Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™: Junior the Cat is New Inductee

Each year, the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and the Animal Health Foundation of Oregon honor animals who, through unselfish and courageous accomplishments, exemplify the affection, loyalty, security, public service, and value of the human-animal bond.

The Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™ is the second longest running awards program among veterinary organizations in the country. Since the program was started in 1988, the OVMA and the AHFO have recognized dogs, cats, an animal welfare group, a horse therapy group, horses, and one llama! Animals are inducted into the Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™ during the Oregon Veterinary Conference in Corvallis. See below for a list of past inductees.

Professional

 
Junior

Junior

 

Nominated by Dr. Delia Surroz, Vitality Pet Hospital, Salem

The Professional award recognizes animals specifically trained for service or assistance.

Junior the cat lives with his family, the Pitters, in West Salem. For the past six years, this eight-year-old male, domestic short hair feline has visited patients and staff at Salem Hospital, where his owner, George, works part time as an emergency room technician.

Junior is a Pet Partners certified therapy animal. Pet Partners has certified 11,000 animals, and Junior is one of only 180 cats registered nationally with the group to provide animal therapy in hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities.

Junior can often be found snuggling up and snoozing with patients. Research suggests that interaction with therapy animals contributes to lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart rates, and relieving anxiety, stress and even depression. For people with cognitive impairment or dementia, animals can help trigger memories.

In short, the work of Junior and others like him brightens the lives of those facing physical and emotional challenges.

Past Inductees

Hero

Recognizes animals who have saved or preserved a life.

  • 1988 Big Red (dog), Sam (cat)
  • 1989 Hadji (dog), Morgan (dog)
  • 1991 Max (dog)
  • 1992 Missy (dog)
  • 1993 Gunner (dog)
  • 1997 Helga & Tad (dogs)
  • 2000 Sheba (dog)
  • 2002 Ceasar (dog)
  • 2003 Pillsbury (dog)
  • 2004 Sunny (dog)
  • 2005 Chassa (dog)
  • 2009 Zar (dog)
  • 2011 Brodie (dog)
  • 2012 Jakob (dog)
  • 2013 Hunter (dog)
  • 2015 Leah (dog)

Companion

Recognizes animals who have provided a benefit to their human companions or their community.

  • 1994 Solo (cat)
  • 1999 Project Pooch
  • 2002 Howard (dog)
  • 2003 Jesse (dog)
  • 2005 “Ginger” (dog)
  • 2006 Cassidy (cat)
  • 2007 Daniel (dog)
  • 2008 Gracie (dog)
  • 2009 Ace (dog)
  • 2010 Rusty (dog)
  • 2011 Bosa (dog)
  • 2012 Dottie (dog)
  • 2013 Lily (dog)
  • 2016 Vladimir (cat)

Professional/Service

Recognizes animals specifically trained for service or assistance.

  • 1990 Sparkle (dog)
  • 1994 Ranger (dog)
  • 1998 Horses for the Physically Challenged
  • 2001 Cajun (dog)
  • 2002 Kate (dog)
  • 2003 Camas (llama)
  • 2004 Rikki (horse)
  • 2005 Gleason (dog)
  • 2006 Snert & Jake (dogs)
  • 2007 Annie (dog)
  • 2008 Butterscotch (horse)
  • 2011 Doc (dog)
  • 2012 Nelson (dog)
  • 2013 Ryerson (dog)
  • 2014 Raido (dog)
  • 2015 Rawhide (dog)
  • 2017 Junior (cat)

Updated: 2017-03-06 08:00:00

Author: Oregon Veterinary Medical Association