Frozen Final Project

The 14 degrees of warmth outside are actually welcomed by us Eugenians today. I’m just glad to be out of the negative numbers. You would think the weather outside has nothing to do with my final project, but it has everything to do with it! It has stopped me from being able to carry out my plan of adopting a cat and making a step by step video of the process. So now, with my car frozen outside, the Humane Societies and pet stores either being closed or having strange hours, I will just have to describe my project through the wonderful written word.

Here we go.

I’m a college student who loves animals. Through surrounding myself with animal shelters all term I have finally decided to adopt a pet. Here are the steps any person should go through before adopting an animal.

1. Ask yourself, can you really care for an animal at this point in your life?

Any pet is a lifetime commitment (the pet’s life, hopefully you outlive your pet). You have to deeply think about how your daily activities and future plans will change if you adopt an animal. If you decide you can work your schedule around your pet, giving your pet top priority, and financially handle paying for the pet’s needs, you may move to the next step.

2. What kind of pet fits your lifestyle?

If you live in the third story of an apartment building like I do, a dog is probably not the right choice. Smaller animals are more fit for apartments, such as rabbits or cats. You must thing about the things the pet will need. A rabbit will need a cage, litter box, water bottle, food dish, hay, toys, salt licks, and love whereas a cat will need a litter box, food and water, and toys. Another thing to consider is what sort of smells these animals will make. You can potty train them all you want, but when they do their duty, it’s going to smell. My roommate and I decided a cat was the best choice for our lifestyle, which brings me to Step 3.

3. Make sure everyone you are living with agrees to/wants the same animal.

Surprising your roommate with a pet is a bad idea. Shelters don’t even allow you to do it because they need to make sure everyone was involved in the decision. A pet is not a toy, it is a life for which you are responsible.

4.Visit the animal shelter. Multiple times.

Picking the right animal is not a quick decision. You can find the cutest animal in the shelter and then take it home to realize it’s an asshole and wants nothing to do with you. You must visit the shelter numerous times and spend time with you potential new pet to see if your personalities get along.Image

5. Fill out the adoption questionnaire.

Greenhill Humane Society and the Shelter on 1st will give you a 5 page application to fill out which enables them to decide if you are eligible to adopt a pet. They ask for direct permission from your landlord, which leads me to my next step.

6. If you are renting from Bell Realty, lie,

Lie your ass off. No animals allowed on the premises? I don’t like that rule. And Bell is a horrible reality who rips you off any change they can get anyway. Tell the shelter a little white lie, like you live with your grandma in a house by Valley River Center, and you get your animal. It’s really what’s best for everyone.

7. Go shopping!

If you get approved for an animal, you best get prepared to house that animal. Now is the time to get food, litter, toys, etc. The helpful shelter employees and volunteers will recommend types of litter and food and even tell you what toys your new family member enjoys.

8. Once you have everything ready in your home, adopt your friend.

It’s the moment you have been waiting 8 steps for, time to finally pick up and take home your new little buddy. You’ve done a great thing for yourself, your new pet, and the shelter. Now there is room for the shelter to take in another animal and find him or her a new home just like yours!

9. Love, feed, care, repeat.

It’s pretty self explanatory; care for your pet like you would a child. Make time in your schedule to play with your pet, always make sure the liter box is clean, he or she has plenty of water, and that s/he is eating properly. Take your pet to routine vet check-ups and never neglect him/her.

10. Live happily ever after and encourage others to adopt from humane societies!

There are more animals than you think out there that need loving homes!

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Humane Societies in Oregon

My week 8 project was to create an interactive map of all of the humane societies in Oregon. It took a long time to find all of them, find out what kind of pets they shelter, and other information such as their mission statement and if they have a thrift shop associated with them. Google only showed some of the smaller shelters if I was zoomed in all the way, so it took some hunting to find all of them. This project took even longer because I ended up looking at all of the poor, helpless animals that need homes at each shelter.

I found that there are far more pets in need than I ever thought. I’ve had statistics thrown at me all term while working on these projects of how many animals are helped, but those are just numbers until you actually see the faces of all the animals who are in shelters.

Each of my markers has the website attached so take a look at all the animals and start helping them!

This should lead you to my map… enjoy!

Greenhill Volunteering: Shooting the Video

I went to Greenhill Humane Society for the hundredth time on Tuesday. They’re probably starting to get sick of me there. This time I was able to hang out with some of the volunteers there. I had briefly spoken to a few volunteers on my other visits, but this time my focus was on what a volunteer’s duties are at the shelter and how the volunteer system works.

Because I couldn’t cover all of the volunteer positions at the shelter, I focused on volunteering with the dogs–mostly on the dog walking and companion positions. I was able to play with Prince and Huggs in two different yards at the shelter while asking the volunteers that were with them a little bit about what they do. I realized getting good audio would be impossible in these areas so I decided to gather information from them and then create a script for myself to narrate my video. Finding the right whitebalance for the camera was difficult as well because everything was illuminated by the bright sun that day.Image

Wide shots were easy enough to get, but the close-ups gave me hell. The whole time I was there the volunteers and dogs were moving (obviously) so closeups were rough to capture. I was also able to walk one of the trails with a volunteer named Julie and the dog she was walking, Bella, and that proved pretty much impossible to film. Walking + filming does not equal good footage. But, I was able to get a lot of useful information from Julie and enjoy the sunshine!

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You can see the walking paths to the left and right of the shelter. I learned that the dogs get walked for 30 minutes by volunteers who sign up for which dog they are taking on a whiteboard outside the kennel. In all, I got some good footage, a lot of bad footage, but also a lot of useful information!

Greenhill Humane Society

Doing the best they can to provide new happy homes

I have made my final decision to do my term project on Greenhill Humane Society. I knew I wanted to involve animals in my project because I grew up surrounded by them and can’t help but to love every species. Due to other time commitments (useless things like school, projects, writing for magazines, and work) and pet restrictions at my apartment, I never get the chance to be around furry, fuzzy, feathery, slimy, or scaly creatures. Unless you count my roommate. In other words, I love animals, I want to help animals, so why not do a project promoting animal adoption?

On Sunday I decided to go sniffing around Greenhill. It seems like it is out in the middle of nowhere, but once I got there I was overcome by many different emotions. I was so happy to see some friendly dogs who just wanted to be let out to play (I’m assuming by the wag of their tails and jumping on the door to the cage), but also heartbroken to see the other dogs cowering in a corner as far away from viewers as possible. Each dog had a sign by his or her kennel describing his/her personality, age, medical history, and of course, name.

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After saying goodbye to the precious pups, I wandered over to the “small pet” section. The first thing I saw was a boy, ok I guess he was a man, in a cage. I held back from asking if he was up for adoption when I saw he was wearing a “Volunteer” shirt and petting a bunny.

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We talked and after asking a few questions I learned several different rabbit’s names and some information about volunteering at the shelter. A while later he directed me to the “Cattery,” my last stop at the shelter.

The Cattery is a very bright and welcoming room with all sorts of cat toys and climbable structures and scratching posts. As one would imagine, the place was crawling with cats and kittens. I think when crazy cat ladies die, their heaven is a place extremely similar to the Cattery.

After observing the cats long enough to replicate their agile moves (I’ve always wanted to be Cat Woman), I decided to end my self-led tour. I now have an interview scheduled for Tuesday, October 8 with a woman named Sasha so I can get an insight on the day-to-day lives of the residing pets. I’m excited to go back and visit my furry friends again!