History of CHS


Columbia Humane Society
History at a Glance

The Columbia Humane Society was founded in 1985 with the board meetings being held in the council chambers in St. Helens, Oregon. Dr. David Middle, a local vet, spearheaded this venture to help as many animals as possible, and to inspire public awareness of the need for spay and neuter. The group put on chili feeds and rummage sales to raise money for a building to house dogs and cats. They worked very hard and saved their profits. In 1987, Dr. Dory Walrod. a retired medical doctor and member of CHS, offered the use of her empty llama barn as temporary shelter for the society to be able to house animals until they were moved to Meiffert Kennels on Dike Road in Scappoose. She also had a small empty house on her 160-acre tree farm that could be used for cats.

By this time the society was actively adopting dogs and cats to new homes and assisting the public (as much as financially possible) in the health and welfare of the animals in Columbia County.

In the early 1990s, Georgie Holsheimer and her husband Phil, built and gifted the current shelter at 2084 Oregon Street, for the Columbia Humane Society and the Columbia County Animal Control to share. The building was designed for climate control with its central air conditioning and water-heated floors. This was truly a godsend for the animals who moved into the newly christened Holsheimer-Lamar Memorial Animal Shelter in January 1993.

Since then, CHS has housed, cared for, and adopted hundreds of dogs and cats each year, to new forever homes. The past few years have seen hard financial times, but through the support of the local community and many dedicated volunteers, CHS was able to keep the shelter open and provide temporary housing and care for many cats and dogs whose families fell under hard times, too.

In 2010, CHS celebrated 25 years of helping friends find each other. Many of you have wonderful companion pets that you met at the Columbia Humane Society.

CHS anticipates continuing to provide the residents of Columbia County with a quality animal shelter we all can be proud of for the next 25 years!