Bella, a one-year-old kelpie mix, today became the 10,000th pet to be adopted in 2009 from the Oregon Humane Society. Bella was adopted by the Linger family of northeast Portland following a get-acquainted meet where four-year-old McKenna Linger and Bella became instant friends. "Once we got into the play area, Bella spent all her time playing with McKenna. We found a dog we love," said Patty Linger, McKenna's grandmother, who came to the shelter today along with Katie Linger, McKenna's mother.
Patty Linger regularly visits the OHS Website looking for animals to adopt, and with a new fence recently completed for their large backyard, the family was ready to adopt a dog to go with their two cats. Patty came armed with a list of five dogs she wanted to see, but granddaughter McKenna was already head-over-heels for Bella, who was second on Patty's list. It just so happens that Bella had been at the OHS shelter since October 8, making her one of the "Great Eight," a group of eight dogs who have been residing at OHS the longest.
The adoption of 10,000 pets sets a new annual record for OHS since the opening of a state-of-the-art shelter on Columbia Blvd. in 2000. “These record adoptions are a tribute to the compassion of our community and the hard work of our staff and volunteers,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS executive director.
The previous high-water mark for OHS adoptions occurred in 2001, when 9,395 pets were adopted. The record number of adoptions this year is all the more impressive, said Harmon, when you consider that OHS puts no time limit on how long pets stay at the shelter and never euthanizes animals for space reasons. Last year, OHS saved 96% of the animals admitted to the shelter--more than double the national average.
Photo: Left to right, Patty Linger, McKenna Linger, Katie Linger, and Bellla.