Greenhill Humane Society receives help sheltering rescued dogs

Veterinarians are working to assess the needs of 98 small dogs surrendered to Greenhill Humane Society in what Lane County officials called the worst case of animal hoarding in a quarter century. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. -- Staff from Oregon Humane Society and Willamette Humane Society traveled to Eugene Wednesday to assist Greenhill Humane Society by transporting dozens of dogs, recently rescued from a local hoarding situation, to their respective shelters.

Greenhill reached out to other Oregon shelters for help because the current Greenhill kennels are insufficient to properly house all 98 dogs. The current dog housing at the Green Hill Road shelter was built in the 1950s and many of the dogs are so small, they were able to maneuver themselves out of the kennels.

“We have the professional staff and experience to care for these pups, but our facility is inadequate,” says Sasha Elliott, Greenhill spokesperson. “We’ve done what we can, using zip ties and PVC pipe, to secure the kennels, but it’s still not enough.”

Oregon Humane Society transferred 39 dogs to their Portland location and Willamette Humane Society transferred 10 to their Salem location. The remaining dogs will stay in the care of Greenhill and continue to receive medical care and rehabilitation.

“We would care for all of the dogs here locally if we could,” says Elliott. “This is one reason our capital campaign is so important. Improving our dog kennels will greatly improve the type of care we can provide for local animals and local people. New and improved dog kennels will reduce stress and noise for the animals and create a safer space for all.“

This is one of the most severe cases of animal hoarding that Lane County has seen in the last 25 years.

"It was a very overcrowded and very unsanitary condition for these animals," said Sasha Elliot, the Community Engagement Manager for Greenhill.

Officials say the owner of the animals cooperated with investigators and voluntarily released the dogs to Greenhill and Lane County.

"In this case, a pet owner who meant no harm, out of the goodness of her heart wanted to do something great for the animals," said Devon Ashbridge, the Public Information Officer for Lane County.

The dogs are mostly Chihuahuas and other small breeds, ranging from newborn puppies to seniors. With no recorded veterinary care, Greenhill needs to assess each dog's medical and behavioral needs before they can make them available for adoption, which could possibly take weeks.

"We have experienced several pregnant mamas. There was even a mama that had two puppies born in transit," Elliott said.

She said many of them have overgrown toe nails that are curled around and very painful for them to walk on. Lots of them had matted hair and many of them were covered in feces.

Right now, Greenhill is asking for financial support to help provide medical care for these dogs. People interested in becoming adopters are advised to watch Greenhill’s website and social media sites for updates.

Donations can be made online at, or in person at either shelter location, or by mail or phone.

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