How did you decide to get involved in this line of work? How did Homeward Bound Pets get started?
I grew up on a ranch and showed Quarter horses for many years. My family always had all kinds of animals. I have rescued dogs and cats in my home, and someone suggest that I look into the position that was open at HBPets. I have loved and been a part of this organization for almost three years! There have been a lot of changes, but change is good if you intend to grow and be here another 44 years.
Homeward Bound Pets was started by our founder, Julie Julson’s. Her dog passed away in 1973 just before she moved to McMinnville. After getting settled, Julie went to Yamhill County Dog Control to look for another dog. The clerk showed her three puppies and said, “If you take all three, I’ll give them to you for free because they are scheduled to be euthanized.” Julie went home with three brindle puppies.
Julie started rescuing homeless dogs to keep them from being euthanized. She housed the dogs in her garage until adoptions were arranged. It became more than she could handle by herself, and she found others to help her. When people began leaving cats at Julie’s house, she began some cat placements as well.
One day, the dog control officer made a remark to Julie in jest, “Why don’t you start a humane society?” This idea lead to the formation of the Yamhill County Humane Society, the first animal welfare organization in this county, May 13, 1975. The new Yamhill County Humane Society (“YCHS”) was registered as a nonprofit corporation with the State of Oregon. The organization received 501(c)(3) status in March 1978.
Goals were set to find their own property for a rescue. The purchase of Amberwood Kennels was completed on March 15, 1980, and on April 1, 1980, YCHS took possession of their new shelter. It was named Evergreen-Doe Humane Society” (“EDHS”). This new name was selected to honor the two major donors, Evergreen Helicopters, Inc. and the Marguerite Doe Foundation.
In 2003, a contest was held to rename the shelter to better reflect the mission. The winning entry, submitted by a shelter volunteer, was “Homeward Bound Pets”!