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

December Items of the Month

Here are December’s Items of the Month!  The Josephine County Animal Shelter is in need of bleach, paper towels, laundry detergent and dish soap. 

Can you help?

There are several online shopping sites where you can purchase and have your items directly shipped to the shelter! 

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

You can also deliver directly to the shelter! 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.

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.

Item of the Month

It’s a new month and time for our Item of the Month!

Did you know that we have over 100 kittens in foster homes and more coming in daily!

We have had a lot of kittens this year with intestinal distress, also known as diarrhea and bloated bellies. Diarrhea and dehydration in kittens is life threatening, not to mention the toll it takes on our fosters caring for these kittens and our pocket book in vet bills.

To help us combat the intestinal upsets, we are beginning to switch all of our kittens to a high-quality pate. This is expensive for us, at $25 a case, so we are turning towards you, our Shelter Friends, to help us out by purchasing a can or two or case of Dave’s Grain Free pate!

You can purchase locally from our friends at Rogue Valley Pet! You can take your and donation directly to the Josephine County Animal Shelter or leave at our convenient drop-off location at Star Body Works on Union in Grants Pass. Please ensure you’re purchasing pate. The friendly folks at Rogue Valley Pet will help you with any questions.

Thank you so very much! This will help our kitties grow strong until their forever family comes along!

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.

Pet to Vets

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.

Homeless Cave Junction Cats

A situation has been brought to our attention in Cave Junction.  An elderly couple who had taken care of numerous, outside cats at their home, have had to leave their home and the cats are being cared for by neighbors.

At this time, it is unclear if the couple will be able to return to their home.  Neighbors are not interested in caring for the cats long-term, and the assumption is the cats need to be spayed or neutered. It’s been four months for these cats with no resolution.

An active Illinois Valley volunteer has been spending time with the cats and they have shown some trust and a desire for friendship.  She has been able to pet one, and they are now sitting near her.  She has given them a lot of space.

Caring volunteers and neighbors are looking to rehome as many of these cats as they can.  They have lived outside, so would probably make excellent barn cats.  Spay/Neuter assistance may be available if needed by the adopter.

Please contact Linda Sisson at 541-244-8649, email at:, or Facebook message to Linda Cartmell Sisson.



Willow wandered into a downtown storage business in Grants Pass, a notorious dumping ground for unwanted cats. That was 2 years ago and during that time, the owner did her best to provide shelter and food. Knowing Willow is tame and deserved a better life, she contacted Feline Foster Families for help.

Willow is a quiet, undemanding cat who likes the company of adults. She is not a cat that will do well in a home busy with young children. She tolerates other cats, but will do best as an only cat.

Willow is about 8 years old. My guess is that her breeding is Persian or Himalayan. She came to me with health issues that have been treated and she is healthy now and ready for a new home.”

My goal is to find this lovely cat a stable, forever home. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about her.
Stephanie @ 541-761-6112.

PLEASE NOTE: Willow is not a shelter cat. We are making this post as a courtesy to try and help this girl find her forever home.

Precious Maggie Mae

Maggie’s Story!  Maggie came to Raleigh as a wee puppy to comfort her broken heart after the passing of her twin brother. Maggie Mae brought so much joy to her and to so many- and she was nicked name- My little funny face.

Saturday, February 7 – Raleigh’s beloved Maggie Mae passed away at 5:30 in the evening.


See below for the most recent update from Raleigh.

There is still an outstanding balance of $2,300 that we are trying to help her cover.  You can donate via the GoFundMe account below or mail directly to Raleigh at:

Raleigh Smith
122 NE Savage St
Grants Pass, OR 97526

A GoFundMe account has been setup for Maggie’s Vet Bills. 

UPDATE – March 3, 2015:

It has been near a month since my dear Maggie Mae traveled over the rainbow bridge. My tears trail after her, splashing upon every memory of my sweet Funny Face. I try to hold back the tears- but to do so would be like trying to hold back the mighty rush of waters of the great Niagra Falls. Of all the many I have rescued to safe harbor- the guilt that I could not protect my precious Maggie leaves me weak in the heart, my very being trembles with unending sorrow. Never again to hear her little bark of anticipated glee as I fetch her leash to go to the dog park; never again to have her leap with joy out of the car as we travel to the Coast where her little furry paws would dig into the sand puddles- in search of a sand dollar; never again will I hold her back as we raced down Sixth Street to the Evergreen Bank water falls,- like a sled dog reaching the finish line- as she splashed upon the little babbling brook and drank with delight from the clear waters. Her pink food dish never again to fill;- her pink leash now still- never to be lifted,- hangs limp on the hook; and her little cubby forever vacant – no sparking eyes to peer out from her Maggie cave. I want to thank everyone for your heartfelt thoughts, prayers and gracious contributions towards her medical care.

The over $5800 bill is now down to $2300.

Dagmar and Hans Wheeler
Diane Hoover
Johnnie Huffman
Tamara Kabush Evans
Pat Shaffner-Hall
Terri Zeutzius
Tana Mason
Amber Thompson
Paul Durran
Joan Wood
Judy Reynolds
Jan Mitchell
J A Mark
Kate Hoffman
Wendy and Melissa Butkov
Veroune (Bonnie) Chillem
Robert and Patti Callaway
Janice and Larry Harden and Joey Valentino
Linda Bacon
Georgia Applegate
Janis and Arthur Angelini
Dexter and Merry Sullivan
John and Connie Blanchard
Susan McKean
Paul and Kimberly Howell
Darlene Hamblin
Ceinwen Mari Keister
Nancy Lindquist
James Coe
Elsie Sellars
Anonymous donors and those as yet not identified- I will update.
Heidi Marie for Maggie’s urn.

Even as I post this- I failed to thank Pat Schaffner-Hall and Mecha Jane Clark and Tana Mason. I was so desperate for help- and Tana came and drove me to Riverside Vet and then to Southern Oregon Specialty in Medford as I cradled my precious Maggie Mae-and stayed with us till the early hours of the morning. And to Mecha and Pat who sped to my home and cared for my animals and home.

I am forever grateful.



Raleigh has done SO much for the animals in her community.  She is always there when needed and has spent countless hours and dollars helping out the animals that are fortunate enough to come into her life. Now Raleigh needs us to help her with Maggie’s care.  As you can imagine, the emergency medical bills were very high trying to save Maggie’s life.

Thursday, February 4 – Maggie Mae was attacked and mauled leaving her stripped and skinned, with 4 broken ribs, and lacerations and punctures from head to toe. The skin on the girth of her torso was pulled back as if to strip the sheets of a bed. As Raleigh stated “she looked like a raw piece of flank steak with a barely beating heart”. The images too horrifying to post here.  As Raleigh desperately cried for help- thinking her Maggie would have only a heart beat left-and ran for her phone, Maggie had disappeared, crawling under a nearby hedge! The fight was on!

She was rushed to Riverside Veterinary Clinic where they gave her some immediate care; however her injuries so severe we were directed to the emergency care at Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center in Medford. They were able to get her stabilized and assessed. Maggie needed surgery to repair her skin.

Animal Control was notified and is working the case.

Friday, February 6 – Maggie was able to eat and drink a little, Maggie’s condition is guarded and critical and she will have a long road to recovery- but that funny little face has spark and she’s a fighter.

Saturday, February 7 – Raleigh’s beloved Maggie Mae passed away at 5:30 in the evening.


maggie laughing

Maggie Laughing

maggie in pjs maggie let's talk maggie office ornament maggie skin stitch 2