Indigo Rescue

Our Mission

Meet Indigo Rescue (short video)

We provide specialized, life-saving intervention for animals with unique characteristics and needs that render them unadoptable by shelter standards.  We do this by:

  • Working with area shelters, rescue organizations and community members to identify animals in need.
  • Recruiting, training and providing on-going support to foster families.
  • Providing specialized medical and behavioral intervention where needed.
  • Working carefully to ensure ideal permanent placements.
  • Providing follow-up support to adopters.
  • Promoting spay/neuter programs and responsible pet ownership.
  • Assisting and coaching people in search and rescue efforts for lost pets.

Our mantra: “Never, never, never give up.”


Pet Matchmaker Events

Come and meet some of our adoptable pets and find out about Indigo Rescue. Remember, not all of our pets can attend. If you want to meet someone specific, please make arrangements with our adoption staff.

Petco at Tansasbourne. 18200 SW Evergreen Parkway.

  • Every Thursday from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • January 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th.
  • February 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th.
  • March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th.

Tanasbourne Petsmart 185th and Walker Rd.

  • Every other Sunday from noon to 3:00 p.m.
  • January 12th, 26th.
  • February 9th, 23rd.
  • March 8th, 29th.

Nature’s Pet @ Murrayhill. 14611 SW Teal.

  • January 25th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Nature’s Pet at Five Oaks. 16165 SW Regatta Ln

  • February 15th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

In loving memory of Phyllis Johanson

On Sunday, November 26th, 2017, the Portland animal welfare community lost one of its longest involved, most dedicated and pioneering women. Phyllis passed away at her home in Portland. Her husband, George, and her son, Aaron were by her side. Her kitty, Buster, slept at her feet.

Her work dating back to the early 70’s, Phyllis was always on a mission to help animals. She researched, attended conferences, wrote letters, called, testified, and met with public officials. Always one to speak in defense of those who could not speak for themselves, she aligned herself with any individuals she believed could help her on her mission to end animal suffering. In particular, she worked tirelessly to improve conditions and protocol at Multnomah County Animal Services, with a goal to reduce or end euthanasia.

Phyllis always came up with great ideas for fundraising and for new programs to reduce the pet overpopulation problem. Her passion was definitely cats, but it certainly didn’t end there. If they had four legs, she wanted to help provide them a safe life.

Phyllis was fearless. She made a name for herself in the animal sheltering community by co-founding and co-coordinating multiple organizations and committees to make change. If not enough change happened from one of them, she would regroup and come up with another. The list of animal organizations and activities Phyllis was involved in is too long for most of us to recount, but several of us contributed what we could recall. Among them were:

  • Co-board member of Oregonians against trapping, formed to put a measure on the ballot to ban the trapping of wildlife in the state. Got it on the ballot but, after a valiant effort, lost.
  • Protested the selling/wearing of fur at three local fur stores – Hamilton, Schumacher and Ungar Furs. By 1990, all three were out of business.
  • Worked successfully to get a state law passed against animal abandonment in 1985 (ors.167.340) (1) A person commits the crime of animal abandonment if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence leaves a domestic animal or an equine at a location without providing minimum care. (2) It is no defense to the crime defined in subsection (1) of this section that the defendant abandoned the animal at or near an animal shelter, veterinary clinic or other place of shelter if the defendant did not make reasonable arrangements for the care of the animal. (3) Animal abandonment is a Class B misdemeanor. [1985 c.662 §8; 2001 c.926 §11; 2009 c.233 §1
  • Participated in the effort to end rodeos and circuses
  • Protested animal experimentation at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center
  • Member of the Responsible Pet Ownership Council; with a focus on the dangers of fireworks for pets
  • Co-founded and was an original board member of Animal Aid of Portland
  • Co-founded/Formed Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon in 1995; spaying and neutering more than 85,000 cats in Oregon/Washington to-date
  • Co-founded the Tom and Mom Cat Special, neutering and spaying more than 10,000 cats from the community
  • Founded Friends of Shelter Animals; assisting people financially who did not have the resources to care for their pets
  • Neutered/Spayed all cats at the Civic Stadium, now called PGE Park (*Note: Eventually Phyllis got herself 86’d from the grounds because she would wander through the field to go feed the cats without stopping to check if there was a baseball game going on at the time!)
  • Member of People for Animal Rights
  • Supporter of Oregon Defenders of Greyhounds
  • Supporter of GREY2K USA
  • Worked tirelessly for “No on Measure 34” Campaign to protect cougars and bears
  • Coordinated the Portland Cat Summit
  • Board Member of Multnomah County Animal Services Citizens Advisory Board
  • Worked on the Campaign to tax pet food and help fund Mult. Cty Animal Services
  • Was a member of the city/county task force to study funding and performance of MCAS
  • Passed a local ordinance to only allow dogs chained for a certain number of hours
  • Worked on MCAS and Clackamas Adoption Outreach
  • Found homes for countless unwanted dogs and cats

Long before there was Craigslist, Phyllis spent countless hours perusing classified ads trying to connect found pet ads with lost pet ads. She was constantly on the phone connecting people and trying to find solutions for people who would cry to her about needing to find a new home for their pets.  Like so many of us, she sometimes threatened to quit doing the work because listening to the people drove her crazy, but of course, she never did, and she never would.  She knew the animals needed her. Her heart wouldn’t allow her to quit. Like it or not, Phyllis was in it for the long haul.

Just knowing Phyllis and her dedication was inspiring and she was loved and admired by so many of us in the animal welfare community. Losing her has affected us deeply. Phyllis and I would often commiserate on the phone about our frustrations in trying to change the world faced by animals. Twenty some years ago during one such conversation I was particularly down-in-the-dumps. Phyllis did her best to cheer me up. A few days later I received a card from her in the mail. It said simply “never, never, never give up.”  Of course, I knew it was a Winston Churchhill quote used in an entirely different context, but as I stared at the words on that card I was profoundly moved.  Phyllis was right; I could never, never, never give up. I hung the card on the wall above the desk in my office and I still look at it today, all these years later.

The quote on that card affected me so deeply that I decided to use it as my email signature. I will always think of Phyllis when I think of my own commitment to animals and their welfare.  I will miss my very good friend and fellow warrior, and I will continue on with the work, just as Phyllis did, to the very end.


Visit Our Sponsor! Page

We created a page to showcase the dogs and cats in our care with special medical needs. Of course, our hope is to take care of them and go on to find those special, kind-hearted homes to adopt them, but without an adoptive home, they become our “hospice” pets. They will stay with us until they pass away from whatever age-related health complications they may have.

Visit our Sponsor!  page to meet these great kiddos and find out how to make a donation to help them. You can help us to support them and make staggering differences in their lives. Take a look at Patchouli before and after the care she received to recover from malnutrition and mange (not to mention having a litter of puppies).

patchoulibefore-1 patchouliafterfurgrew
Patchouli: Before Patchouli: After


Who Doesn’t Shop at

You can support Indigo Rescue while shopping at Amazon Smile. Check it out!

Indigo Rescue And Adoption Inc


Rescue Stories

Click HERE to read some of our rescue stories.

The photo below is Imann, who continues to need assistance. Visit our Sponsor! page to find out more about how you can help our hospice and special needs kiddos. 


Dig My Dog (or Cat or Horse …)

  Check out our second business venture: 

  Order a custom vinyl decal of YOUR OWN PET that you can boast on your car window!!

   And remember, 100% of the profits from go back into our rescue organization!

Homestyle Boarding in the Country

 To provide continued funding for our rescue work, Indigo Rescue created a beautiful homestyle dog boarding ranch in the country in Vernonia, Oregon, called Oregon Canine University at Indigo Ranch (aka Indigo Ranch). Situated on 16 acres of beautiful countryside on the Nehalem River, Indigo Ranch is a dog’s dream vacation location. 100% of the profits from our homestyle boarding services provided at Indigo Ranch go directly into our non-profit rescue organization to fund and expand on our rescue and spay/neuter efforts.

Click here to learn more about Indigo Ranch and the best vacation your dog will ever have!

Imann (aka Nonnie)

 We’ve had Imann since she was eight weeks old. This sweet little German Shepherd puppy was starving to death and needed to have emergency heart surgery for a condition called a “Persistent Right Aortic Arch”. Imann barely survived surgery and then developed a unique variety of a mega esophagus. After nearly one year, we finally discovered that feeding her without vomiting requires her eating her meals liquified (we call it a “meat shake”), divided into one cup increments, and fed to her 15-20 minutes apart. In October, 2012, Imann, a pure German Shepherd, was 15 months old and weighed in at 26lbs. Approximately one third of the weight of an average adult female German Shepherd. The good news is that she is still growing, and the longer she goes between vomiting sessions, the bigger she will hopefully get. Maybe she’ll only be 25-30lbs for her entire life, but we can live with that — as long as she’s happy!

Read more


One of our Hurricane Katrina rescue dogs.

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