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Facility upgrades, by order of King Jerry

Exciting renovations underway at the Animal Aid shelter this year

First thing’s first: Yes, I’m adorable. You were all thinking it; I’m just saying it. The name’s Jerry, and from the corner office that I kindly share with our Animal Care Coordinator, I think it’s safe to say I basically rule the shelter. You should hear me ordering my subjects around: “Bring me foooooood!” “Play with meeee!” “Scratch my chiiiiiiiin!” But enough about me right now. I want to tell you a little bit about the plans I’ve got my subjects working on for improvements to Animal Aid’s facility. See, I want Animal Aid to be able to help more cats like me, and they agree,

which is why I’ve got them working on a remodel of the upper and lower levels of the shelter. You read that right: It’s time for shelter 2.0, people! Phase 1 of this remodel focuses on the shelter’s basement space and will create two new cat isolation rooms and a conference/work room, in addition to updating the emergency dog kennel, the laundry room, and the remaining storage space. As a result of this phase of the remodel, Animal Aid will be able to intake more cats and better isolate sick cats from the main population, cutting down on illness within the cat population as well as time spent in isolation. It will also create a dedicated multipurpose room that can be used for meetings, projects, and public events and better equip the basement space to help the staff and volunteers fulfill Animal Aid’s mission. The remodel is kicking into high REMODEL CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Knittin’ for the kittens

Volunteer-designed cat hats and cat illustrations give a whole new meaning to “cute and cozy”

Baby hats. Santa hats. Wizard hats. Pointy Elf Hoods. You name the hat type, and Animal Aid volunteer Leisa Refalo can probably have it knit for you before you can say, “Thanks! You’re one cool cat, Leisa!” And a cool cat she is indeed, which is why we’re so happy and thankful that the theme of Leisa’s knitting binge this year has been one of our all-time favorites: the cats of Animal Aid! Matching the furry shades of our shelter cats and accompanied by a watercolor portrait of each cat (she calls them doodles; we call them masterpieces), Leisa’s cat hats were an instant favorite. “I brought them with me when I went to volunteer, suspecting that I could find someone to wear them,” she said. “They were snatched up by the staff, and other volunteers who saw them wanted one too.”

Shelter Spotlight: Paulette They say the eyes are the window to the soul; if so, mine would show that I’m kindhearted and devoted. I’m Paulette, and I just love people. Outgoing, friendly, and a great conversationalist, I’m a sociable gal who loves playtime as much as lap time. I’m okay sharing my accommodations with other cats, but I really love my own space, too. I came from a home with 10 cats, so I’m ready for some me time and human TLC. Stop by the shelter soon to visit me—I can’t wait to be friends!

When not volunteering for Animal Aid (which she began doing last November) or spending time with her own kitties (one of them an Animal Aid alum, formerly known as Elaine and now named Jiji), Leisa works for Kaiser Healthcare designing and developing mobile apps. She is also currently CAT HATS | CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Animal Aid, Inc. | 5335 SW 42nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97221 | 503-292-6628 |

Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Brown Philbeck “Susan is a wonderful volunteer not only because of her serious passion for the animals, but because of her outgoing personality and the positivity that she brings to the shelter,” said Animal Aid volunteer Becca Ferguson. “The four-legged residents love her cuddles and kisses. The two-legged residents enjoy her sense of humor, work ethic, and enthusiasm,” added fellow Animal Aid volunteer Pat Jones. As you can see, Susan Brown Philbeck has a bit of a fan club around here, as well she should: A multi-day cat socializer, emergency dog kennel volunteer, event assistant, and goddess of the clean laundry, there’s rarely a task Susan isn’t ready and willing to handle. What’s more, she does it with kindness, a smile, and a heart full of love for the animals. “I adore them,” she said of the animals. “I absolutely love it when a cat will climb in my lap for a nap or jump up on my shoulders and wrap themselves around my neck. And seeing a hard to

place cat or dog find its forever home is the best thing ever.” Now going on her fourth year of volunteering for Animal Aid, Susan discovered the shelter after moving to Portland from Florida, where she volunteered at the Humane Society of Pinellas and the Suncoast Animal League. When not at Animal Aid, Susan enjoys spending time with her two rescue pets (a nearly nineteen-yearold cat named Chloe and nine-year-old dog named Teddy), her two-year-old grandson, and several of her fellow Animal Aid volunteers, whom she’s become close friends with. “I chat up Animal Aid to everyone I know,” she said. “Whether they are looking to adopt or know someone who is, or if they are interested in volunteering, I tell them how rewarding it is, how much fun they will have, how much they will enjoy the staff and volunteers, what an outstanding shelter it is regarding the excellent health care provided for all our animals, how clean

it is, and how diligently we look for the very best match for each cat or dog—I think we pay more attention to that than just about any other shelter.” Thank you, Susan! Everyone at Animal Aid appreciates you very much!

Tips from the Vet: The human-animal bond Dr. Andy Frost | Pacific Veterinary Clinic

Happy Tails: Samir We are thrilled to share the news that sweet Samir found his forever home this past February. His mom, Meagan, said that Samir has adjusted very well to his new home and likes to sleep in her bed with her at night. Samir has also found a friend in Meagan’s roommate’s pet, Houdini, who is a big black cat just like Samir. “Samir likes to bathe Houdini’s head. We call them brothers for looking so similar and how they act around each other,” she explained. “Samir is doing well, and I love him so much!”

It is well recognized that humans obtain health benefits from our association with animals. Pet owners recover from surgeries and heart attacks more quickly and at higher rates than nonpet owners. Stroking a pet prior to or during a stressful event lowers a person’s blood pressure even more than holding a family member’s or friend’s hand. The benefits of therapy animals in hospitals, nursing homes, or as individual companions are so established that they are allowed in places that public health laws normally restrict animal access. Is this a onesided relationship? Do animals gain health and emotional benefits from their associations with us? Clearly, a well-cared for pet in a home obtains the obvious advantages of good nutrition, adequate shelter, appropriate vaccination and parasite prevention, spaying/neutering, a healthy environment, and mental stimulation. Beyond this, a pet in

a home gets the positive effects of recurring social and play interactions and continuity—not just providing physical and mental exercise, but a strengthening of the social context. There is more recent research on dogs’ ability to copy behaviors that humans “model,” something previously thought unique to humans (now known to be done by dolphins and other species) and another clue that positive dog and human interactions are absolutely “wired” into both species’ behaviors. Canines and humans have co-evolved for about 32,000 years, changing dogs’ physiology (different dietary needs than wolves and wild dogs, changes in brain chemistry, etc.), as well as social structures. More research by ethicists is being published all of the time on how we humans influence our animal companions in addition to the ways animals have and continue to exert positive effects on us, our societies, and our environment.

Animal Aid, Inc. | 5335 SW 42nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97221 | 503-292-6628 |

Charming chi looking to be your Buddy

Hi there! Buddy’s the name, and being ridiculously cute is my game. See how my one ear is floppy while the other one is perky? I mean, C’MON, what’s a dog gotta do? I’m currently chillin’ in a foster home with a couple other chihuahuas, and sometimes my foster mom takes me to work with her so I can supervise the workload and make sure everyone’s taking the appropriate number of “Let’s pet Buddy” breaks. At five years old, I’m young enough to enjoy lots of walks and old enough to have manners, and I love to play chase with anyone who’s interested. Oh, and get this: I’m eight pounds of charm. Yeah, you read that correctly: I am composed entirely of charm.

So, look, I’m not really sure how you’re still reading this instead of rushing to get me, but I guess that’s a good thing because you’re gonna need to fill out an application first. Don’t worry, you can find everything you need at And while you’re on the Animal Aid website, be sure to check out the video on my page—it’s pretty much guaranteed to be the best 18 seconds of your life. I’m ready for my forever home where I can be someone’s forever buddy. I’m not sure what the hold up is, but I’ll practice my patience and look to add another ounce to my charm. My gotcha day’s coming soon, I know it— and I’ve gotta say, I have a good feeling you might be the one.

Shedding Her Hair for Animal Care

Animal Aid celebrates St. Pawtrick’s Day, raises over $7,000 toward emergency vet care for Portland pets

Your donations mean the world to our animals

Since 1969, Animal Aid has helped thousands of companion animals through rescue and adoption, financial support of spay/neuter, and by providing funds to guardians unable to pay for urgent veterinary care. Our work is made possible through your generous support: •

$60 provides a month of food

$100 provides four vet exams

$150 provides a specialist exam

$300 provides a dental cleaning

$500 provides 10 spays/neuters

REMODEL | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 gear soon, and I can’t share all of the details with you. Look for a lot more information on this project to hit your doorstep in the coming months, and please consider donating to Animal Aid this year to help them help more animals like me. Don’t forget to tell them King Jerry sent you. CAT HATS | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

On Saturday, March 18, Animal Aid hosted St. Pawtrick’s Day, a benefit event for the Animal Aid Cares Fund, which provides funding for urgent vet care through a partnership with local vet clinics. The event took place at Jack’s Tap Room & Grill, located just down the road from the shelter. In addition to food, drink, and bingo, the main attraction for the night was the culminating event of the “Shedding Her Hair for Animal Care” campaign: Animal Aid’s Resource Coordinator, Julie, shaving her head in the name of the animals. In total, this campaign raised $7,405 for the Cares Fund, exceeding our $5,000 goal by 48 percent. We are so thankful to Jack’s for hosting us for the evening and in awe of our supporters for their generosity.

working on a Certificate in Illustration through Pacific Northwest College of Arts. “In the short term, I want to make little personalized illustrations and animations for family and friends. The response to the little drawings is so good that I have been trying to think of other ways to use them, including enamel pins, greeting cards, candles,” Leisa explained, going on to say, “There seems to be more demand [for cat hats] than I can keep up with, so we are talking about having a Knitting with Kitties event at the shelter to teach people who want to learn how to knit and have a knitting circle for people who do. Cats are fun with yarn.” We dig the way you think, Leisa. Thank you for making Animal Aid apparel the height of fashion in Portland!

Animal Aid, Inc. | 5335 SW 42nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97221 | 503-292-6628 |

Animal Aid, Inc. 5335 SW 42nd Ave Portland, OR 97221


Passionately Serving Animals and the People They Love

DID YOU KNOW? In addition to Animal Aid’s free-roaming

shelter for cats and foster program for cats and dogs, we manage two community programs: The Animal Aid Cares Fund, a partnership with Portland veterinarian clinics to provide funding for urgent medical care, and C-SNIP (Canine Spay/Neuter in Portland), a partnership with PAW Team to provide affordable spay/neuter assistance to homeless and extremely low-income Portland-area residents.

ANIMAL AID STAFF Paige O’Rourke Director of Operations Joe Martinez Animal Care Manager Julie Toporowski Volunteer & Finance Manager BOARD OF DIRECTORS Beth Ernst, President Janet Black,Vice President Tina Arth, Secretary Debbie Burns, Treasurer Nicole Baker Cheryl Bolotin Meagan Cuthill







Visit Animal Aid or go to to see all of the cats and dogs available at our shelter or through our foster program.

UPCOMING EVENTS DINE & DONATE: KELSEY FRIED RICE Date: April 1-30 Location: Shandong Restaurant (3724 NE Broadway Street) Details: For the entire month of April, Shandong Restaurant will be donating 25% of sales from the Kelsey Fried Rice to Animal Aid! SPROUTS & SPARKLES: PLANT AND JEWELRY SALE Date: Saturday, May 13, from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Location: SW Autobody (4200 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy) Details: Get everything you need for an amazing season of gardening at Animal Aid’s plant sale, where we’ll also have beautiful last-minute Mother’s Day jewelry items! FURLANDIA:THE AGE OF PROSPERITY Date: Friday-Sunday, May 26-28, from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Location: Sheraton Airport Hotel (8235 NE Airport Way) Details: Join us at Furlandia, Portland’s premier anthropomorphic arts convention, where Animal Aid will be the charity of honor. PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL BEERFEST Date: Friday-Sunday, June 23-25, noon to 10:00 p.m. Location: North Park Blocks (Pearl District) Details: We’ll once again be pouring cold beers, raffling hot items, and talking up Animal Aid!

Animal Aid, Inc. | 5335 SW 42nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97221 | 503-292-6628 |

Animal Aid Spring 2017 Newsletter  
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