By day, Sarah Yusavitz’s focus is on grant proposals, press releases, and fundraising campaigns as a Corporate Relations Officer at the Oregon Humane Society. When she’s not working, she interprets canine communication as a dog whisperer. “I am particularly drawn to pits that are a little more nervous and shy. I have a pretty good track record of getting a dog out of a kennel when others may not be able to. I have a connection with those kinds of dogs. I am excited by the challenge.”
Sarah discovered her unique gift years ago as a volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society, the largest humane society in the Pacific Northwest. OHS takes in thousands of animals from smaller shelters and facilities and provides proper healthcare, nutrition, training, and adoption services. Team members are passionate, caring, and willing to do whatever it takes to nurture the animals. This commitment was on full display last year when one of their vehicles carrying rescued dogs malfunctioned on the way to their facility, delaying its arrival until after midnight. “The truck broke down about a mile east of the shelter. We met there, unloaded the animals into our personal vehicles and drove them to the shelter. We took the animals through the step by step in-take process. The dogs were situated in their kennels by 3 am.”
More than a No-Kill Shelter
The Oregon Humane Society does not harm healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full. To be considered “no-kill,” a shelter or rescue has to have a placement rate of at least a 90% for animals in their care. Despite their 97% placement rate, they do not like to refer to themselves as a no-kill shelter. Half of all animals they receive suffer from various health issues and need long term veterinary care or a foster home. Some animals have behavior issues that require specialized training to become more adoptable. Other animals have never worn a leash and need to learn how to become a pet. “Saying we’re no-kill doesn’t really cover the scope of what it means to save an animal. We like to be transparent with the community and let them know that this is what we do to save animals, it’s not just checking a box. It’s investing in the animals and setting them up for success to live in this community,” Sarah says.
Home Away from Home
Each year thousands of pets find themselves without a home and in need of healthcare and nourishment. Stray animals come to OHS from all over the West Coast, including heavily populated areas like Southern and Northern California. There’s also a volunteer corp trained to set up temporary kennels for pets who are displaced due to natural disasters. Two-thirds of the animals at OHS are from other shelters. The remaining third are owner surrenders. “People surrender animals for all sorts of reasons. We try very hard to operate with a culture of no judgement. We’re actually very happy that you want to surrender your animals to us, because we’ll find another home for it,” says Sarah. Around 7,000 pets were adopted from OHS in 2020. This year, they’re on target to exceed this goal.
Bobbie’s story is such a great story of perseverance, and that’s what we’re all looking for. Walker Tracker’s feature challenge is a great communication tool and a way to tell the OHS story in a unique way, that isn’t just your typical shelter story
National Pet Month Campaign + Challenge
We’re excited to announce our partnership with the Oregon Humane Society. For National Pet Month our featured challenge highlights the journey of Bobbie the Wonder Dog, a legendary Scotch Collie who walked 2500 miles from Indiana to Silverton, Oregon to reunite with his beloved family. “Bobbie’s story is such a great story of perseverance, and that’s what we’re all looking for. Walker Tracker’s feature challenge is a great communication tool and a way to tell the OHS story in a unique way, that isn’t just your typical shelter story,” says Sarah.
Are you inspired by the story of Bobbie the Wonder Dog? This featured challenge is available to you and your company. Contact our Sales team to learn more about this and other great feature challenges!