Kennel Closure



The staff and the Board of Directors of the Columbia Humane Society (CHS) would like to formally announce that, effective immediately, the kennels at the Holsheimer Lemar Animal Shelter will no longer be open to the public. The shelter will remain open for adoptions; however the process will be slightly altered from the past.


We have not reached this decision lightly, but as the result of research and consultations with other rescues currently acting under this policy. It is our responsibility to promote the health and welfare of all the animals currently in our care. As those who have walked through the kennels may know, it is a high anxiety environment for any animal. The addition of public interaction drastically increases the animals’ anxiety. We have repeatedly seen their development relapse with the addition of public access.


Consequently, this new policy is being put in place to protect the animals we are training and caring for on a daily basis. It will allow us to focus on their enrichment, and during their transition periods, provide opportunities for progress in a controlled environment. This will also help protect the shelter from liabilities that may be incurred by allowing the public to interact with potentially unpredictable animals.


The closure of our kennels to the public should not indicate that we will no longer adopt animals or accept volunteers. Instead, the animals will rely more on our trained volunteers for socialization. If anyone is interested in volunteering at the shelter, please attend the volunteer orientation on the last Saturday of the month from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Additionally, anyone interested in adopting a pet is welcome to come to the shelter and fill out an application. We will work alongside you to match you to an appropriate new family member.  


Meanwhile, we are developing a new Meet and Greet center over the next few months. The center will be on-site, but not in the shelter, allowing adopters to meet their potential pets in less stressful circumstances than the shelter itself. This will offer a home-like environment in which adopters can make informed decisions about adding pets to their families and homes.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email or call Lisa at 503-397-4353. As always, we appreciate your support. Donations continue to be accepted at