Greenhill Graduates

Our featured "Happy Tails" from Greenhill adopted animals. Want to share your own happy tail? Email stories and photos to

Squeek Teaches that Life is Ever Changing and Love is Always Possible!

In late spring a cat was brought to Greenhill. He was estimated to be around 8 years old. His coat was black and shiny and he had a great disposition and energy level.  After a thorough medical exam and microchip check, it was discovered that Squeek had been at Greenhill once before – when he was 17 years old!

He was brought in as part of our Crisis Care Program. In Squeek’s case it was the Domestic Violence Animal Protection Program(DVAPP). One of our Greenhill staff members recalls when Squeek came in, “He was very much loved by his guardian. She wanted to make sure he would be safe.”

Squeek received medical care and entered into Greenhill’s foster program to keep him in a calm, safe environment. He was in our care for over 7 months. Staff attempted to locate his guardian many times over the months, through different forms of communication, to no avail. Squeek was spry and healthy after having dental surgery and further medical care. He later became available for adoption and found a home where he was loved very much.

After 5 years of being cared for and loved, Squeek was brought to Greenhill, once again. This time by Hospice Pet Advocates. They help find resources for animals that have no one to live with when their person goes in to hospice care. Such was the case, for Squeek. 

He shared so much love with staff, visitors, volunteers, and our junior volunteers that participate in Greenhill’s Reading to Cats, a part of our Humane Education Program. Squeek touched a lot of people during his stay with us. After several months in our care, he now lives with his new family.  This December he will celebrate his 23rd birthday! All the best, Squeek! You’re an inspiration!

You Are so Precious, Monsieur Cat!

“Love this boy already.  Such a peaceful, loving presence in my house.” – Precious’ mom

Precious is a senior gentleman who touched the hearts of staff, volunteers, and visitors during his stay at Greenhill. He came to us when his previous family had to make the very difficult decision to surrender him.  It was obvious that he had been loved for a long time – 14 years of love!

Unfortunately, many senior cats get overlooked during kitten season, resulting in him being in our care for almost three months. He hadn’t lived with other cats and preferred not to be around them at all. For his well-being he had a private room.  Precious received human companionship, love, medical care, and more love, every day that he was here.  It was obvious he wanted to go to a home all his own.  We never gave up on him. We shared his story on social media and newspapers, and searched – until finally his purrfect human companion walked in.

What does Precious’ new family member have to say about having this amazing kitty in her life?

“I can’t believe how quickly he’s become comfortable in my house. I left him alone in my kitchen for a couple hours right after I brought him home, and then I came back and let him explore the rest of the house,” she added. “He’s investigated everything and is relaxed and confident… not skittish or nervous at all. About 20 minutes into his exploration he decided it was time to rest, and he sprawled out in the middle of my living room. I could hardly believe it. He’s so at ease!”

“His favorite spot to relax is the window ledge, where he can stoically monitor the outdoor neighbor kittens as they scurry around. Oh, and he’s already come to me for affection, and stuck around for a good brushing—he seemed to actually enjoy it!”

“Thanks so much for inviting me to be his momma. I appreciated learning so much about him, and your love for him. I can already tell he’s a very special boy (errr, old man ;)). “

And so our hearts melt just a little more in the best possible sense. For there can never be too much love. It is something that never runs out. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Check under the GET INVOLVED link on our website to Volunteer, Foster, or become a Supporter.

Tank - you had us at WOOF!

Today, Tank is something of a local celebrity. His strong cream-colored face has graced the cover of local magazines, newspapers, television, and has beeen posted, shared and posted again on social media. More recently, in 2018, he was the inspiration for the logo image used for Greenhill’s 25th Bark in the Park event.

But, in 2017, it was a community effort to try and find a home for this 10-year-old, 76 pound, tan and white pit mix with the massive head! The real story is what happened before and after that.

Our part of his story began on 10/01/2015, when he was brought to Greenhill Humane Society. Tank was a senior dog that had a series of medical issues, including severe cataracts, arthritis in both knees, possible torn ligaments in both knees, skin allergies, skin tags, and had displayed aggression toward other dogs. He was a challenge. But, Greenhill staff and volunteers loved this boy from the beginning and everyone pitched in to give him a chance at a better quality of life.

This is the “it takes a village” part. The veterinary staff cared for his medical issues, prescribed medications to help with his ailments, and got his vaccines up to date. Kennel staff provided training, care, and love. Volunteers walked him, petted him, and loved him. One volunteer said, “The only thing bigger than his head is his heart,” which was a common sentiment.  The foster families that brought him into their homes, gave him more confidence, and gradually – more socialization skills. He was adopted in 2016, then returned, went to more foster families and continued to be in Greenhill’s care until 7/31/2017 – about 669 days from the day he arrived.

On 7/31/17, his current family came in to his life and brought him into theirs. And, what a life he is living! After having him for three weeks they shared that he was doing well in the house and outside, has lots of toys and is a joy to have. They took him on his first camping trip and he did great. He was around 5 other dogs without any issues. Later on, he ended up nose to nose with a cat that had snuck into their house. They sniffed each other and then went their separate ways.

The family said, “He loves to swim and dives down – we live near a river so we go there. Tank has been to the ocean to the beach, to the mountains, did a lot of hiking and stuff. He likes his long walks.”

The most recent update from 7.31.18

“We have had Tank for one year today. Thank you!!! He is a sweetheart. We call him a Gentle Giant. Tank is great with everyone! He has been around other dogs and cats. He met our Granddaughters kitten. The kitten was under his tummy. Saw the tags from his collar. He played with the tags. Tank stood there and went and laid down after the kitten left. He is so cute. He has learned to share his toys. We are very pleased he shows his love back to us! “ – Tank’s family

Tank is a testament that even “hard to place” animals can find their ideal home. It may take time, patience, and resources, but this is what it is about. Giving animals a second or third or fourth chance to find happiness – no matter their age, breed, size, or challenges. Life and love are valued. Tank teaches us that everyone deserves to be loved. And you, dear Tank, will always be loved!

The skinny red arm that reached for love, and found it!

Charisma (aka Sasha) Adopted on 10/31/17

When Sasha was surrendered and brought to the shelter she was a super high-energy young dog that had “no manners,” according to kennel staff.  She was sweet, affectionate but definitely needed someone that could keep up with her energy level and help her with her manners.

One day a woman walked in to 1st Avenue Shelter. She had the painful experience of losing her dog whom she had a deep bond with. She didn’t think she could love another dog again.

It feels like that to many of us who have experienced such a depth of love with an animal. Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible to love another animal again.

Jill decided to look on Greenhill’s website and saw a photo of a partially deaf bully mix. She went to 1st Avenue Shelter to meet him, but he “couldn’t care less,” she recalls. “Meanwhile, a long slim red arm was silently swatting at me,” Jill recalls.

She peeked over at the super cute pup – but she wasn’t interested in a puppy/young dog and all that goes with that kind of responsibility. The word that came to mind for her was “Rambunctious!”


There were several families interested in Sasha, but by the time Jill decided to give her another visit – since the other dog still wasn’t showing any interest in her – Sasha was already on hold. It seemed like she was too late. She got on the waiting list -just in case. On a drive to the coast, she kept thinking about this beautiful, young boxer with all that energy. That red, thin arm that reached out to her and the way that Sasha had looked at her. And then –  the phone rang. A kennel staff member called to let her know the other hold fell through and that Sasha was available if they were still interested. They were and Sasha is now called Charisma. A name that she certainly lives up to!

“This lady has captured my heart big time,” Jill says. “She is my walking and hiking and running (next to my bike) pawtner. She has so much zest for life!”

Jill has learned that it is possible to love another dog. They don’t replace the other dog that was loved so deeply. It is another personality and another relationship, but it is true love, none the less.

Jill said, “She’s actually proving to be more than I expected- she’s had a lot to learn as far as behavior and impulse issues. But she tries very hard! She is quite proud of herself when she’s successful. I’m so thankful for her.”

Willow (aka Chai) Adopted on 12/29/17

“I came from a hoarding situation where I was being housed with more than 90 other dogs. I was brought to Greenhill so I could get the medical care and rehabilitation that I needed, and now I’m ready to be adopted into my forever home! Bringing an under-socialized dog into your home can be an extremely rewarding experience, but Greenhill staff urges potential adopters to be aware of the time it may take for some of these dogs to be fully rehabilitated.” – Greenhill Humane Society kennel staff – 12/2017.

Little Chai came into Greenhill as part of the Chihuahua hoarding case of October 2017. She was especially challenged as she also was pregnant and in completely new surroundings. Many dogs were very frightened, had limited or no socialization, weren’t housebroken and some spent months with trained staff, volunteers and foster families to give them the resources they needed to get a more solid start with their new families.

Chai was one of those dogs. She was with Greenhill for more than two months, getting the medical, behavioral, and socialization skills she needed.


The little white dog that just wanted to be loved

It takes a special person to take on an animal who has been through so much. There are so many uncertainties. That special person, April, met Chai (who is now Willow) and believed this little dog deserved a chance! Most of the Chihuahuas were already adopted by this time. But because of her being a new mom being fostered, it was imperative to wait until the puppies were ready to begin their fresh start in new homes of their own.

April said, ““Willow is just a perfect little dog! She barked at everything and all night long at first but she settled down and sleeps through the night now. She gets along great with my other chihuahua and they play together and sleep together in their bed in the truck when we go places. I take them both to work with me and she gets along great with the kids. She walks well on leash, sits on my lap and does fine with cats. No house breaking problems. Got clean bill of health at the vet and is scheduled for the groomer. She’s curious and friendly to strangers. We took the dogs to the coast and they had a great time.”

Today Willow has a family where she is secure, safe, loved and gets to have fun with her new canine sibling.

April added, “She is very much loved.”

It doesn’t get much better than that!

The Blue Pittie full of Love!

Mama (aka Leila) Adopted 3/23/18

Leila was a stray who was brought in with her son, Wolf. In cases like these, there is little or no information to work with. They were both stocky and strong and very sweet with people at the shelter. One of our staff members brought Leila into her office during the week, and all of us that met her, fell in love with her. She was always such a sweetheart, with a big smile on her face.

Her neck , chest, and face had scratches on them, so there was no telling how long they had been out there on their own. As is the case with all strays, we put photos on the Greenhill website in hopes that someone will recognize a found/stray animal and claim them. For Leila, that didn’t happen. She was a healthy, sweet dog without a family.

Shortly after she was available for adoption her new family members came in to meet her and decided to give this girl a chance! It was just what Leila – now named Mama – needed!

“Our family loves her so much and she just fits right in! She’s warmed up to us so much. At first, she seemed like she mostly just cared about sleeping and lounging. But we discovered she loves her Kong and playing on the beach with sticks. She gets acupuncture once a month!” said her new family member,” Kenzi. “She is amazing. She has adjusted to us so well.”

“We all love her so much,” Kenzi added. “She loves to wobble around and greet people.”

For this sweet girl that is loved by many, she found the right match, and so did her family.

The big white dog that could!

Emmett is one happy boy these days! It wasn’t always the case, however. His story is one of inspiration and hope. He had been in and out of shelters since he was first found wondering aimlessly on the streets of Springfield in December 2016 – just three days before Christmas – and brought in to 1st Avenue Shelter.  A beautiful dog, but one with challenges, he was adopted within two weeks and moved back to Portland. After two more weeks he was surrendered back to 1st Avenue because of behavioral issues, which can mean many things. Emmett has some special medical issues that could have been a factor in his behavior. This gorgeous, big, white dog had challenges.  For this pup was born deaf and blind.

Greenhill Humane Society works closely with agencies, individuals and non-profits from across the state and beyond to ensure that animals get the resources that they need to find a forever home. For Emmett, this meant back to Portland and going to Deaf Dogs of Oregon. They have a network of people across the U.S. that help teach dogs like Emmett how to better navigate in this busy world. Deaf Dogs of Oregon is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that educates the public about deaf dogs and promotes deaf dog adoption.

With some behavioral training under his harness, Emmett was adopted once again, only to be surrendered and brought to Greenhill in November 2017. This time, changes in the owner’s life left Emmett’s new family unable to care for him. Greenhill staff and volunteers worked with Emmett and gave him additional care and support that an animal with physical challenges often may require. It is a team effort. And then along came Joe!  Joe is a Greenhill Humane Society volunteer and dog walker. He said, “There was something special about Emmett – a spark!”

According to the kennel staff, “Emmet could navigate on our walking trails almost as well as a dog that could see and hear. Another member of the kennel staff said of Emmett, “He has soul!”  Joe connected with that soul and began to walk Emmett more frequently and spend extra time with him. He knew that he had found his next furry family member.

After a month of making special ramps and preparing his home for Emmett to safely navigate, Joe brought him home. A forever home filled with love, soft corners on the cabinets and different textured rugs. One long rug is for running and getting from here to there. Another textured rug is where his food and water are kept. And a different textured rug is by the front door, so Emmett knows where to stand when it is “that” time.

One of Emmett’s favorite things to do now is to go out with Joe and run fast, while Joe holds on to a 40-foot-lead, slowly turning in circles. This allows Emmett to run and run and run some more! When his harness is not on, Emmett knows it is time to chill and relax in his RV home. As soon as he gets his harness on, however, he knows it is time to go out and explore. His nose often can be seen poking toward the sky, collecting information from each passing waft.

Emmett and Joe found each other at Greenhill and have created a home filled with love and patience, learning from each other. Joe plans on more extensive training this Spring and hopes to teach Emmett to swim. Later on, the goal is for Emmett to be an ambassador for dogs with challenges; visiting schools, senior centers and other places where they can share their experiences. “No regrets,” said Joe. They know they were meant to find each other. And they have!

Trapper, adopted from 1st Avenue Shelter 1/14/17: 
“Trapper is doing really well! We took him to the vet and he received a good bill of  health. I have a 3 year old son and they get along great. Trapper is full of energy, loves to cuddle, and keeps us laughing!”

Spyder, now Jerry, adopted from Greenhill Humane Society 12/03/16

“I just wanted to give a little update on Jerry, formerly Spyder, and let you all know that he is doing well. He’s the little love of my life and we’re both looking forward to having many more adventures together.”

Biff, adopted from Greenhill Humane Society 2/24/17

“This is Biff. He is a 13 year old Tabby and he is our new family member. We just adopted him today and he’s taking to his new home really well.”

KitKat, now Daisy, adopted from 1st Avenue Shelter 5/14/16
I had a very nice experience with Greenhill. They were nice people, knowledgable and informative. We renamed KitKat to Daisy. We enjoy her so much. She is very smart, very loving, and wants to be in both my husband’s and my laps. She also likes sleeping with us. Daisy get along well with our other dog too.”

Gracie, adopted from 1st Avenue Shelter 8/12/15

“What a delight she is, She has pretty much taken over the whole house hold. She keeps with my 10 year old daughter and of course my daughter loves that. She is so affectionate that when you are sitting on the recliner she will climb to the top of it and start grooming the top of your head. It’s nice and irritating all at the same time! She is such a joy to have and I am so glad

we adopted her and that she adopted us too!”