The 501c3 Files
By Adam Bogle
Charity of the Month: SOHumane
Meet Katy and Jenny. Two wonderful black labs who lived a great life with their sweet owner. All was going good in their world, until one day, last December, the human they called “our sweet and loving friend,” passed away. Sadly, there was no one in the family that were able to take in Katy and Jenny.
These two dogs had lived with their human for all seven years of their lives. For black labs, this is well into middle age, if not approaching their senior years. And they had always lived together.
Sad, and missing their human, all they had was each other. But then they found the SoHumane team of staff and volunteers. The staff at SoHumane take an individual look at every cat and dog that comes into their facility and try to place them in the perfect home. And when they got Katy and Jenny, they knew that losing their human was already tough enough, but it would be extra sad if they lost each other. So the hunt was on for someone who would take them both.
This was a huge challenge on many fronts because:
1 Most people are only looking at taking on the responsibly of one new family member when they come to adopt a pet.
2 Puppies and younger dogs are preferable to those in the waning years of their lives.
3 Big dogs are tougher to place in homes, let alone two big old ones.
4 And, black dogs (and cats) are also less popular and harder to place in homes.
For weeks, Katy and Jenny sat with no takers. The good folks at SoHumane kept trying, determined to keep them together. Then on a cold, rainy day (It was not quite a dark and stormy night), SoHumane teamed up with Southern Oregon Subaru for a special event. SoHumane brought a load of dogs to the dealership and even though it was a wet, miserable day, most of the dogs were adopted that day. Except for Katy and Jenny.
Fortunately, a local radio station that was part of the Subaru event did an interview with Executive Director Kenn Altine and they got the story of Katy and Jenny on the air. This is where the angel of mercy shows up. This nice lady heard the story on the radio. She had recently lost one of her dogs, and had room in her life (and house) to take in these two sweeties.
She called and said she couldn’t get there before they closed, but asked SoHumane to hold them for her until the next day. She just couldn’t bear to have those dogs not have a home for Christmas. (Yep, another Christmas miracle. Good enough for a Hallmark movie I think.) True to her word, this angel showed up and took Katy and Jenny home. And as she was driving away with them in her car, she was heard to say “We are all going for Cheeseburgers now.” I can only imagine that In-N-Out was calling to them.
This is just one of the hundreds of happy endings that SoHumane engineers every year! Thankfully, SoHumane is a no kill shelter, but they go even further than that with a program called the Saving Train. The objective of the Saving Train is simple: to save as many lives as they can while alleviating companion animal overpopulation through spaying and neutering. In addition, by bringing animals to the SoHumane facility, the other shelters they work with have more space available in their facilities for displaced pets in their communities. This includes the public shelter in our own community, which in 2012 began transferring animals to SoHumane in an effort to help reduce their euthanasia rate. According to one shelter in Northern California with whom they partner, their euthanasia rate went down by over 30% in 2010 thanks solely to the Saving Train.
SoHumane was first founded by Mae Richardson (you might recognize the name from the Central Point elementary school named after her) who founded the Humane Society of Jackson County in 1928 as an all-volunteer organization that initially provided services for displaced dogs and horses.
Today, SoHumane.org provides quality care for dogs and cats while working to make a difference in the pet overpopulation problem. In 2015, SoHumane helped 1,822 companion animals find a home. That’s more than 150 a month!
TEN Realty Group is proud to have SOHumane as our Charity of the Month for February. Bring more love into your life and adopt a new friend.
Adopt or donate today if you can. They are located at 2910 Table Rock Road in Medford and can be reached at 541-779-3215. Or follow them on Facebook to see their latest rescues and get info to attend their annual fundraising events.