When an animal comes into the Clatsop County Animal Shelter, Clatsop Animal Assistance jumps into action to help.

The nonprofit partner provides spay and neuter services, cares for the animals and facilitates their foster and adoption. More than 93% of the animals who end up in the shelter are adopted to forever homes.

Volunteer Anita Switzer with a shelter cat.jpg

Clatsop Animal Assistance Volunteer Anita Switzer poses with a shelter cat.

While Clatsop County finances the shelter building and staff, Clatsop Animal Assistance pays for external veterinary bills, which amount to about $90,000 a year.

For the last 20 years, the program has held various fundraisers including a bake sale, silent auction and photos with Santa. Due to the pandemic, the non-profit’s leaders are hosting a virtual fundraiser this year with a goal of raising $40,000. Last year, a similar fundraiser exceeded its goal by $5,000, and volunteers hope to see that success again.

“Our community really loves us, they know the hard work we’re doing and they support us,” explained Natalie Hannam, a Clatsop Animal Assistance volunteer of five years. “It’s amazing.”

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Ahead of the holiday season, adopted shelter dog ‘Kent’ has a lot to smile about.

Hannam manages the group’s social media, and gets creative to grab the attention of potential adopters. She and other volunteers will post about the animal’s astrological signs, and even present a “News Meow” talk show.

“Adoption is so important,” said Hannam. “Animals can bring you a massive amount of joy and love to your life.”

Clatsop Animal Assistance President Marcy Dunning has volunteered with the organization for 12 years.

Dunning said she has a special connection to the animals and works to make sure they find the best homes possible.

“The safety and welfare of the animals come first and we want the right fit for the family that adopts them,” she said. “It’s like we’re sending orphan children out into the world, and so we always think about them.”

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‘Kent’ relaxes his his owner, Sushanto Shenai’s lap after a long day at work.

Dunning expressed she’s amazed and grateful for the community’s support of their mission. She especially appreciates when new owners post adoption success stories on social media or come in to visit and thank the organization for all their support. She stressed that the support from the community allows the group to help every animal that needs assistance.

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