article Three adults are accused of locking a 9-year-old child in a kennel. (Credit: Davidson…
Thanks to a grant from the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Northern Tier Shelter Initiative, the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society (OPHS) recently received $35,000 for new large cat enclosures and protective mattress topper for large dog kennels. .
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping and building the enclosures and mattress toppers took several months.
Luanne Hinkle, executive director of the Humane Society, said the organization had two areas in particular that could benefit from such a grant.
“Providing our non-roaming felines with housing that is considered best practice in the animal welfare industry was one of the goals. The second need was safety mattress toppers for some of our kennels that house large jumping dogs that might try to jump over the enclosure – a potentially dangerous hazard to both animal and staff.
For cats, the enclosures provide two separate areas with an adjoining gate to separate sleeping, food and litter boxes. Additionally, OPHS retrofitted the existing enclosures with portals to double the space.
OPHS can also provide safe custody of large dogs with newly installed kennel mattress toppers.
“We had concerns for dogs like Great Danes or Pyrenees trying to scale the kennel doors,” Hinkle said. “Best animal care practices are always our mission throughout the shelter, along with finding the perfect home for all of our animals. We are honored that the ASPCA selected us for this funding.
OPHS adds a generator
The OPHS also recently set up a 20-by-30-foot commercial tent and generator to help house overflow animals and keep the agency operating in the event of an emergency.
The amenities were supported by a $10,000 Emergency Preparedness Grant from the Petco Foundation that was awarded to OPHS in March.
“You never know when an emergency will be upon us,” Hinkle said. “Once the kennels are full, they are full. If we were to need to house a large influx of pets, such as in the event of a fire, flood, or even a pandemic, we would be hard pressed.
The large marquee style tent also doubles as a bad weather dog training area.
A new program that certifies OPHS handlers has recently been implemented using the space for quiet individual training. This advanced course allows a pre-screened volunteer to help train the dogs that reside at the shelter.
“We want to find new forever homes for all of our residents as soon as possible,” Hinkle said. “A lot of our dogs need a course in manners, loose leash walking and other areas that make them more adoptable.”
The trainers, trained by certified dog trainer and handler Monica Roberts, use a reward-focused system for having a happy dog while reinforcing the techniques OPHS staff use for consistency, Hinkle said.
“Not only are we better prepared for an emergency, but our dogs are also better prepared for adoption,” she added. “We pride ourselves on doing our best in both areas.”
The order and installation of the tent and generator were delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Hinkle said.
“It is our duty to the community to be as prepared as possible to help animals in an emergency,” she said. “We plan to expand this emergency preparedness program even further if we can secure additional grants.”
Learn more about the OPHS
For over 70 years, the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society has maintained an active presence in Sequim, Port Angeles and surrounding areas, housing and caring for pets of all types, regardless of breed, health or disposition.
The private non-profit association is funded primarily by donations and private donations and is not associated with any national organization.
For more information, call 360-457-8206 or visit www.ophumanesociety.org.