The Southern Oregon Humane Society turns 90 this weekend, and facility officials are inviting the public to celebrate.
The second-oldest animal welfare organization in the state — the Oregon Humane Society is the oldest — will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at its headquarters, 2910 Table Rock Road.
Attendees will be able to stroll the James M. Collier walking path, a trail built behind the facility as a safer alternative for dog walking than crossing busy Table Rock Road.
“Now the volunteers are able to walk the dogs on the property,” SO Humane Director Karen Evans said.
Open house visitors will be able to watch an agility demonstration and meet some of the animals available to be adopted.
Mae Richardson founded the nonprofit in 1928 as the Humane Society of Jackson County, a program that provided services for displaced horses and dogs, according to the SO Humane website.
In the ’90s, the organization decided to euthanize animals only if they were suffering, Evans said.
“That was pretty forward thinking back then for an organization to make that decision,” Evans said.
Facility volunteers began microchipping animals in 2005. The “Saving Train” program, which focuses on transferring animals out of high-kill facilities in other states to SO Humane, also began that year. It’s still going strong, with a transfer of 56 dogs from a Fresno shelter just this week.
“We work with certain shelters in the Redding area and a lot in the Fresno area,” Evans said.
The facility also works with Jackson and Josephine county animal shelters.
“They come here about once every other week,” said Jackson County Animal Shelter Director Barbara Talbert. “They’re looking to help us out. Sometimes it’s just a matter that we’re overloaded with dogs. Sometimes it’s ones with behavior issues or medical issues, and they’re willing to help with those, too.
“It’s a great partnership. I’m real pleased with it.”
The SO Humane facility is about 12,000 square feet, built on about 2 acres of land. There is space for about 80 dogs and 20 cats.
In 2017, SO Humane found homes for 1,587 dogs and cats and performed 797 spay/neuter procedures. It has averaged between 1,500 and 1,600 adoptions annually over the past five years.
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