Family Dogs New Life, Clackamas County Dog Services both in North Clackamas area

Looking to spring for a new furry friend? With two shelters in Clackamas — Family Dogs New Life and Clackamas County Dog Services — there's no better place to look for a pet than in your own community.

Family Dogs New Life

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Tasha Giacomazzi, director of Family Dogs New Life, plays with a furry friend at the Milwaukie no-kill shelter.Family Dogs New Life is a no-kill, nonprofit dog shelter located off of Johnson Creek Boulevard that has been rescuing a variety of ages, breeds and backgrounds of dogs since Feburary 2004. Family Dogs New Life has open arms for dogs that other shelters no longer can keep.

Family Dogs New Life genuinely cares about the well-being of their dogs, said Tasha Giacomazzi, director of the program. No dog is limited to walls of a cage. Instead, they roam free with eight to 20 other pooches. This gives the dogs a chance to interact socially, reducing the stress that comes from living in a shelter. Being in packs also gives the staff a chance to monitor the personalities of the dogs and how they interact.

What Family Dogs New Life refers to as "doggie matchmaking" is the process of finding a pet that meets your specific lifestyle. The staff gathers information including which breed catches your eye and your background with pets. This helps pair you with a new family member. "It's not about finding the perfect dog, it is about dog and adopter being perfect for one another," Giacomazzi said.

Adoptions are first come, first serve. No appointment is necessary, but Saturdays are especially busy.

Planning on adopting? Family Dogs New Life asks you to bring any family member that will be living with the dog, as well as any other pets you may have, to ensure the dog will get along with everyone.

If you are interested in adopting from Family Dogs New Life, check out for more information.

Clackamas County Dog Services

PHOTO BY: MADISON DALLING-RAISNER - Gabrielle Urbani, Clackamas County Dog Services animal care specialist, pats a border collie named Piper.Clackamas County Dog Services is another great place to visit to rescue any pups in need of a forever home. According to volunteer and outreach coordinator Sarah Holcombe, the Clackamas Dogs Foundation is separate from the shelter but raises funds on behalf of dog welfare in Clackamas County.

"The Clackamas Dogs Foundation has its own board of directors, and they spend the money how they see fit. A lot of programs they support benefit the shelter Clackamas County Dog Services, making them a unique partnership," Holcombe said. People can donate directly to the shelter; monetary or nonmonetary donations are accepted. The foundation itself has some specific programs to allocate where that money goes.

The foundation has a low-income spay and neuter program it funds, which allows people who are on government assistance to purchase a dog license and receive a voucher for a free spay and neuter. There also is an emergency vet care fund, so if dogs come in injured and need to go to the hospital or spend extra time there, the foundation helps cover the costs so the shelter doesn't have to. And Clackamas County Dog Services sponsors a microchipping clinic the fourth Saturday of every month in a partnership with the Good Neighbor Vet Clinic.

Clackamas County Dog Services has a large volunteer program. The fourth Wednesday of every month there is orientation for new volunteers, who must be at least 18 years old. However, there are other opportunities for those under 18, such as a reading program. The shelter originally started the program so kids could practice their reading skills; now people of all ages read to the dogs.

Clackamas County Dog Services encourages dog owners to go through training with their pets and offer a Canine Good Citizen certification for free. There are classes offered or owners can work with their dogs at home. Once a dog passes the test, they are awarded a gold star license tag. There are benefits of being certified. For example, some landlords only allow dogs that are CGC-certified. Also, some homeowners' insurance companies offer discounts for CGC-certified dogs. To find out more about the Canine Good Citizen certification, visit the Clackamas County Dog Services website.

"In 2017, we had 1,052 dogs come through the shelter. That includes stray dogs, owner surrenders, or if a dog is here for a court case. Of the strays that came in, 75.9 percent were reunited with their owners," Holcombe said. "Our staff works really hard to find the owners of strays, and the microchipping clinic helps with that. We've microchipped a little over 300 dogs last year."

Adopt a dog

Clackamas County Dog Services

WHERE: 13141 Highway 212, Clackamas

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Family Dogs New Life Shelter

WHERE: 9101 S.E. Stanley Ave., Milwaukie

WHEN: Noon-7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday; closed Thursday-Friday

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