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Jackson County awards family who helps with animals in need

Matt and Desiree Torassa began volunteering with the Southern Oregon Humane Society because they couldn’t have animals where they lived.

“That’s how it started. ‘Let’s go down and play with other people’s dogs for a while,’” Matt Torassa said.

Fast forward a few years, and the Rogue Valley couple now have their own house. But they haven’t stopped helping cats and dogs in need. They’re currently fostering a dog and cat that are up for adoption.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners recognized the Torassas this week with the Jackson County Community Service Award for December. The pair were nominated for the monthly award by Judy Hanstein, volunteer manager for the Southern Oregon Humane Society.

She said the Torassas have been volunteering for more than three years and serve more than 20 hours each month, primarily working to prepare animals for adoption.

They also are active with off-site adoption and fundraising teams.

Matt Torassa said they enjoy the time they spend with animals.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he said.

Desiree Torassa said although she and her husband were recognized with the volunteer award, she wanted to thank the community for its support of animals in need. As just one example, she said when the Southern Oregon Humane Society posts information about a homeless animal or an event on social media, the community shares the post around, boosting awareness and prompting people to step forward and help.

County Commissioner Colleen Roberts congratulated the Torassas and thanked them for their service. She said it’s neat to see couples who find a cause and volunteer together.

County Commissioner Rick Dyer said volunteers help make the Rogue Valley a great place to live and are the lifeblood of the community.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.