Ms. Thunder

Is your home without a canine companion right now? Are you a stay at home parent or retired and just don’t feel it is the right time to adopt? You want to travel from time to time and don’t think it is fair to take on a new life long companion just yet? BUT- you need a canine fix- a snuggle up, just a you and me for a bit? Is your home kinda of quiet- that a loving gal would fill your heart right now? Do you have an empty nest? no cats, chickens or any other creature- but maybe a gold fish in a bowl? Want to help one in need for the short term? Can you commit to fostering the most lovable and people friendly young lady while she finishes up her heartworm treatment?

I’m Thunder! I’m a 3 year old female who weighs 56lbs. I spent my whole life living with just my dad, so I would do best in a quiet home for now. Although I love older children.  I am a faithful companion, and if you spend time with me, chances are I will roll over for a belly rub. I’m pretty protective of my space–I may bark at strangers and other dogs, but when I’m on a leash, I am kind when I meet strangers. I am very picky about dogs I invite in my circle. My very best friend Sting has since been adopted-.I will do best as a People and Me- pooch- and maybe a gold fish in a bowl. I am a happy girl- and want a happy family.  I am up for adoption- but until I find the right home- I’d love a foster home while I finish my treatment. Details below.


The shelter found out that I have heartworm, a parasite that is very treatable! Shelter Friends is paying for my treatment, so I will have a few extra instructions when I find my home. Once treated, I will be free and clear and heartworm free! HOUSE-TRAINED Yes HEALTH Vaccinations up to date, spayed / neutered, special needs. Thunder has Heartworm. Her treatment is being sponsored by Shelter Friends! Treatment costs are covered by their organization and once treated, she will be heartworm-free and like any other normal dog!. PREFERS A HOME WITHOUT Cats, children.

Available at the Josephine County Animal Shelter 1420 Brookside Blvd. Grants Pass, across from the Grants Pass Airport. You are encouraged to call the shelter at 541 474-5458. When calling please press option 0. Hours open to the public 10 am – 4 pm every day except Sunday and posted holidays. Up to date on shots, spayed or neutered and micro chipped. You are encouraged to make every effort to visit the shelter for a meet and greet. Staff available to assist. You can walk on the trails and interact in the play yards. Unless otherwise noted, we can not say if your dog does well with cats, livestock or chickens or with the dogs you may already have in your home or at dog parks. So please, if you have a dog, please arrange to bring for a meet and greet. Current vaccinations, spayed or neutered and micro chipped.


John M. Hoffman Pet to Vet Memorial Presentation

During our Year in Review Pawty, we honored a long-time Shelter Friends supporter who passed away earlier this year. Below is the beautiful presentation made by Tammy Moore.

A long time supporter of SF had a vision of uniting shelter animals with veterans that had a need. He recognized how a cat or dog can help alleviate some of the anxiety, depression or PTSD issues that many of our military veterans may face.

This supporter wanted to sponsor $100 per adoption towards the adoption fee as well as miscellaneous supplies that may be needed, such as food, bedding, a leash, etc.  His sponsorship also conditioned upon his anonymity.  He did not want attention placed on him as the donor. He merely wanted to help a veteran out that has a need and would benefit from this gift.

This is the way he led his life – by helping people.  He helped people throughout his teaching career – never ceasing to learn more about the world around him, always wanting to share that knowledge, and this continued long after he retired from teaching.

He was an artist who loved making things with his hands and was a very gifted potter.  Each morning when I drink my coffee from a mug he made, I remember him fondly.

He was an exceptional gardener and especially enjoyed hybridizing beautiful varieties and colors of daylilies and irises.  Again, I think fondly of him as the daylilies in my garden that he gave to me bloom each spring.

Our first Pet to Vet placement “Lucky”, this cute little white dog!. Within a few weeks of having Lucky in his home, his new dad relayed to me how his anxiety seemed to melt away as Lucky would sit in his lap each evening after work. It was as if Lucky knew his very special role.

We also placed a cat, a one eyed cat, with a veteran family. The dad of the family and Bagel quickly bonded and, again, it was as if Bagel knew their relationship was different and special. Animals have an uncanny ability to sense what their people need!

This supporter passed away peacefully in his home in February of this year.  And Shelter Friends is honored and proud to carry on the Pet to Vet Program that he started with his vision of uniting pets with veterans in need. The program has aptly been renamed the John M. Hoffman Memorial Pet to Vet Program.  We had a plaque made to honor him and his program and it will be displayed at the Josephine County Animal Shelter.


2018 Volunteer of the Year – Teresa Roche

We are pleased to announce our 2018 Volunteer of the Year! Teresa Roche!

Below is the presentation made by Tammy Moore at our Year in Review Pawty!

  • Every year SF considers all our volunteers that help with a variety of tasks and we have a difficult time selecting a person to receive our Volunteer of the Year Award. Each task is important and each volunteer is valued by all of us and the shelter staff, not to mention the animals!
  • This year we chose a volunteer who has been steadfast, reliable and has helped out in countless ways over the past three years.
  • She helps at dog adoption events where she transports, walks, spends time with the dogs and potential adopters to ensure good matches.
  • She helps out with the cat care team where she ensures the feline guests have clean quarters and also receive some affection and love while she’s there.
  • She has fostered small litters of kittens and done an amazing job socializing them, getting them healthy if they started out a bit compromised and getting them ready to be adopted. And this year, after attending our Kitten Lady event, she wants to take on the challenge and reward of fostering bottle babies as well!
  • She walks dogs at the shelter and even found a perfect companion to adopt into her own family.
  • And behind the scenes, she posts our Pet of the Week that you see posted on the KLDR website and our SF page each Monday morning.

I’m so pleased and proud to announce that it was our unanimous decision to present our 2018 Volunteer of the Year award to Teresa Roche.

Little Paws with Hannah Shaw-Kitten Lady

Please join us for a fun-filled day of workshops on saving the most at-risk feline populations: neonatal kittens and community cats. Hosted by Shelter Friends and Rogue Valley Humane Society, this event features social media activist, Hannah Shaw, also known as the “Kitten Lady.” In addition to the workshops, a meet and greet will be held after the event for those with specially purchased tickets. We will also have non-profit organizations from around Oregon for you to meet with and learn how you can get involved at your local level. Schedule of events:

• 9:00am – 10:00am – Meet the Rescues and Shelters.

This a one-hour opening session where you’ll be able to check in to the event and sign up to volunteer with organizations that need your support.

• 10:00am – 12:00pm – First workshop with Kitten Lady: Saving Kittens’ Lives!

This is a comprehensive and fun way to learn more about fostering in your community. It will cover:

  • Basic care for orphan neonatal kittens
  • Feeding, bathroom, and medical care
  • How to set up your home for kittens
  • Self-care and compassion fatigue

• 12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch break

We will provide snacks and refreshments for all attendees. This will also be another opportunity for you to visit with shelters and rescues.

• 1:00pm – 3:00pm – Second workshop with Kitten Lady: Community Cats 101

This segment will cover:

  • Background information about community cats, their behavior, and their needs
  • Detailed information about why and how TNR saves cats’ and kittens’ lives
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to safely and humanely trap cats and kittens
  • How to handle various scenarios including moms with babies, friendly cats, feral kittens, and more
  • How to provide effective and positive ongoing care to a colony of cats

• 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Mingling of guests

You’ll have one last opportunity to visit with the attending shelters and rescues! During this time, there will be a meet & greet with Hannah in a separate building for those with meet & greet tickets, which can be purchased at checkout.

• 3:15pm – 4:15pm – Private Kitten Lady Meet & Greet!

Make sure you purchase your ticket at checkout. These are limited to the first 50 guests. Everyone with a ticket will be able to meet her and snap a photo!

We will also be having a Kitten Shower to gather much needed supplies for the kittens we care for. If you bring an eligible item from our want list, you will be entered into an event raffle. List and details to come.

We can’t WAIT to see you!

Click Here to Purchase Tickets

Visit for more information on Hannah Shaw and her work saving lives.

2017 Holiday Letter

Happy Holidays!

Another year has passed, and we are helping more animals than ever find their forever homes. The Josephine County Animal Shelter and Shelter Friends are working together to Make a Difference One Animal at a Time.

Please take a moment to read our Holiday Letter. We need your help to continue our foster program and assist with increasing the number of animals we can help. We want to say yes every time we’re asked!

Click here to read our Furry Holiday Letter.

Warmest wishes for a joyous holiday season.

Shelter Friends

Item of the Month

Fall is coming!

Here’s September’s Item of the Month!

HOSES! Big ones, small ones, new ones, used ones, short ones, long ones…we need em! The shelter goes through A LOT of hoses and are always in need.

There are several online shopping sites where you can purchase and have your items shipped to the shelter! You can bring your used hoses and drop off directly to the shelter.

Josephine County Animal Shelter
1420 Brookside Blvd
Grants Pass, OR 97526

The shelter is located across from the Merlin airport. Hours are M-F, 10:00-4:30 and Saturday 10:00-4:00. The shelter is closed between 12:00-1:00 for lunch and on Sunday’s.

We also have a convenient drop-off location at Star Body Works on Union St in Grants Pass.

Thank you!

Heartworm Heroes -Next Chapter

Heartworm Heroes is a progressive and innovative program administered by Shelter Friends for dogs which have been identified as candidates under the charge and control of the Josephine County Animal Shelter.

In the past when a dog tested positive for heartworm disease, they were euthanized because of the many challenges treatment in a shelter setting entailed.  The primary being cost to treat, limited kennel space and the need for zero stress to the animal during the 120+ days of treatment.

If a shelter facility does not test for heartworm, they could potentially adopt a medically infirm dog; If they test for heartworm, the animal may be euthanized.  It is always disheartening to euthanize a perfectly, adoptable dog but for the heartworm disease.

In the beginning of 2016, a pilot program was launched with the intake of a young pit bull mix, Maverick Macphail. Maverick was an emaciated and vulnerable youngster, a poster-child of animal neglect. His story can be found here:  Heartworm Heroes Part I

Maverick MacPhail

Maverick had a forgiving heart and on every level would be a wonderful family member. A joint decision between Shelter Friends and the Josephine County Animal Shelter identified Maverick Macphail as the candidate to launch Heartworm Heroes. An approved foster family ready to invest 120 days of continued care was secured, and Heartworm Heroes was born on February 27, 2016.

As Maverick was approaching the final weeks of his successful treatment, another youngster, a pit mix named Rhino, was identified as the next candidate to enter the program in early May, 2016.

To date we have had five Graduates of the Heartworm Heroes Program which adheres to the American Heartworm Society’s Treatment Protocol and who have subsequently been adopted. We have two dogs currently undergoing treatment in our program.

Meet our Alumni:




Meet our Future 2017 Graduates:

Honorable Mentions: Rowdy Intake date: February 13, 2017 and Midas and Titus: Intake date April 13, 2016

During the first couple months of the program, three additional dogs tested positive for Heartworm. Two were strays and their owners found them and one was treated by their adopter.

The two stray dogs were identified as candidates for the program and their treatment was scheduled. While waiting for treatment to begin, their owners came forward and upon redemption, agreed to follow up and continue treatment. A third dog surrendered to the shelter because of change in family dynamics, a young Rottweiler named Rowdy, began treatment. An eager adopter offered to adopt him and continue treatment. These three boys are noted with honorable mention as they were determined to be wonderfully adoptable dogs and were accepted into the Heartworm Heroes Program.

Board of Directors Position – Treasurer

Do you love animals?  Do you have bookkeeping experience? Want to be a part of Making a Difference One Animal at a Time?  Shelter Friends has an opening on our Board of Directors to fill the role of Treasurer.

The Treasurer is the officer assigned the primary responsibility of overseeing the management and reporting of Shelter Friends finances. In this role, you will be an Officer on the Board of Directors and report monthly on our financial status.

Please tell us about yourself and send all inquiries to


The Treasurer is the officer assigned the primary responsibility of overseeing the management and reporting of an organization’s finances.


  • Financial transaction oversight – Being knowledgeable about who has access to the organization’s funds, and any outstanding bills or debts owed, as well as developing systems for keeping cash flow manageable
  • Budgets – Developing the annual budget as well as comparing the actual revenues and expenses incurred against the budget
  • Financial Policies – Overseeing the development and observation of the organization’s financial policies
  • Reports – Keeping the board regularly informed of key financial events, trends, concerns, and assessment of fiscal health in addition to completing required financial reporting forms in a timely fashion and making these forms available to the board
  • Pick up mail 2-3 times per week. Direct all incoming mail pertaining to individuals or fund business
  • Issue checks for all Payables and document payments and receipts. Maintain checking account and checks- mailing supplies: stamps, envelopes, SF receipts, copies
  • Receipt all Receivables: PayPal, mail, cash income- document all
  • Send receipts to all donors and issue receipts for all reimbursable expenses- document all
  • Prepare monthly bank deposit and reconcile bank statement to checking account/check register
  • Prepare numbers for tax prep and filings
  • Copy, log, document, file all transactions
  • Fluent in the use of Quickbooks or able to seek training to support all financial transactions and reporting.

John M. Hoffman Memorial Pet to Vet Program

John M. Hoffman Memorial Pet to Vet Program

Please take a moment to read about the founder of the Pet to Vet program.  He passed away in early 2019, and we are honored to rename this program to the John M. Hoffman Memorial Pet to Vet Program.  Read John’s Legacy

We are so excited to be able to help our Veterans bring a pet into their home!  Through a generous donation, Shelter Friends will be able to place five guests of the Josephine County Animal Shelter into homes with our veterans.

Veterans who may not be able to make it to our adoption events, or who may be housebound but able to care for a pet, will receive help in bringing home a new companion!

Adoptable dogs and cats will be available for placement.

Here’s how our Pet to Vet program works:

· Each adoption will be funded by Shelter Friends at the Veteran adoption rate.
· Each adoption will receive $100 to pay the adoption fee, food, bedding, toys, training session, whatever the adopter needs to welcome home a new pet.
· Veterans must submit the adoption application to the Josephine County Animal Shelter.
· Adoption Counselor will talk to the veterans and work with them on finding the best fit for their situation from ALL adoptable animals!
· Five veterans from the application process will be selected for this special adoption event.
· Even if the veteran is not selected to receive the funding, they may still adopt a pet at the reduced Veteran’s adoption fee.
· Must show valid VA Identification

We hope this will lead others to make donations to sponsor a Pet to Vet adoption! Interested in making a donation to help place a pet with a veteran? Email or visit our donation page for information.

You can pick up an application at the Josephine County Animal Shelter or download your application here.

All applications must be submitted (in-person or mailed) to the shelter.

1420 Brookside Blvd across from the airport in Merlin. Shelter hours are Monday – Friday, 10:00-4:30 and Saturday, 10:00-4:00.

Questions?  Please email

Heartworm Heroes Foster Program

Heartworm Heroes  is a new and progressive foster program launched in partnership with the Josephine County Animal Shelter and Shelter Friends. Heartworm disease in shelter dogs presents unique challenges for a shelter facility. Recovery time and cost for treatment  is often prohibitive for a County facility. The medical protocol is rigorous and requires convalescence for a period of six to eight weeks or longer, keeping patient quiet with limited activity in a foster home.
Our first patient- Maverick Macphail  was a pilot test that proved very successful. A pit bull who had been extremely neglected, 25 pounds underweight, riddled with wounds, and to make matters worse was diagnosed with heartworm. But he was a forgiving very adoptable pooch. We are delighted to report that after his recovery he was adopted thanks to his foster families and the financial support of Shelter Friends. Our next benefactor of this program is a little pit bull, Rhino who is now in his 9th week of treatment-and well on his way for readiness for a new home.   Please visit For more information contact
This album of photos and story here written is presented for many reasons. The hope is that not only will the reader experience the joy of helping our Great American Shelter dogs- by adopting, volunteering and supporting the efforts to find wonderful homes for our guests- but also to understand some of the challenges presented as we work to bring a second chance to our  guests. It is also to educate the public on one of the challenges for some of our most vulnerable,- those with heart worm and, the importance of heart worm prevention so we have a safe and healthy community of man’s best friend.
HeartwormHeartworm copy
From time to time you may see a dog posted as lost, found, stray, surrendered or other- and on occasion you may wonder- “What happened to Fido?” There may be circumstances which for the best interest of Fido-, we have chosen not to publish his or her forever home or sanctuary. “Sometimes you only see the tip of the iceberg”; the real work, the intense dynamics and efforts for the well being of our guests are often  under the surface and  you may never see the incredible efforts proffered by so many,- to keep our animals presented to the Josephine County Animal shelter in safe harbor.  There may be times you don’t see the end result. And there may be reasons you may never know.  Perhaps we need to transfer a pooch our of the area to keep out of the hands of less scrupulous people. There are some that just need to be liberated from a life not in keeping with our sense of goodness.
This story is to celebrate the incredible efforts over the last several months of one of those most vulnerable. His name is Maverick Macphail- The Little Man I Am, – a Great American Shelter Dog.  In his honor we proudly launch a  new program,-  Heart Worm Heroes, – a joint effort of the Josephine County Animal Shelter and Shelter Friends- and You!  Maverick MacPhail- The Little Man I Am- demonstrated the need for a successful program-.  Our first official benefactor of this program is Rhino- who will be presented in Part ll of Heart Worm Heroes.  We hope you enjoy Part l- and we welcome your support by availing yourself to foster and supporting this effort financially by contributing to the Heart Worm Heroes Fund managed by Shelter Friends. Please visit  for contributions and inquiries into this special foster program.
maverick spotted
Although we will go into more detail about the challenges of Heart Worm treatment in a later segment, I will be brief now only to say- that the challenges are multi-fold. Cost- which can be up to $1000, and  from a 4- 12 week or more recovery plan;  and  most importantly, the commitment of foster families to the time necessary for recovery. Each dog will be unique in the treatment plan and protocol required.
mav angular deformitymaverick bonesmav rotten earsmav head
Enter Maverick. A dog was spotted malnourished and  skinny- 25 pounds underweight -by a concerned citizen and posted to facebook.  This started the formation under the surface of the Great Iceberg;  the part you don’t see which were the efforts of the public, Shelter Friends volunteers and Animal Control Officer David Pitts to get the coordinates to secure him to safe harbor.
Maverick was a sweet forgiving little man who was found to be  an otherwise adoptable pooch, but for being diagnosed with heart worm; he was a skeleton of a dog with ear infections, rotting ears and  wounds covering his body from head to toe. Additionally he was diagnosed with angler deformity of his front legs- which is why he has the appearance of a Basset Hound!  He needed liberation from a life of neglect and  abuse and to be afforded a second chance to show him the goodness in people.
mav forgiving
First we had to find a foster family that would commit to from 4 – 8 weeks or more.  He got an extended foster family!  Although he was 25 pounds underweight, we couldn’t wait to start treatment; He started his treatment plan as outlined by his veterinarian. Treatment is often very aggressive, rigorous and hard on the body. The patient needs to be kept calm so as not to raise heart rate while the heart worms exit the body. We will go into more detail about the treatment in our upcoming Segment ll. He got the best of the best in food! His foster mom Dagmar blended, crushed, grated, ground every kind of nutritious concoction she could dream up! He was clothed in coats of many colors to keep his body heat in- as he was so thin.
maverick sleeps in coatmav red coat
We played music for him. We slept with him! We cuddled him.  We prayed for him.
Maverick and raleighMaverick and Bonne sleeping
The time came about 6 weeks later that he was cleared for normal activity. Then is extended foster family grew. Foster families welcomed him into their homes where he learned good manners, kept gaining weight and strengthening his muscles and his heart!  They took him on car rides, walks in the neighborhood, on out of town trips and foster dad’s help.
maverick the working man
Then the search began to find him his forever home!  We  fielded many inquiries.   Adopters needed to be aware and apprised of his treatment and that we were hopeful that at the six month mark- he will test negative on his heart worm test; and further, they need to be prepared to follow up- if we have a bit more way to go with follow up treatment,- which is possible.
Oh the tears!  The day came that he was to go on his meet and greet!  His potential new adopter could have picked any dog, anywhere!  But they chose Maverick!   As we drove away on our trip northward, tears rolled endlessly from his foster families,   “Oh no- don’t go; we love you; what if he doesn’t like them- ! “
Maverick smiles
As we arrived, we were greeted by the most amazing couple!  We walked Maverick and their dog Sunny down the road; did proper introduction; strolled their beautiful yards with fruit trees and green grass. As we went inside- they had prepared two beds for him to choose from. Later however, they would report he chose dad’s recliner- and that was just fine with them.  In the meantime dad excused himself and set upon setting a feast before us. Genuine Louisiana sausage, red beans, the most scrumptious fresh blue berry and strawberry crepes and the best coffee!   The dogs kicked back- getting acquainted- kissing nose to nose.
The Little Man I Am- Maverick Macphail has had an amazing journey!
rhino plain
And now a new one begins for Rhino-a little blue nosed pit-  our newest Heartworm Hero guest!  Visit  to see how you can join the journey!  Stay tuned.