Cat Named Andy Shares “Deep Thoughts” in Portland, Oregon

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Adopted cat Andy is the star of punny window paintings

(Sherwood, OR)—When Portland, Ore., resident Hayley Cassatt adopted her cat Andy from the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in 2011, she had no plans to make Andy a star. In fact, she hadn’t anticipated adopting Andy at all.

“I was looking around for a male orange kitty, and Andy didn’t quite fit my match,” says Hayley, “But when I saw her I fell in love.”

Although Andy was “a little scared and a little weird,” the two made an instant connection. It felt like love at first sight, but Hayley wanted a second opinion before committing to Andy. She called her dad.

“I said, ‘Dad, I can’t leave without this cat; she’s my baby,’” Hayley recalls. “He said to go for it, so I took her home.”

It wasn’t the first time Hayley had looked to her father for support. The two were quite close, sharing a love of puns, cartoons, and—of course—cats. An award-winning photographer, designer, and cartoonist, Hayley’s father also considered himself a “cat butler” to the Cassatt family cats. When he passed away from cancer in 2013, Hayley wanted to do something unique in his honor.

“Andy always sits in this window and I thought it would be so great if I put up some puns as an homage to my father,” Hayley shares.

An art teacher and professional artist herself, Hayley put up Andy’s first “deep thought” in the window of her home in Southeast Portland. Since then, she’s continued to create window art with Andy as the centerpiece. When she noticed passers-by taking photos, she started an Instagram account (instagram.com/deepthoughtsbyandy) so that people could see more of Andy and tag her in their posts.

Hayley says she usually picks puns or topical sayings for the window. Things like holidays, current events, and pop culture inspire the artwork, which changes every couple of weeks.

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Hayley doesn’t publicize her address, but enjoys when people happen upon her window, smile, and take photographs of Andy. Some people even seek out the special window just to see what Andy’s been thinking.

“My dad would have really loved how excited people are,” she says. “It really makes me happy to pay him tribute.”

In addition to honoring her father, Hayley likes the chance to be playful with her cat too. Her advice to others seeking a feline companion is to “do something fun with them.” She adds that it’s important to adopt. “There’s a lot of cats out there that don’t have homes. I don’t feel like a home is a home without a cat.”

As for how Andy feels about all the attention? Well, you’ll just have to find her window and see for yourself!

Room to Roam

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Keeping cats and wildlife safe — in style

We love our feline companions. So much so that it’s easy to forget they are natural predators, and those hunter instincts have can deadly consequences for other feathered and furry creatures in the neighborhood.

The Portland-area Audubon Society reports that nearly half of the injured wildlife cases brought to its welfare centers involve cat-related injuries. To help address this issue, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, Portland Audubon Society, and Portland-area humane societies and animal shelters partner in an annual Catio Tour.

Now in its 6th year, the Catio Tour is a tour of homes showcasing enclosures created to provide safe spaces for cats to enjoy much-needed outdoor time while protecting wildlife and songbirds.

“We’re not saying keep your cat indoors,” insists FCCO Executive Director Karen Kraus. The goal of the Catio Tour is to inspire people to build their own catio. Protected outdoor spaces for cats, Kraus says, are a win-win. Catios protect pets from cars, birds of prey, and coyotes. Kraus points out that cats can also be preyed upon.

Catio tours are still a new idea, Kraus says, but similar events have caught on in other communities such as Seattle and Santa Cruz. The first year of the tour in Portland, organizers didn’t know what to expect. But signups were overwhelming, and this year’s tour will have about a thousand attendees viewing around a dozen Catios. “Many people try to see them all,” Kraus says, while some opt to visit select properties.

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Kraus hopes the biggest takeaway from the self-guided tour is that it doesn’t take a lot of money to create appropriate outdoor experiences for family cats. The goal is to inspire people to build their own backyard feline spaces.

Catio budgets range “from frugal to fabulous, DIY to designer,” Kraus says. “If you don’t have a lot of money you can build a catio.” Some are elaborate, with elevated areas and diverse sources of stimuli. Others are simple, chicken coop-like structures on a back porch.

“It doesn’t have to be expensive,” Kraus assures. “This is stuff you can do at home. Whatever you can envision you can afford.” Almost all catios are built from supplies available at most hardware, garden or farm-supply outlets.

The Catio Tour is a natural for a community that cares about nature and the environment. Kraus hopes attendees will come away from the tour with the feeling that anyone can help cats and wildlife share a better balance. “All of us play a role in this,” she says.

Portland Catio Tour * Saturday, Sept 8 * $10; benefits FCCO * feralcats.com.


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William Kennedy is a freelance writer who lives with his wife and daughter in downtown Eugene, Oregon. He's had many furry friends in his lifetime. Currently, he's tolerated by a black cat named Midnight.

A Community of Caring

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Life can deal harsh, unexpected blows. Events like job loss, a serious medical diagnosis, or divorce can turn a person or family’s life upside-down, often straining financial resources in the process. Anyone struggling to keep home, family, and life together well knows that when we feel most vulnerable, we want our pets by our side.

Petlandia is not only passionate about pets, but demonstrably committed to keeping pets and their people fed, healthy, and together. Fortunately for those in need, innovative, local nonprofits are there to help. You can help, too: next time you are at the pet store, consider buying an extra bag for one of the organizations below. To go even further, get another to keep in your car — chances are good while driving around town you’ll encounter someone who could use it.

Providing Sustenance

Knowing that tens of thousands of people struggle to feed themselves and their pets, the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank’s primary focus is fighting animal hunger to help keep families and pets together and reduce shelter populations. This can be life-saving for humans and animals alike. One client shared that when her life went to pieces, if she’d been forced to give up her dog she might have also given up on life. 

In addition to serving more than 10,000,000 meals to date, the Pongo Fund introduced Pongo One this year, a state-of-the-art mobile veterinary hospital providing free care for the pets of very low-income and homeless people, including seniors, veterans, and more.

In Clackamas County, the FIDO Pet Food Bank distributes food for dogs and cats and works with other agencies to deliver pet food to homebound seniors as well.

House-bound senior citizens often rely on Meals on Wheels America for meals, regular check-ins, and social interaction. In the past, workers discovered hungry seniors were giving up substantial parts of their own meals to feed their pets. Now, seniors with pets can request pet food along with their own meals.

In Washington County, the Cat Adoption Team partners with Meals on Wheels to deliver pet food to homebound clients.

Hope and Care

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When families struggle just to keep everyone fed, an unexpected medical bill can be catastrophic. Routine care, which can prevent big vet bills later in a pet’s life, isn’t always an option.

Good Neighbor Vet answers this need with clinics at partner businesses like pet supply stores and neighborhood retail outlets. Affordable rates for products and services and no-appointment-needed clinics held on weekends make it accessible to some who might not otherwise be able to find time while juggling work and family to get to the vet.

PAW Team works to bring life-saving care and medicine to pets of people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Clients include the terminally ill, disenfranchised youth, and military veterans.

Animal Aid is a broad-reaching organization with deep roots in the community. In addition to operating a shelter for homeless animals, the organization partners with PAW Team to spay and neuter pets through the C-SNIP program, and operates a Care Fund for emergency veterinary assistance in partnership with Portland veterinary clinics.

Keeping Families Intact

JOIN helped nearly a thousand local people last year transition from the streets to safe housing. The organization collects pet food and supplies so people can care for their animals while rebuilding their lives.

The Pixie Project is well known for its work in pet rescue and adoption. But the organization also works to keep pets in their homes by providing food, medical care, medications, and spay/neuter surgeries. 

Resources

AnimalAidPDX.org

CatAdoptionTeam.org/catfoodbank

FidoAniMeals.org

GoodNeighborVet.com

JOINpdx.org

MealsOnWheelsAmerica.org

PAWTeam.org

PixieProject.org

ThePongoFund.org


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A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan, has been around dogs her entire life - from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.

Ask an Animal Lawyer with Elizabeth Holtz

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Q:  My neighbor moved but left his dog behind. The dog has been with us for months. Could the neighbor claim the dog as his if he returns?

First, a big thank you for stepping up and caring for this abandoned dog. If you hadn’t intervened, the dog might not be alive today. Generally, a person who abandons his dog and moves away loses the right to his “property.”  That’s right — in the United States legal system, and most legal systems around the world, animals are classified as property.

It may come as a surprise that animals are still categorized as property considering that science and commonsense tell us our companion animals are individuals with unique personalities. Most of us consider them to be members of our families. I doubt you would be as worried that your neglectful neighbor might one day want his couch back.

Abandoning an animal is a crime under most states’ cruelty laws. While animals are still considered property, the law is slowly changing. The Animal Legal Defense Fund recently filed a groundbreaking lawsuit on behalf of an Oregon horse named Justice that challenges animals’ status as property and argues that animals have the legal right to sue their abusers in court. Advances are also happening in the area of companion animal custody.

Recognizing the profound bond people develop with their companion animals, some judges are approaching companion animal custody cases much differently than they would disputes about a car or TV. Judges are increasingly considering which home is in the best interests of a dog or cat rather than approaching the case from a strict property analysis.

Your situation is much more straightforward. If your neighbor hadn’t moved but instead was hospitalized for a long period of time or forced to leave for reasons beyond his or her control, then things might be different. But as stated above, if your neighbor abandoned the dog, then you should be in the clear. Of course, nothing in life is certain. Even if the facts are on your side, someone could still contest custody. If you do find yourself in a dispute, I recommend consulting an attorney to ensure that the dog stays with the person who has stepped up and cared for her — you.

It’s also a good idea to keep records demonstrating that you are now the dog’s caregiver. For example, receipts documenting veterinary care, food, medicine, and toys provided will bolster your case if it comes to that. Licensing and microchipping your new friend under your name is also a smart move.

Thank you again for your compassion. I hope your new best friend has a long and happy life with you!


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Elizabeth Holtz works with the Animal Legal Defense Fund. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, she began rescuing injured and abandoned animals as a very young child, though she admits her mother did much of the work.

 

Celebrating Petlandia: The Wacky, Wonderful, Happy, Humane Place We Call Home

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We live in a special region. If you love mountains, forests, deserts, rivers, beaches, or the smell of roasting coffee beans, the Northwest is your happy place. But if you’re an animal lover?  This is paradise.

Where else but Portland would the city’s largest parade feature a 185-pound English Mastiff as the Canine Grand Marshal? And it wasn’t just Diesel the Mastiff presiding over the Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade — a full royal court of canines bested 20 other finalists in a fierce competition followed by a festive coronation at the Heathman Hotel.

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Of course, the canine court on convertibles aren’t our only famous parade pups. The dreamy, cotton-candy-hued Pitties in Pink float makes an appearance at most local parades, too, because we’re a community that puts our bow-legged, jowly-faced pibbles in rosy onesies and tutus for all to adore.

In the Northwest, there’s too much fun to be had — we don’t take life too seriously. And we like to bring our furry family members along for the good times. That’s why the pages of this magazine so often feature our stunning array of pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals, the pubs where you can bring your pup along for a pint and pizza, and the world’s first dog tap house – Fido’s.

We know how to have a good time. But we’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves when there’s a problem to solve or a need to meet.

The Humane Society of the United States consistently ranks Oregon second in the nation for its growing roster of animal-friendly laws and humane-minded lawmakers. (California ranks first.)

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Our animal shelters also have some of the highest save rates in the nation, thanks to the organizations that comprise the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland. They’ve dedicated years to a life-saving agenda of high-volume spay/neuter services, adoption promotions, and networking to get all homeless pets the medical, behavioral, and social support to land them in their forever homes.

This is a community where people roll out of bed on Saturday, chug a home-brewed kombucha, grab a locally-roasted coffee, and head out to build a free fence for a chained dog, distribute food to the pets of people experiencing homelessness, or stand on a busy corner gathering signatures for a worthy cause.

We’re different here. And that’s good.

Petlandia, we salute you. The following two articles, we celebrate you — the wacky, wonderful, happy, humane place we call home.

- Michelle Blake

Recreation Mecca for People and Pets

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Around here, whether we’re into snowshoeing or savasana, we often include our furry friends in the adventure.  Here’s a sampling of our regional bounty, from the playful to the practical.

These Shoes Were Made for (Dog) Walking

Petlandia is perfectly perched within easy playtime proximity to mountains, beaches, deserts, and rivers. Naturally it is also home to companies that make everything from running shoes and water socks to insulated parkas.

Now one local company is offering gear for the most popular outdoor adventure: walking with dogs! The Reshod shoe is built to protect walkers from the elements — or even their dogs' paws — whether traversing forest trails or neighborhood sidewalks. 

Portland walking coach and shoe designer Carmen Jackinsky says her Reshod design protects the tops of feet in case they get tromped on, and has a patented midsole that lets walkers easily shift their weight to counteract tugs from an exuberant pooch. Combined with treads designed to grip on slippery surfaces without trapping debris and an even-keeled “zero-drop” footbed for smooth strides, these great new kicks just might become a NW staple.

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Take it to the mat

At Purringtons Cat Lounge, yogis share the mat with adoptable cats for an hour of all-levels yoga followed by a meditative session of lap-warming, purrs, and head bumps. At the lounge on Portland’s NE MLK Boulevard — where visitors can order wine, coffee, and snacks in the cafe — staff say yoga with cats is more than a novelty. 

Purringtons helps cats find homes while encouraging people to relax and socialize among feline friends. They say it’s about joy, happy energy, and “lighting the fire of compassion.” Sunday evening classes offer a warm fuzzy way to prepare for the week ahead.

At PuppYoga in rural Forest Grove, yoga includes warm fuzzies from round-bellied puppies. Trainer Kristin Tarnowski raises assistance dogs, starting their specialized training and socialization almost as soon as they’re born. She saw a chance to socialize pups while treating visitors to adorable wiggles and cuddles, and PuppYoga was born.

Puppies arrive in a cart, like a special delivery of puppy breath and cuddles. Instructors lead classes through puppy-centric asanas like balancing in tree pose while cradling a wiggly pup.

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Rover-Friendly Romps

We also love our fun runs and walks infused with canine cheer. Many local animal charities offer dog-friendly events for all fitness levels. The biggest — Oregon Humane’s Doggy Dash — draws thousands of dog lovers to McCall Waterfront Park each year. Every May, people and pooches walk or run, eat breakfast, shop, play in fountains and doggie pools, and socialize in pure Petlandia style.

During warm-weather months, Animal Aid hosts a variety of pet-centered fitness events. Fitness Fur All features a mix of free and donation-based events including yoga with or without cats, a Bark-be-que, animal massage lessons, and a morning trek through Mt. Tabor. Offerings also include classes like pet nutrition and CPR/First Aid.

Resources:

AnimalAidPDX.org

OregonHumane.org

PuppYoga.com

PurringtonsCatLounge.com

Reshod.com 

- Michelle Blake

Beacon in animal welfare

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In the ongoing fight against animal cruelty, neglect, overpopulation, and homelessness, Petlandia is a beacon of justice and compassion. Here, we have a long history of passing laws and supporting programs that save lives.

Milestone for Oregon Humane Society

As the region’s oldest animal welfare organization, OHS has been fighting animal cruelty since before Portland had paved streets. This year, as the organization marks its 150th birthday, its Portland shelter achieves some of the highest pet adoption numbers in the western US and supports Oregon’s only dedicated team of animal cruelty investigators.

In 1884 and 1885, when mistreated horses used in farming and transportation were a common concern, OHS helped pass the first statewide humane laws. Legislators signed a law imposing a $100 fine and/or 60 days in jail for “Whoever overdrives, overloads, deprives of necessary sustenance, or cruelly beats” an animal.

Today, OHS Staff Attorney and Investigative Lead Emily Lewis says the region’s animal-friendly laws make Oregon a leader. Senate Bill 6 is a celebrated example, and one of Lewis’ favorites in her seven years at OHS. In that groundbreaking 2013 bill, lawmakers increased penalties for certain crimes against animals. It’s significant, she says, in that it “captures Oregonians’ reverence and respect for animals, acknowledging that they’re sentient, and experience pain, stress, and fear. They’re not just regular evidence in a case.”

Oregon is progressive for adding to the list of violations that are felonies, Lewis continues. “If someone has a prior conviction for certain domestic violence crimes, it can make an animal abuse crime a felony versus a misdemeanor. Also, if committed in front of a minor, that’s acknowledged.”

Lewis says she can’t imagine working in any other part of the country, but even in humane-minded Oregon, there’s always more to do. One example is the Oregon pre-conviction forfeiture law, which lets judges and humane agencies put animals in new homes while their alleged abusers await trial. In the past, shelters sometimes held animals in limbo for months or years while the legal wheels slowly turned. “Almost every year we work to make it stronger and more applicable to the cases and issues we’re seeing,” Lewis says.

At the shelter and on her unique team of law enforcement officers, Lewis says, “We’re always looking to help more.”

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Fences for Fido  Unleashes a Humane Trend

When a dozen Portland friends teamed up in May 2009 to build a free fenced yard for a dog named Chopper, they unleashed more than a dog. The friendly yellow Lab mix had watched the world go by from the end of a chain because his family couldn’t afford to fence their corner lot.

When news outlets picked up Chopper’s story, urgent pleas to help other dogs flooded in, citing dogs who had languished alone on chains, exposed to the elements, sometimes for many years.

Volunteers — this writer included — recall that the work took on a life of its own. As they formed the Portland-based nonprofit, Fences For Fido, and scrambled to meet the unrelenting need, the momentum seemed to pick them up and run with them.

Less than a decade later, that group of friends has ballooned to several hundred volunteers who’ve unleashed more than 1800 dogs in Oregon and SW Washington. They’ve also helped change Oregon tether laws and inspired others across the country to follow suit.

Oregon House Bill 2783 took effect January 1, 2014, restricting the number of hours a dog could be tethered to a stationary object and clarifies legal requirements for appropriate animal housing, bedding, and care.

In the years since, states and communities across the US have seen a proliferation of 90-plus laws either limiting or fully banning the practice of keeping dogs on chains. Fences For Fido volunteers supported many of those changes, guiding activists, providing sample bill language, and sharing tips through the group’s outreach effort, dubbed “Unchained Planet.”

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Multnomah County  Folds Up the Circus Tent

Responding to pleas from animal advocates and a flood of testimony and letters from residents, Multnomah County Commissioners voted unanimously July 12 to ban circuses and traveling shows that use exotic animals.

Local resident Andrea Kozil launched the effort in March, approaching Commissioner Sharon Meieran with proposed language for an ordinance. “Wild or exotic animals used in traveling animal displays suffer severe and extended confinement,” Kozil says, and the acts perpetuate the demand for the sale and breeding of the animals. After visiting an exotic animal show to see the practices for herself, Meieran told Kozil she’d champion the ban.

Portland resident Kelly Peterson, who works for the Humane Society of the United States, says her organization counts a total of 137 US communities and four states with similar bans. “I’m so pleased that Multnomah County has been added to such a distinguished list, especially since Oregon continues to be ranked as the second most animal-friendly state in the nation.”

- Michelle Blake

For every creature there is care

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Here in Petlandia, our quirks and eccentricities include a love of unique pets. From beloved backyard chickens to ferrets, clown fish, bearded dragons — and dogs and cats — area veterinarians are prepared with the best medical care to keep our motley menageries in top shape. With everything from high tech to high touch, following are examples of the special creature care you’ll find.

Birds of a feather

Treating feathered friends is quite unlike treating dogs or cats. So, what to do when your African Gray Parrot or Henny Penny needs a doctor? Consider The Avian Medical Center in Lake Oswego. Treating all variety of farm fowl to exotics since 1984, services include routine and preventive care, diagnostics, surgery, pharmacy, and boarding. 

For the love of cats

When finicky felines need veterinary care, transporting them in a little box to a place that smells like DOGS . . . well, we all know how hard that can be.  

Never fear. That’s the approach of cat-centric clinics like The Cat Hospital of Portland in Sellwood-Moreland. This cats-only clinic is a fear-free practice designed with feline comforts in mind. Offering a full range of veterinary care, boarding and grooming services, staff say some kitties even find visits enjoyable. 

Oh, so exotic

Imagine a modern Doctor Doolittle who treats nearly any critter that swims, flies, or slithers. Yep, in Petlandia we’ve got that.

At Northwest Exotic Pet Vet in Beaverton, staff put education at the forefront of the patient relationship, making sure caregivers have the info and resources to provide the best possible care for their exotic pets. The clinic offers a full array of service, from routine care to surgery, microchipping, and medical boarding. 

Avian and Exotic Veterinary Care in Northeast Portland is home to the only two board-certified exotics specialist veterinarians in Oregon and SW Washington, meaning they meet extra education standards. The clinic welcomes birds, reptiles, amphibians, rodents, fish, primates, and exotic canine or felines, with services ranging from pharmacy and retail sales to boarding, diagnostic care, and drop-off services. 

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Southwest Animal Hospital in Beaverton rounds out our tour of the United Nations of pet care. This clinic, which accepts donations for research to advance exotic animal medicine, emphasizes education along with a full range of wellness, diagnostic, and surgical services. 

Care for Every Need

Pets need not be exotic to need specialized care, and our community has them covered too. From cardiology to dermatology, cancer care to dental services, we have an array of special-focus practices whose doctors work alongside primary-care vets to become part of a multi-discipline care team for your dear ones. You’ll find just a sampling of them here in our resource list.

Resources:

Bird care:

AvianExoticVetCare.com

TheAvianMedicalCenter.com

Cardiology:

HeartOregon.com  

Cat Care:

PortlandCats.com

Dental:

AnimalDentalClinicNW.com 

Dermatology & Allergy:

AnimalDermatologyPDX.com

Exotics Care:

AvianExoticVetCare.com

NorthwestExoticPetVet.com

SWAnimalHospital.net

Integrative:

IrvingtonVeterinary.com

PNWVisitingVet.com

TwoRiversVet.com  

Oncology and Surgery: 

VCSSpdx.com

Rehabilitation/Injury Management: 

Back on Track at BOTVRC.com


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A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan, has been around dogs her entire life - from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.  

Celebrating Joan Dalton, founder of Project POOCH

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On any given day, Joan Dalton walks with a group along the razor-topped perimeter of MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon. She’s watchful for opportunities to praise and encourage her dog walkers — a select group of the facility’s incarcerated youth — and the dogs once considered unadoptable.

This is Project POOCH, which Dalton founded while working as vice-principal at MacLaren’s Lord High School. She saw parallels between abandoned dogs and the youth at her school. “Because of how they’ve been treated and the environment in which they were raised, they’ve acted out,” she says. “They are considered dangerous, so they’re locked up.”

Dalton saw hopelessness in too many students. Many had given up on school, most lacked skills or training, and their chances of finding meaningful employment upon returning to the community were low. Knowing the strength of the human/animal bond from research and personal experience,  she believed the dogs and youth could help each other.

Her love for animals began when her childhood best friend was a dog named Bugsy. He waited with Dalton for the school bus every morning and met her again each afternoon. They were inseparable.

One traumatic day, Bugsy caught one of the family’s chickens. Her parents took Joan and her siblings inside. Her mother pulled the blinds while her father got his shotgun. Joan knew exactly what this meant. Neither parent spoke a word.

The experience stayed with Dalton. She knew Bugsy wasn’t bad; he just hadn’t known better and had been left unsupervised.

Decades later, pondering ways to help her students earn high school credits, Dalton thought of Bugsy, and the many shelter dogs rejected for their behavior. She formed a vision to rehabilitate such dogs while teaching her students communication, job, and behavioral science skills.

She’d eventually leave her position as vice-principal and take a significant pay cut to head up POOCH, working grueling hours, even selling her house to cover living expenses.

Beginning with one youth and one dog, Project POOCH grew every year, as youth learned patience and accountability, developed caring bonds with dogs, and celebrated as previously unadoptable dogs went to permanent, loving homes. Later, youth would learn additional skills by helping remodel campus areas into a kennel and study area and creating an agility course and a meditation garden.

Over the years Dalton has worked to add more components to the program, including expanding kennels to teach construction skills and bringing in trainers, groomers, and veterinarians to deepen the youths’ knowledge. She brought in K9 officers to show youth different careers working with dogs .

The program became a model far and wide. POOCH graduates have a low recidivism rate, and Dalton has helped participants find employment upon release from MacLaren, realizing one of the program’s early goals. A number of youth have gone on to college with the help of scholarships from donors. The barrier-busting program has been featured in magazines, newscasts, and on Animal Planet. A Japanese film about POOCH airs regularly in Japan.

Now planning to hand over management to a new director, Dalton will be taking her work home with her. [NH1] She’s outfitted her home to provide sanctuary to older POOCH dogs who have never been adopted. Living among retired canines, she will write her memoir about POOCH.

“Hopefully it will raise awareness that everyone deserves a second chance. Whether it is an animal with behavior problems or a person who has been incarcerated, love and hard work can turn a life around,” she says.


POOCH dog Felix: Winning

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Eight years ago, Oregon State Penitentiary Assistant Superintendent Michael Yoder called Joan Dalton with an unusual request: he needed a dog to keep geese off the prison recreation yard.

Dalton knew just the dog — Felix. His parentage was a mystery, “So the POOCH youth compared him to photos in dog books and decided he most resembled a Munsterlander.” Experts describe the breed as affectionate, intelligent, and natural hunters that thrive on exercise.

Felix fit the description. Immediately, Dalton says, “he went wild chasing geese. Felix was a bit of a showoff as he demonstrated his skill and intelligence.”

Soon Felix began visiting the infirmary, improving inmate and staff morale. Inmate Michael McNeely, at OSP since Felix arrived, says, “Everybody loves Felix. He’s so smart; he can tell if somebody needs loving. Some people in here never get a visitor, and Felix makes a big difference to them.”

Inmate Steve Johnson handles Felix’s daily care, but others are quick to help. His popularity even pays his expenses: inmates and visitors line up to pay $1 for a photo with him.

And while the geese keep Felix challenged, so far, Felix is winning.


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Nancy Hill is a photojournalist currently living in Portland, although she anticipates moving to Salem very soon. As a child, Nancy's family always had a collie. She's continued the love of the breed all her life and now has a collie named Casper.

                       

Spotlight on...Chiweenies

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

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Size: Small, 3-11 lbs.

Grooming needs: Minimal to Medium, Depends on coat

Exercise: Moderate

Environment: Indoor, Walks Outside

Temperament:  Bold, Playful, Stubborn

Life Expectancy:  12- 20 years

Interesting Fact:  One motivator for his hybrid mix was to reduce the risk of back problems that can be occur in Dachshunds. 

Appearance:  These little ones can have coats that range from short and smooth to medium, long or wiry. The coat may be solid or bi-colored. You’ll see a variety of colors in Chiweenies, including a solid black, chocolate, red or fawn or combinations such as black and tan, chocolate and red and fawn and tan. They’re built long and low to the ground, but not as elongated as a purebred Doxie. They can sport the prick ears of a Chihuahua or the drop ears of a Dachshund, and may have a Chihuahua’s domed head or a more pointed snout like a Chihuahua or pointed snout like a Dachshund. 

Personality:  Temperament is partially inherited for all dogs, so if you’re adopting a puppy from the shelter, try to meet the mom! Chiweenies are happy with their people and a true lap dog in size and preference. They like to cuddle and are affectionate and devoted. This can go a little too far and they can be jealous when their person interacts with other people or pets, although many prove to be easy-going and sociable. This breed tends to be bold and take charge. Although small, they still make good guard dogs as they will bark at disturbances. 

Common Health Problems:  Chiweenies can be prone to hypoglycemia. Dental disease can also be a concern, particularly in the dogs whose heads and faces more resemble a Chihuahua. And while they’re bred to have fewer back problems than Doxies, some Chiweenies can develop degenerative disc disease. To manage this risk, try to keep them from jumping. They can run and play to their hearts’ content, but it’s wise to add some safety to their routine, especially around obstacles like stairs and beds.

 Snickers

Snickers

Best Match:  As both breeds are prone to barking, Chiweenies can be more vocal than is practical for apartment living.  Because of their tendency to develop strong bonds with just one or two people, they’re not the first choice for larger families, and they should always be supervised around small children. Their best match is an adopter who will enjoy taking them for about an hour of daily activity such as hiking, swimming or just a walk or jog. Activity can help manage weight, and being overweight can increase the risk of back problems or other health issues. The Chiweenie can make excellent travel companions as they are small in size and love to be with their people. 

Featured Adoptable:  Snickers is an active, sassy Chiweenie with a big personality! She is a 2 year old young lady who loves cats, dogs and kids over 10 years old. She also enjoys car rides, cuddling, and playing. She wants to play with toys and play tag with other dogs. She’s at a rescue in Aloha, Oregon, and is looking forward to joining a pack soon! Visit http://sshcr.rescueme.org or contact (503) 459-7186. 


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Megan Noes lives in New York City, with her husband, Jacob, Frenchie Bulldog, Nono, and a revolving door of foster kittens. She works for a major animal welfare organization and loves her former home in the Pacific Northwest.