Dignified Pet Services presents 'People in the Neighborhood'
Justin Timm's bucket list has only one item on it, and it involves a camel.
"For as long as I can remember, the only thing I've had [on my list] is riding a camel down to the local bar to have a beer," he says. That local bar is Wanker's Corner in Wilsonville, the town where Justin grew up. "I know the owner there very well; spent many a night in there."
The scenario is not as far-fetched as it seems: In addition to being a professional auctioneer (Justin Timm Auction Service), Justin raises llamas and alpacas with his family, and camels are their cousins. His family adopted a Bactrian named Betty Boop (for her two lovely humps) and a dromedary named Daisy Mae about five years ago. "They're just so freakishly unique," Justin laughs. "There is nothing about them that makes you think that this thing was put together correctly."
The girls are such an attraction that Justin trots them out during the holidays when he sells Christmas trees at the farm. It's just another of the many irons he has in the fire — although all of them in some way involve animals.
"I wanted to be a veterinarian, or I wanted to own a zoo," Justin recalls of his childhood. "I've always easily understood animals. I'm dyslexic, and so growing up, school was incredibly difficult for me and dogs, cats, animals of all types, were just very therapeutic."
He had plenty to bond with as a kid: In addition to llamas and alpacas, the Timm family had ponies, horses, cows, goats, sheep, pigeons, quail, rabbits, lizards, parrots, and of course, dogs and cats. Justin now has a smaller version of that menagerie on his own place in Sherwood, which he shares with his girlfriend Nikki.
One of the three resident canines is Walter, a 4-year-old Pit Bull from the Oregon Humane Society. It was his relationship with Walter, and animals in general, that led Justin to specialize in benefit auctions — but the vocation isn't something that came naturally to this strapping country boy with an easy, megawatt smile.
"It definitely started later in life," Justin says. "I was at an alpaca auction, and I was friends with the auctioneer, and he made the statement that if anyone had a fear of public speaking, the best thing they could do was to go to auction school. I happen to be an individual who has a fear of public speaking, so I took his advice and went."
He had no intention of actually becoming a professional auctioneer, but eventually, he fell in love with the excitement as well as the "chant" — at which he's become very good. Fences For Fido has seen a significant uptick in donations at their galas since Justin started working with them and the TP Forever Foundation — which raises money for a scholarship program at Oregon State University and for the Oregon Humane Society — more than tripled their numbers since Justin came on board.
He's quick to give credit for that success to the hard work and creativity of the event organizers, but Justin does acknowledge that having a professional involved can help. "There's just a different skill set involved with auctioning as opposed to emceeing," he says.
While he enjoys doing commercial sales, Justin does have a preference for benefit auctions — not only because they tend to be more fun, but also because he understands the importance of rallying support for important causes. In honor of his mother, who passed away from melanoma, Justin and his family have created Beth's Walk, a yearly event at Sandalie West Nine Golf Course.
"It's a 2-mile walk around the course my mom loved," Justin explains. "This year's event raised funds to build a shade structure at Memorial Park in Wilsonville."
Obviously, Justin is dug-in when it comes to this area. "I'm definitely a homebody," he admits. "My dad is a retired airline pilot, so I've had the luxury of being able to travel. I went to Australia as a kid — went to 17 animal parks when I was there. It was the only thing I was interested in. As soon as I leave I can't wait to get back to farm stuff and animal stuff."
That preference — as well as a passion for the music of Chris LeDoux — make Justin’s footwear a natural. You’ll usually find this auctioneer/llama-wrangler in cowboy boots, and it’s likely what he'll be wearing when he parks one of his camels at Wanker's Corner. "It's probably going to happen sometime in the next couple of years," says Justin. "And then I won't have a bucket list!"
So the only question left is one hump...or two?
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood.
Michele Coppola is a Portland-based air personality for 99.5 The Wolf and copywriter for Entercom Radio. When she's not talking, writing, or pursuing quality couch time with husband Bryon and their dogs, Cindy and Lucy, she's also a proud volunteer for Fences for Fido and Family Dogs New Life Shelter.