Many reasons to visit a pet shelter

The Willamette Humane Society is more than a destination. It is a place to find a lifelong friend, a place to develop awareness and compassion, a place to learn and develop responsibility.

One of the first times we visited the Humane Society my oldest daughter was around 6 and had an extreme fear of dogs.

We decided the only way to make her comfortable with dogs was by owning a dog.

Of course, it couldn’t be just any dog. He had to be gentle, good with children, inexcitable.

Luckily, Humane Society workers are dedicated to helping dogs and cats reunite with their families forever. They are not in the business of selling; they are in the field of savings. If a pet isn’t good with young children or other pets, or has behavioral issues, they’ll let you know. For example, Bazinga, an adoptable pit bull mix, has a bio that reads, “If I am not given the proper channels to exhaust my mind and body then I might create my own activities that humans don’t seem.” not appreciate. “

Kid Trips: small libraries, a big idea

In the end my daughter, who started to look like she was screaming, running, or passed out, relaxed to the point of sitting down and petting “the most laid back dog ever. “. Needless to say, this dog came home with us, and the phobia is a thing of the past.

When I was young, I remember asking why Bob Barker ended every episode of “The Price Is Right” with a reminder, “Help control the pet population. Spay or neuter your pet. At first, it seemed like a weird ending. Second, I didn’t know what those words meant. And finally, after a short vocabulary lesson, I couldn’t understand why he was advocating fewer pets. After all, when you’re a kid you think there can’t be too many good things.

A kitten from the Willamette Humane Society in Salem is waiting to be adopted.

Fortunately, we don’t have to depend on a game show to build awareness. Willamette Humane Society does a good job of teaching through shelter visits, classroom programs, and a variety of classes and camps. Through their work, they not only provide solutions to problems, but they put faces to problems. Cute and cuddly faces.

MORE: Find previous Kid Trip columns.

“Why would anyone want to hurt this cute little dog?” A young boy asked during a visit to the shelter after his mother gave a summary of the dog’s story.

Why indeed. And, the next question we should be asking ourselves is what can we do about it?

Currently, my 7 year old daughter is pushing us to adopt a cat she saw there “because it’s cute”. Of course, if adoption isn’t an option, there are sponsorship, donation, and volunteer opportunities.

Caitlin Read, left, and Kennedy O'Day prepare to bathe Scooter during a final summer camp at the Willamette Humane Society.

A few teens I know were so excited to volunteer that they convinced their mom to accompany them until they were 18 and they could do it on their own. .

Kenzi, whose family also offers foster homes for the dogs, said: “Volunteering at the Humane Society was great. I got to know some people and walk cute dogs. I did this because I wanted to help the dogs so they weren’t that stressed out when someone came to watch them.

Humane Society thanks its host families for pets

The other teenager, Emelynn, whose passion for animals is second to none, also had a good experience as a volunteer.

“I think the best part of volunteering with the Humane Society is seeing dogs in these really sad situations find good families. You know that even after everything the dog has been through, you have helped him give him another chance to be happy and to make his own person happy. Even though it can be stressful and exhausting at times, taking care of these animals who are in desperate need of love and getting their love back is one of the most fulfilling feelings in the world.

Holly Hamlin lives in Salem with her husband and four children aged 7 and over. Kid Trips appear on Tuesdays in this section. Write to Kid Trips, Statesman Journal, PO Box 13009, Salem, OR 97309-3009. Letters can be faxed to (503) 399-6706 or emailed to [email protected]

If you are going to

  • Or: 4246 Turner Road SE, Salem
  • Hours: from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays; closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Call: (503) 585-5900
  • Website:
  • Teen volunteers: Humane-a-TEENS,

Events to come

  • Parents evening: Potty trained kids can enjoy classic pet movies, snacks, games, and crafts while parents have an evening rest, bring drinks, and leave family pets at home, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on November 13 and December 19 (limited places; registration required). Cost: $ 15 for the first child in the family, $ 10 for the second child, $ 5 for each additional child (family limit of $ 40). To reserve, contact Mandy Boyer at (503) 585-5900, Ext. 310.
  • Pet Gifts: From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on December 16 and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on December 19. $ 20 covers all supplies and equipment.
  • Youth camp for winter holidays: Let your child hang out with the animals this holiday season, make dog and cat toys, groom and socialize the dogs and come to a holiday party with games, noon to 4 p.m. from December 21 to 22 or from December 28 to 29. $ 95 per session. Register at

Previous Lost Animal Poster: Six Tips for a More Effective Sign | LA at home
Next Hero in the sky animal rescue pilot got into trouble on the ground