A local guinea pig adoption. Photo by Sam Montagne.

Oregon, unlike many other areas, has a well-financed, advertised, and executed organization at the disposal of the citizens to make it easy to find the perfect pet. Though the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) is undoubtedly a valuable resource, it is far from being the only one available in the Oregon/Washington area. If one wants to find the perfect pet for their house, they should check every shelter (usually filled to the brim with animals waiting to be adored) rather than refreshing the Humane Society website daily, looking for the perfect dog that is already waiting 20 minutes away. Being aware of all your options is a pivotal part of the adoption process.

The Pixie Project is a rescue that not only strives to help the animals it houses, but the community surrounding it. Jessica Berg is the Development Director at The Pixie Project, having nearly 8 years of animal rescue experience in Eugene prior to her current position. Berg says the active and supportive role in the community is what drew her to the job. “We are also a community resource for pet food, medication, collars, leashes, beds… if someone is having a tough time and they need a little help [taking proper care of their animal], we’ll try to help,” she says. Berg also explains their services beyond material objects. “We have trainers who are able to help people work with [animal] behavioral issues to keep them from surrendering their pets.”

The main goal of The Pixie Project is to provide its animals with a safe and happy new home as well as provide owners with a low-stress experience. Before adoption, all animals are already provided the extensive treatments and procedures that each one needs. This is different from several other organizations which expect the owner to handle all medical conditions after the adoption. Doing it beforehand saves the new owner a giant veterinary bill. This is just one example of a gem that can be discovered by doing the slightest bit of research.

While there are several good choices, one option that should be actively avoided is buying from breeders. “Adopt, don’t shop” (an animal rights slogan), says Franklin student and animal rights activist, Nora Weisbord (12). Weisbord co-founded a volunteer organization entitled Youth for the Voiceless, speaking out for the rights of animals. “Adopting is much, much, much better than buying. Dogs raised in puppy mills have had horrible things happen to them. They can have deformities, some sort of mutation that makes them sick or die early. That’s from inbreeding. Adopting locally is the best thing,” Weisbord says. Recently, California drafted a bill (Assembly Bill 485) stating that pet stores are no longer permitted to sell any animals not from a shelter, rescue, or something similar in nature. This bill was officially passed on October 13. Now, if an animal originating from a breeder is sold, a misdemeanor has been committed. Weisbord also offers other methods of adoption: “You can always look up on Craigslist and ask ‘How do you have this animal, are you breeding?’” she says. “It can take awhile to find the right little guy.”

Savin Juice Dog Rescue, Multnomah Humane Society, and Rabbit Advocates are some more alternatives to the Oregon Humane Society. Overall, the best strategy for finding the perfect fit is to do research to find the right fit.

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