Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1990 to support the programs of the Jackson County Animal Shelter. We are a volunteer driven, independent 501c(3) that works tirelessly each day to enhance the health and wellbeing of animals.
OUR VISION is for all adoptable animals at the Jackson Country Animal Shelter to find a loving home.
FOTAS is dedicated to the well-being and adoption of animals at the Jackson County Animal Shelter, the training and recruitment of volunteers and the promotion of pet health, spay/neuter services and education through community outreach.
OUR VALUES ARE: Service, Compassion and Generosity
The Jackson County Animal Shelter is the ONLY open-door shelter in Jackson County that takes “all comers”. No matter what condition the animal is in when it comes through the door, the Shelter will try and save the animal and find them loving, permanent homes. Because funding received from the Jackson County’s General Fund does not fully cover all of the Shelter’s expenses, support by donating to FOTAS continues to be critical to adequately care for the animals. Half the dogs rescued as strays each year are returned to their owners, we are the only organization/shelter that provides this community service.
FOTAS provides financial support for:
Orienting and training more than 250 volunteers, who socialize and enrich the lives of pets at the Shelter that are waiting for their fur-ever homes. Volunteers help everyday at the shelter by walking dogs, training, providing attention and enrichment activities. We tame and place kittens and cats by the hundreds and have instituted a new program for feral cats as "working cats" where a minimum of two together get placed at farms, vineyards and businesses to help with rodent control and provide them a long safe life.
- Subsidizing the adoption fees of older and special needs animals, both cats and dogs. Subsidizing adoption fees to offer two for one kittens during kitten season - when we have over 100 darlings to adopt!
- Paying for medical treatment for animals with injuries or curable diseases that might otherwise be euthanized. We provide monthly grants to the Shelter to cover these costs - all for the health and wellbeing of our defenseless pets.
- Providing “a home between homes” though the Foster Program. Recruiting, supporting, training and equipping our generous Foster Families to help sooth and train animals to be the best pets possible and provide a home atmosphere instead of a kennel has worked wonders in reducing kennel stress and assessing the best match for animal personalities and energy levels.
- Supporting The Street Dogs Project by providing spay/neuter services to companion animals of the homeless population, reducing the incidence of unplanned litters.
- Maintaining and improving the exercise yards and Slim Jim Lane where we exercise, socialize and train dogs.
- Paying for in-Shelter training for large-breed dogs, or those with behavioral issues, to help them become more adoptable.
- Paying for 1-hour in-home professional dog training within 6 months of adoption.
- Recruiting volunteers and buying relocation crates and materials, food and medicines for our Working Cats feral relocation program.
- In 2021 we made a huge investment to purchase and equip a new medical vet clinic in a trailer to provide spay and neuter services right at the shelter for the first time in their 60+ year history! Regional veterinarians are backlogged and couldn't provide needed appointments for 4-6 weeks, resulting in longer shelter stays than is healthy. This was a big campaign that we are still seeking $25,000 to complete the costs of surgical equipment and supplies. We are grateful to the donors that have helped us raise $125,000 so far. This new amenity will have a lasting impact on the health and adoption rate of animals for the future.
- FOTAS raises money to pay for all the Microchips from Michaelson's so that the Shelter can chip all adopted animals and offer low cost microchip clinics to our community. After devastating fires in 2020 displaced over 3,000 homes and the shelter - reuniting those pets with their owners would have been much more efficient had many of them been traceable.
- FOTAS supports a monthly Low Cost Vaccination Clinic that is offered to the community by drive in car appointments and helps provide healthcare for thousands of pets each year.
FOTAS has paid for the building of other facilities at the Shelter:
- Puppy Place – a safe and secure place for puppies to be socialized and exercised.
- Kitty Korner – an indoor/outdoor cattery that encourages cats to learn to live peacefully with other felines, and enjoy fresh air and exercise.
- We have also greatly enhanced and expanded the dog exercise yards.
- FOTAS can only continue to help in these vital ways due to the generosity of our donors and volunteers! Thank you from the thousands of animals helped for your thoughtful support!