PORTLAND, OR — It’s not just about how much that puppy is at the window anymore. Animal shelters face greater challenges as veterinary care becomes more complex and more animals need care in order to be adopted.
Starting July 1, two of Oregon’s largest shelters – the Oregon Humane Society and the Willamette Humane Society are merging into one organization with two locations.
There will be Oregon Humane Society in Portland and, in Salem, Willamette Humane Society will become Oregon Humane Society-Salem.
“The alignment of our missions and the work we have already done together prepares perfectly for this next step as WHS becomes part of OHS,” said WHS Executive Director BJ Anderson.
“I anticipate that we will have even more resources available to care for pets and serve our community.”
Anderson will stay at least until the merger is complete so he can help with the transition. Agency officials say it could take up to two years for the merger to be completed.
Representatives from both agencies said the decision to merge was made after years of discussion and analysis. It is also becoming a more frequently traveled path in the industry.
The Washington Humane Society, San Diego Humane Society, and Wisconsin Humane Society have all merged in recent years.
OHS President and CEO Sharon Harmon will hold the same titles for the merged organization.
“Communities in the state’s two largest metropolitan areas will benefit from the combined experience of some of Oregon’s most skilled animal welfare professionals,” she said.
The two organizations are used to working together.
They have conducted joint investigations into cases of animal neglect, worked together on crisis response, and worked together to lobby the state legislature for stronger protections for animals in the state. Oregon.