pay for cat condos, to give animals new to the shelter a chance to adjust to their surroundings.
  • $1000 will help pay for one of the 20 new or renovated animal care and administrative spaces throughout our facility, to expand our rescue capacity.

When you donate to our Shelter TransFURmation, you quite literally become a part of the fabric of our shelter, contributing to a loving refuge for countless animals now and in the future—animals who may be abandoned, abused, injured, or elderly; who may have special behavioral, medical, or dietary needs; who may simply need a safe place to rest their paws while they wait to find you.

On behalf of all of us at Animal Aid, thank you for supporting our shelter, our programs, and the animals that we passionately serve.

Warmly,

Paige O’Rourke
Director of OperationsP.S. Interested in other ways to contribute to our remodel? Visit our website to learn about room sponsorship opportunities and our donor recognition wall!

Turn your old items into funding for Animal Aid

Declutter for the animals! We’ve partnered with Mighty Good Things to provide you with a way to turn your old possessions into fundraising for Animal Aid: Look around your home and collect items you’re no longer using, then send them to Mighty Good Things using the prepaid shipping label they provide. Items are sold on marketplaces like eBay, and our shelter receives 100% of the net proceeds (just make sure you select “Animal Aid” as your nonprofit of choice). Mighty Good Things will also send a donation receipt to you for tax time.

PLUS, from now until Giving Tuesday (November 28), if you sign-up and pledge to donate a pre-loved item someday, Animal Aid will receive $1 dollar today!

Click here to donate your stuff to support Animal Aid:

Hard to place, but easy to love

KOIN 6 stopped by Animal Aid this week to meet some of our adoptables like Harriet who are featured on Core Paws. Fun fact: Animal Aid was Core Paws’ first-ever partner nonprofit, and we’re so thankful for all that they do to help promote our hard-to-place but easy-to-love shelter and foster animals!

If you haven’t been acquainted with Harriet and our other adoptables yet, be sure to stop by the shelter soon to meet your purrfect match or read more about them here.

Thank you for your support of animals like Huck!

Dear Friend of Animal Aid,

Have you ever tried to imagine how the world looks through your pet’s eyes?

Last September, we took a special dog into our care named Huck. He is a charmer, a goof ball, and, most importantly, a good boy. His favorite word is “treat,” and his favorite thing to do is be with his people—whether that means going for a walk, playing a game of tug-o-war, or lying quietly at your feet as you work. But Huck also experiences a high level of anxiety when being introduced to new people. Many details about the first few years of Huck’s life are unknown to us, and he is often scared and reactive in the process of learning to trust.

We can only guess what the world looks like through Huck’s eyes, but there is one thing that is clear to us: We are committed to doing everything we can to make the world Huck sees a safe and joyful one. But we need your help to do that.

Since day one, Animal Aid has been dedicated first and foremost to serving animals. We commit to the cats and dogs we rescue for life. In Huck’s case, this means dedicating as much time and as many resources as necessary for him to live the very best life he can. It means scheduling at least five dog caregiving shifts a day. It means allocating funding toward ongoing, one-on-one behavioral trainings. It means staff and volunteers rearranging their days and their lives so they can contribute to the betterment of his. It means working diligently right along side Huck to be the best companions we can be.

Without Animal Aid, Huck would not have the opportunities available to him that he has today—and without your support, neither would we. Please consider giving to Animal Aid today so that we can continue providing animals like Huck with the time, attention, and resources they need to be healthy, safe, and happy.

It’s the unfortunate truth that Huck’s case is not unique. Many cats and dogs in Portland and beyond need our help. They need the time and space that our shelter and foster programs allow for. They need the attention and devotion that our staff and volunteers can give. They need the veterinary and behavioral care that our community programs make available.

Our work is only made possible through your generosity, and every little bit provides something valuable for our animals, like Huck:

  • $10 will provide flea treatment or a microchip for an animal.
  • $60 will provide a month of high quality food for a homeless pet.
  • $100 will provide veterinary exams for four animals.
  • $150 will provide a behavioral training session for Huck.
  • $300 will provide dental treatment for a painful mouth.
  • $500 will provide spay/neuter operations for 10 animals.

We’ve taught Huck new skills during his time with us, but the truth is that he’s taught us even more. He’s reaffirmed our belief that all animals are individuals who deserve to be treated as such. He’s challenged us to think deeply about the expectations our society places on pets. He’s humbled us with the reminder of how remarkable the bond we share with our companion animals really is.

When we imagine the world through Huck’s eyes, we see the joy of simple things: a good stick to chew, a good plant to sniff, a good ball to chase—a good boy who will give you his heart just as soon as he feels confident enough to lend you his paw.

On behalf of all of us at Animal Aid, thank you for supporting our shelter, our programs, and animals like Huck.

Warmly,

Paige O’Rourke
Director of Operations

P.S. This summer, Animal Aid will begin the process of a complete facility remodel that will allow for the rescue and adoption of up to 25% more cats at our shelter! We hope you’ll consider join us in taking our organization to the next phase of its evolution and its potential by giving to Animal Aid today.

Thank you to our nonprofit community!

One of the great things about nonprofits is the sense of community they often build–whether it’s a legion of volunteers who come together to fulfill a mission, individuals who open their hearts and pocket books for the cause,  or fellow nonprofits sharing resources for the enrichment of the community as a whole. In the last month, Animal Aid has been the beneficiary of several of these acts of kindness and giving, and we want to take a moment to give thanks and recognize what an amazing community we are a part of.

Adoptable Addy enjoying a midday snooze.

On May 18, we held our second-ever $5 Fursday to request assistance with purchasing a new HVAC system after ours had suddenly and unexpectedly quit on us. With the hot summer weather already encroaching, the need was urgent but the price was high: it was going to cost us $10,000 for a new system. When we put out the call for donations to help “keep our kitties cool,” our hope was that our supporters could help us raise $1,000 to offset a fraction of the cost. However, we were once again amazed and humbled by the generosity of our community: our supporters rallied together to help us raise $6,500, covering more than half the cost of the new system! Now our kitties, like Addy, have been able to enjoy this week’s 85-degree weather in comfort. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped make this happen!

Over Memorial Day weekend, we found ourselves surrounded by fur of a different kind while attending the 2017 Furlandia convention as their Charity of Honor for the third year in a row. One of the beautiful things about this convention and the people who run it is how unfailingly welcoming and kindhearted everyone is. The Furlandia staff made us feel like a special part of this convention by creating and sharing a video about our shelter, including an article about us in their convention booklet,  allowing us to present about Animal Aid to their attendees, and providing donation solicitation shout-outs throughout the weekend. By the close of the convention, over $1,200 in donations had been raised for the animals in our care. We are so thankful to the Furlandia team for helping us fulfill our mission and excited to return to the convention again next year!

On June 1, our friends at SCRAP PDX spent their community craft night making cozy (not to mention adorable) pet beds for Animal Aid and other local rescue groups. As you can see, these beds have been given the official paw of approval by one of SCRAP’s rescue pups, and we can’t wait to share them with the cats and dogs in our care! Thank you for helping us make sure our animals are resting easy, SCRAP!

Facility upgrades, by order of King Jerry

First thing’s first: Yes, I’m adorable. You were all thinking it; I’m just saying it.

The name’s Jerry, and from the corner office that I kindly share with our Animal Care Coordinator, I think it’s safe to say I basically rule the shelter. You should hear me ordering my subjects around: “Bring me foooooood!” “Play with meeee!” “Scratch my chiiiiiiiin!”

But enough about me right now. I want to tell you a little bit about the plans I’ve got my subjects working on for improvements to Animal Aid’s facility. See, I want Animal Aid to be able to help more cats like me, and they agree, which is why I’ve got them working on a remodel of the upper and lower levels of the shelter. You read that right: It’s time for shelter 2.0, people!

Phase 1 of this remodel focuses on the shelter’s basement space and will create two new cat isolation rooms and a conference/work room, in addition to updating the emergency dog kennel, the laundry room, and the remaining storage space. As a result of this phase of the remodel, Animal Aid will be able to intake more cats and better isolate sick cats from the main population, cutting down on illness within the cat population as well as time spent in isolation. It will also create a dedicated multipurpose room that can be used for meetings, projects, and public events and better equip the basement space to help the staff and volunteers fulfill Animal Aid’s mission.

The remodel is kicking into high gear soon, and I can’t share all of the details with you. Look for a lot more information on this project to hit your doorstep in the coming months, and please consider donating to Animal Aid this year to help them help more animals like me. Don’t forget to tell them King Jerry sent you.