The Willamette Humane Society (WHS) will merge with the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) on July 1, creating a single organization.
The Willamette Humane Society (WHS) will merge with the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) on July 1, creating a single organization. The process is expected to take up to 24 months. Although the Salem site will retain its short-term name, it will eventually be known as the Oregon Humane Society
The work of both humane societies is evolving with an increased need for care for animals that require complex medical needs and behavioral rehabilitation.
A merger allows for greater collaboration, as well as increased purchasing power. As a much larger organization spread across two campuses, OHS will use the same software, phone systems, email management systems, etc. These cost savings could have a direct impact on their ability to serve the community.
Pets will also directly benefit from the collaboration. The Willamette Humane Society is currently transferring pets with complex issues to OHS as needed to ensure animals receive the help they need to transition into happy lives. But these transfers require conversations, paperwork, planning, and time. A merger will allow the two communities to work together much more quickly and efficiently.
“I’m very excited about what this change means for our community,” said WHS Executive Director BJ Andersen. “I anticipate that we will have even more resources available to help and protect companion animals in Oregon, and that’s something we can all celebrate.”
In 2020, the WHS Board has chosen to explore the possibility of a merger as the best way forward to be able to provide more cutting-edge animal welfare services to the community, while strengthening the organizational resilience and sustainability. The global pandemic has delayed the process a bit. After exploring all possible partners for a merger, they chose OHS as their first choice, and WHS began the conversation with OHS in early 2021. Both organizations began the due diligence process and continued discussions between leaders of WHS and OHS until both boards were satisfied that it was the right decision for each organization. The boards have unanimously agreed to proceed with the merger earlier this year.
In recent years, other animal welfare agencies across the country have chosen to merge, in an effort to reduce overhead and streamline services.