SO Humane: from intake to adoption

Medford, Ore.– Since 1928 SO Humane has saved countless animal’s lives, more than 1,800 in 2015 alone.  With animals coming in almost daily, it takes many hands and a lot of love to help give them a second chance.

If every dog has his day, this day belongs to Malcolm.

On a Tuesday morning in mid February at Medford’s Southern Oregon Humane Society, Intake Supervisor, Jessica Cook has just meet her first owner-surrendered dog of the day.  Malcolm.

“That’s a good boy, that’s a good boy,” says Cook, soothing the pup.

At 7 months old, this mixed breed puppy needs a loving new home.

“He was rescued from kind of a bad situation,” Cook says.

While his personality could make anyone fall in “puppy love”, he’s got to pass a series of tests and analysis before SO Humane can find his forever home.

“Getting a gauge of what kind of work we are going to have to put in for this dog to be comfortable staying with us until we figure out which home they are best suited for,” Cook explains.

First up, a test for Parvo.  A virus that makes dogs lethargic among other serious symptoms.

“Typically you see it more often in puppies.”

A fecal sample and a short wait for the results, and Malcolm is in the clear.

“That would be a negative test there buddy,” says Cook.

Next an aggression test.

“To see what their level of resource guard is, so if we give him something that valuable is he going to protect it is her going to let us handle it that kind of thing,” Cook explains.

Just in case he bites, a fake hand is used.

Cook explains Malcolm is “very easy to handle very easy going.”

Now for his final intake test.

Cook takes him outside to see how he interacts with other dogs.

“Not having problems making friends makes it a lot easier for them to be here,” she says.

With a fast new friendship established, Malcolm’s passed his intake appointment earning him a cozy kennel assignment and some relaxation.

“Every morning from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.,” says Cook.  “That’s what we are out here doing is scooping poop and spraying kennels and sanitizing and getting things ready for the dogs.”

After a thorough kennel cleaning, Malcolm is ready to shine for picture day.

“Try and get a really good capture of what their personality is,” Cook explains.  “Sometimes you have to take 50 to find one that will work.”

Some quick cropping and he’s online.

Since he’s just a puppy, Malcolm still needs to see the vet for the first time.  His ears and teeth are checked, he’s given his shots, de-wormer and flea guard.  A fast injection implants his micro chip.

A few days later Malcolm’s photo caught the attention of a Medford couple, who fell in love, but before he can go to his new home, Malcolm needs one last trip to the vet.  It’s one he’s probably not excited about.

“Malcolm got neutered yesterday,” says Cook.

After a night of recovery, his last at so humane, he’s finally in the hands of his new owners.

“It’s exciting,” says Ashley Severson.  Her and her husband Gerald Severson spotted Malcolm’s photo on SO Humane’s website and decided he’d make the perfect addition to their family.  The couple already has a dog and a cat that they also adopted from SO Humane.

“I have been wanting to get another dog for quite some time,” Ashley says.

A $180 adoption fee later, and Malcolm’s walking out of the same door he entered one week ago, but this time he’s got a family.

Jessica Cook has placed thousands of animals in new homes during her seven years at SO Humane.  Seeing new friends walk out the door is never easy, but knowing Malcolm’s story is only just beginning, means it’s never goodbye.

“There is no judgment from dogs,” Cook says.  “They are going to be there to play with you, snuggle with you, lick your tears when you’ve had a bad day.”

If you would like to learn more about SO Humane, click here to visit the website.

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