Who Is Shelter Friends?
We are just like you! Shelter Friends is an all-volunteer group who saw a need in our community and took action. We started as four people meeting around a kitchen table and now have dozens of volunteers who help our local shelter animals.
Our goal is to make as many animals adoptable as possible and then move them into the right homes quickly and efficiently. We make a difference in our community — one animal at a time — because of the work of our dedicated volunteers.
Shelter Friends has also achieved an amazing milestone — a 95% live release rate! This gives the shelter a “no kill shelter” status. It shows that every animal here knows love, care and comfort, and has a full belly and safe place to live.
Our Board of Directors
Tana has always had a special place in her heart for animals, and now that her children are grown and grandchildren abound, she felt the pull to volunteer to help the animals she has loved her entire life.
Although partial to dogs, Tana has found her place helping with the kitties. After attending her first adoption event, she was quickly drawn in by the kitties and the wonderful people that stopped by to pet, hold, love and talk about their own animals, present and past.
She now oversees the care of hundreds of kittens that make their way to the Josephine County Animal Shelter and into foster homes. From bottle babies to bouncing kittens awaiting their spay/neuter appointment, the options for fostering are limitless! Interested in becoming a feline foster family? She’d love to talk with you!
Tana has two children and seven grandchildren. Two little dogs, Lina and Shelby, a new puppy named Ivy, and four cats, Missy, Piper, and Theo all manage to live together!
Tammy joined the Shelter Friends Board in July 2014 after volunteering at the shelter and off-site adoption events for the six months prior. She saw the positive impact that Shelter Friends had on successful adoptions and helping save lives of many cats and dogs and wanted to be an integral part of that important mission and work in the community.
Currently, Tammy serves as the Board Vice-President and Volunteer Coordinator. If you have questions about the role Shelter Friends has in its partnership with the Josephine County Animal Shelter or Shelter Friends’ mission, purpose and organization, contact Tammy.
If you want to volunteer, we have a variety of needs that range from weekly to monthly commitments, to helping with a task just a few times a year. You may be interested in helping at adoption events, fostering dogs or cats, transporting animals to vet appointments, being part of our cat care team or walking the dogs at the shelter. If you want to volunteer, she will find an area to suit your interests and availability.
Raleigh Smith has been an advocate for animal welfare all of her adult life — and more specifically for displaced, neglected, abandoned and lost dogs. After returning to Oregon in 2000, she was her own freelance dog rescuer in Josephine County. She could not pass up on a dog in distress — even being late to a tax audit as she passed a near starving dog on the way. She became a formal volunteer for the Josephine County Animal Shelter when she thought she could make more of an impact there than on her own.
As a volunteer at the animal shelter, she launched the Josephine County Hero Train which promotes adoption, foster and volunteerism. Raleigh promotes adoptable dogs through social media, various rescue sites and adoption events, and responds to inquiries resulting from these promotions. She also follows up with the adopting families to be sure the transition has gone smoothly, and if necessary, to offer additional guidance or referral needs. Additionally, Raleigh facilitates transport of dogs to medical appointments, to new homes outside of Josephine County and has expanded the dog foster program when it becomes necessary for dogs that need short and long term care due to age, post medical care, or situations when the shelter is nearing capacity.
As Dog Adoption Coordinator, Raleigh has successfully recruited and cultivated a dedicated team of volunteers who participate in Adoption events at various venues such as Petco, Grange Co-Op and Washington Federal Bank as well as participation in various community events such as the Boatnick Parade and The Pet and Dog Fairs at Riverside Park.
Raleigh works full-time as a residential Loan Officer with Jefferson State Mortgage and credits her employer with accommodating her passion for dogs. When she has to leave her desk in order to transport a dog to the vet or has scheduled a “meet and greet” for a prospective adopter.
Raleigh has three grown children and her empty nest is now filled with Tripod — a three-legged Yellow Lab, Sissy and Taz, her 14 year old Shih-tzu mixes and frequent visiting dogs and intermittent foster dogs.
Kate Hoffman has been with Shelter Friends from its inception. A retired teacher, she has lived in Josephine County most of her life. She and her husband, John, live outside of Grants Pass with Archer, their Australian Shepherd adopted from the Josephine County Animal Shelter; Merlin the cat who was rescued from a foreclosed house; and Arthur, an abandoned cat who used to wander through the property. Her hope for Shelter Friends is stable funding from the community and enthusiastic volunteers.
Jenny is a certified veterinary technician, who aids in the medical care of shelter animals, and helps adoptable animals receive the veterinary care they need.
Melissa has always been a passionate animal lover. Her first pet was a cat named Isis who she named after the character from the 70’s television show, “The Secrets of Isis”. Then there was Muffy, her cocker spaniel and the occasional birds she tried to save. Throughout her life, she has enjoyed the companionship of multiple furry family members.
After an adoption of a senior cat, and the passing of this cat after a few months, Melissa decided she wanted to make a positive impact on the welfare of animals, young and old. Reaching out to Shelter Friends, she offered her time and help.
As our social media manager, Melissa overseas our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Go follow us over there if you haven’t already! She understands the value of social media and an immediate need to get the word out when needs arise from Josephine County Animal Shelter.
Serving as board secretary, Melissa is essential in keeping our records and website updates.
Melissa enjoys her free time producing short videos, cuddling and playing with her two cats, taking photographs, watching crime tv and cooking. She has one grown daughter.
“It’s my mission to help pets in need by promoting compassion through adoption and awareness.”