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.

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

Fundraising Seminar – January 2015

Below are links to some of the sessions attended during the Fundraising Seminar.  Some are notes, some are screen shots and notes of the presentation.

Social Media Engagement Session-Fundraising Seminar

Grant Writing Tips-Fundraising Seminar

5 basic steps for a successful silent auction-Fundraising Summit

7 Steps to a Great Event-Fundraising Summit

How to Run a Profitable Special Event – Fundraising Summit

Biggest Barriers to Fundraising

Teach Board Members to Open doors to Major Gifts

Great GrantWriting Ideas

How to Run a Profitable Special Event – Fundraising Summit



Adele and Bennett


Meet Adele, an adorable, quiet, Russian Blue/Gray Hair princess from Tucson, Arizona. Adele is most definitely a lady’s cat, in that she can get used to males, but on her own terms. That means she will come to males when she feels like it and not the other way around. In contrast, she’ll transition to females much quicker, after which every night is a slumber party. Simply put, Adele would be the “perrrfect” companion for a single female homeowner who is around most of the time to share horror stories about dates, watch Disney movies together, cuddle up, hug and cradle liberally with much affection.

Adele thinks, acts and behaves most of the time as if she were a princess, but with all the benefits of a clean, independent, feline friend. Family and friends would describe her as reserved, independent, well-traveled and always knows where the litter is placed. She is an indoor cat primarily and has since so remained through her many travels.

Adele was diagnosed early in life with stomatitis, a gum disease which can spread to the bones in her body if not treated promptly. She was treated for this, but unfortunately, all of her teeth had to be removed. She can still eat dry and wet food normally, but has been mostly fed an organic, grain-free diet of wet food over recent years for optimal health.

Being the princess she is, Adele requires a gentle approach for anything other than cuddling and petting (nail trimming, combing, grooming, etc). These methods of care are best performed patiently and at times, through separate intervals or sessions. She will not scratch, lash out or harm another human being unless deliberately provoked.

2012-02-26 11.47.12-picsay imagejpeg_2_7 20120229_194800Meet Bennett, a playful three-year old Tuxedo cat from Brooklyn, New York. Bennett is a handsome chap, sort of a “puppy cat,” in that he thinks, acts and behaves most of the time as if he were a puppy or small dog, but with all the benefits of a clean, independent, feline friend. Family and friends would describe him as super laid-back, putty in your hands, well-traveled and always knows where the litter is placed. Bennet was born an indoor city cat at birth but has since grown to love the outdoors through his many travels.

Bennett would benefit most from a homeowner with, perhaps, a family of gentle, but playful, loving kids with access to a backyard opening to the dense, green foliage of the beautiful Rogue Valley mountains. He is so loving, friendly and playful that it will be hard to ever put him down! He enjoys sitting next to piano players and listening to a variety of tunes. He loves, loves the outdoors, and most surely will come back if he knows there’s a treat in it for him and a loving family to cuddle up with at night.

This is a courtesy posting to help a family in need of rehoming their beloved cats.  Please contact the owner directly at or call Scott Parker Stevenson (541) 301-6979

Sweet Pea

Karen Scott tells the heartfelt story of “Sweet Pea”. This is a wonderful way to support the animals of Josephine County!

Sweet Pea lived on the streets for nearly three years foraging through garbage cans for her food. Boys on bicycles would torment her, earning her deep fear of humans. The animal control could not catch her.

When Karen noticed Sweet Pea had pups somewhere depending on her, Karen had to at least try to earn her love and trust to help the poor canine family.
Sweet Pea’s story is a true rescue story. One amazing thing about Sweet Pea, is after she came to live with Karen, she never once showed signs of abuse or of being a wild dog. She never cowered, or snapped, she only showed love to all who were fortunate enough to meet her.

All book sale money goes to the care, well being, and upkeep of animals in shelters, who are looking for good homes. When Karen Scott appears with us at adoption events- she graciously donates the proceeds to Shelter Friends! Thank You Karen Scott- for sharing your Sweet Pea story!

This lovely story book may be bought on line at, barnes and and Oregon Books and Games in Grants Pass