Our little family had a very rough year a few years back. We lost three of our pets, all within a year. Our beautiful St. Bernard, Tonka, our sweet Siamese, Tipsy, and our beloved kitty named Toots. They all passed of general, old-age conditions. My husband and I spent their entire lives with them, but our kiddos were so young, they barely remember them. Because of our tremendous losses, we have been on a “pet break” for a while now. We told our kids we just needed some time for our hearts to heal before bringing another pet into the house. We gave our oldest child a timeline of when we can get a new pet and said that we could adopt another animal by the time she is 9. It seems like yesterday we made this promise to her, and now: we are a month away! This has prompted us to start looking into places in Portland that can help us find an animal (or two! But don’t tell my kids) to adopt. Here are some places we have found. 

Oregon Humane Society-

OHS seems to have always been the “go-to” place for animal adoptions. Currently, they are not open for walk-throughs. There is an option to peruse the website for dogs, cats, and small animals. There is even a section for horses and farm animals, but there aren’t any available currently. If there is an animal you are interested in adopting, you can make an appointment to go through the application process and meet the animal. They also offer ways to support OHS, such as fostering an animal, sponsoring an animal, donating, or volunteering. Here is a link to their website: https://www.oregonhumane.org/.

Cat Adoption Team-

The C.A.T. website boasts that it is the “largest, non-profit adoption guarantee shelter in the Pacific Northwest.” They are now open by appointment. They are in Sherwood, OR. My sister recently adopted two cats from here and said it was a wonderful, effortless experience. They filled out an application, had a short interview, and walked out with two beautiful feline family members. Services include fostering, adopting, a cat “thrift store,” a volunteer program, and a cat food bank. A wonderful organization. Here is the link for more info and to see the cats that are currently up for adoption: https://catadoptionteam.org/.

Animal Aid PDX-

Animal Aid has been dedicated to the welfare of animals in Portland since 1969. This company has cats and dogs available for adoption. The cats are available to meet by appointment, but the dogs are in temporary foster homes, so an appointment needs to be made to check them out. This organization has several community resources and partners that help with its important mission. It looks like one of their regular events is “Yoga with Cats” via Zoom. Like the companies above, Animal Aid offers opportunities to volunteer and donate. Here is a link to their website: https://www.animalaidpdx.org/.

Family Dogs New Life shelter-

Described as a “no-kill dog shelter devoted to rescuing needy dogs of all breeds, ages, and backgrounds,” Family Dogs New Life shelter sounds like an incredible service. Since their beginning in 2004, they have placed over 15,000 dogs into new homes. They offer dogs for adoption, dogs for foster care, and give an option for people who must surrender their dogs (with a priority for dogs who are most likely to be euthanized). The founder, Tasha, is an angel on earth. She and her husband bought a 7-acre property to help as many animals as possible, even beyond the shelter. They currently have 9 dogs, 4 cows, 3 goats, 2 donkeys, 7 chickens, and 2 pigs. This company has a lot to offer and a lot to give. If you are considering adopting a dog, this would be a great choice that would help a lot. Here is a link to their website: https://www.familydogsnewlife.org/.

Oregon Dog Rescue-

ODR is in Tualatin, Oregon. This organization needs a lot of support because they receive no government funding. They only operate through the adoption fees and have many costs like maintenance of the facility, medical costs for flea treatments, and deworming of all the animals, food, and other necessary services. They also offer some adorable ODR merchandise that helps to support the organization. Other ways to support are through 1) Bottle drop. Pre-tagged bags are available at the ODR location 2) Fred Meyers Rewards. Simply using your Fred Meyers rewards cards while shopping helps out ODR 3) Amazon smile lists ODR and their wish list if you choose to support. The website states that ODR “ALWAYS” needs foster families for their dogs. If you choose to foster a dog, they will supply you with necessities like crates, food, toys, bedding, and training instructions. There are some adorable dogs up for adoption on the website. Here is the link: https://www.oregondogrescue.org/.

The Pixie Project-

The Pixie Project offers adoption, pet owner education, and free/low-cost spay and neuter services to homeless or low-income pet owners. They are located on NE MLK Blvd. in Portland. This company is amazing. They also have a veterinary clinic that helps homeless/low-income pet owners’ animals. They currently do not need foster homes for dogs but do need people interested in cats, with a focus on adult cats. There are some beautiful animals with very sweet stories on the website. Here is the link: https://www.pixieproject.org/.

Lancaster 4 Dog Rescue and Cat-

This non-profit is in Portland. They are near NE 141st Ave. in Northeast Portland. Their goal is to educate the community about the importance of vaccinations, overpopulation and to help animals. They offer kittens and cats, puppies, and dogs. They have animals available through their service and provide links to “Petfinder,” “Adopt-A-Pet,” and “Rescue Me” on their website. The adoption fee ranges from $25 to-500 depending on what type of animal and their age group. Their services include fostering, adoption, and they offer surrender forms/services. For more info, head to this link: https://l4dr.org/.


It looks like our family will have a tough choice in choosing just one of these great organizations to support. I wish we could help them all. I am so amazed at the people who decide to create these organizations. Our world is so fortunate to have such selfless, passionate people. Recently, one of our friends fostered a dog for a few months. After the dog was placed into the permanent home she was waiting for (preplanned), it only took our friend a few days to decide that she wanted to foster another one. She has been doing it for quite some time now. Small acts of kindness like that can make such a difference in an animal’s life and impact the most underserved shelters that try to aid these animals. We will definitely be adopting when we add a new member (or two) to our family. It will be an amazing journey, and I can’t wait to help the shelter and animal(s) by supporting a local pet organization by adopting. Whether you volunteer, donate, purchase merchandise, foster, or adopt, you are greatly helping these great organizations—best of luck to you all in embracing our local animal adoption centers here in Oregon. 

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