Pawsitive Alliance Programs
We work statewide - but target our resources in geographic areas with historically high companion animal euthanasia rates. Because we are not brick-and-mortar we have the ability to move our resources around the State where they are most needed.
Communities across Washington State spends millions of dollars annually picking up, housing and euthanizing stray animals. By reducing the number of unwanted animals, communities will be able to utilize those scarce resources for other vital needs.
We have a three pronged approach to reach our goal of reducing the number of adoptable cats and dogs euthanized each year in Washington State: Adoption, Spay/Neuter and Education.
- We sponsor adoption events to give shelter dogs and cats the opportunity to be adopted through increased exposure. Over 3,500 dogs and cats have found homes at our events since 2008. Our two day SuperPet event in Yakima in 2012 resulted in 178 dogs and cats finding new homes.
- We sponsor targeted spay/neuter programs to deal with the overpopulation crisis at its source. People know they should get their animals altered, but low income families simply don't have the resources to do so.
- Our education programs help improve pet retention by helping owners select the right animal for their home, family and lifestyle and by providing resources to address common behavior issues. For 2013 we are launching a new program providing adopting families "how to" training videos that address common behavior issues and a six-month follow-up program.
We coordinate large multi-shelter companion animal adoption events providing shelter animals opportunities to be adopted through increased exposure. Over 3,500 cats and dogs have found homes at our adoption events since 2008. At the adoption events the shelters' animals have an opportunity to be seen by the public outside of the shelter. In 2012 we helped 43 shelter and rescue partners from across the state save hundreds of dogs and cats.
Our Dog Concierge service helps attendees make knowledgeable decisions when adding a new dog or puppy to their family. Choosing the right dog and having reasonable expectations is the key in finding a lifetime family companion.
SNIP SNIP (Spay Neuter Increase Program)
Spay and neuter programs are key to addressing the animal overpopulation problem. Many low income families know they should have their family pets altered, but simply don't have the resources to do so.
Pawsitive Alliance provides free and low cost spay/neuter programs which target the companion animals of low income families who do not have the resources to spay/neuter their pets, and the companion animals most likely to be euthanized in shelters for space. We focus our resources in geographic areas of the State with historically high euthanasia rates. In 2012 we helped cover the cost to alter over 750 cats and dogs.
Education to Improve Pet Retention
Behavioral problems are one of the top reasons animals end up in shelters. Most of the time, these behavioral issues can be fixed. We provide tools to work on behavioral problems, which in turn reduces the number of animals being relinquished to shelters for behavioral issues.
For 2013 we are launching a pilot program to provide adopters with short, easy to follow videos that address common behavior issues along with a six month follow-up program to help address any issues that may arise.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Recent Success - Responsi-Bull (RAB)
In 2007, the year before RAB was started, 673 pit bull/mixes were euthanized for space at the Tacoma/Pierce County Humane Society. Pit bull/mixes represented 85% of the dogs euthanized in 2007. We joined forces with Bullseye Rescue and local dog trainers to form the RAB program to begin tackling this community tragedy and we have been committed to its success each year.The program provides free spay/neuter, free workshops and obedience classes.
Beginning in 2008 with the start of the RAB program, this three step approach began helping pit bull owners become responsible owners as well as ambassadors for the breed. Our RAB partner BullsEye Rescue focuses on placing healthy pits into good and responsible homes and takes in pit bulls that need some additional training before they are ready for adoption. In October 2011, The Tacoma/Pierce County Humane Society lifted its adoption breed ban of pit bull/mixes – thirty (30) pit bull mixes and eighteen (18) pit bulls were adopted in 2011, the first adoptions since the shelter initiated the adoption breed ban in 1987.
In 2011 the euthanasia number dropped to 440, a decrease of approximately 35% from 2007. For the fourth quarter of 2011, for the first time in twenty years, pit bulls were not euthanized for their breed for space at The Tacoma/Pierce County Humane Society. We are encouraged that public opinion is changing towards this often maligned breed.
Current Needs - S.N.A.P.
In 2005, Pawsitive Alliance, along with Bark R'Us Rescue, Yakima Valley Pet Rescue, the Yakima Tribal Nation and the Humane Society of Central Washington formed the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (S.N.A.P.) of Yakima County. To date the program has issued over 4,200 vouchers for free or low cost spay/neuter.
During 2012 Pawsitive Alliance directed significant resource to expand our adoption and spay/neuter in Yakima County.
We held our first adoption event outside of Puget Sound - a two day event in Yakima during which 178 cats and dogs were adopted. We initiated a targeted dog spay/neuter project and altered 220 dogs - exceeding our initial goal of 170 dogs by 29%. We initiated a targeted cat spay/neuter project that is still ongoing with a goal to alter 350+ cats.
In Yakima County 24% of the population live below the poverty line. Low income families simply do not have the resources to spay and neuter their companion animals. The county has an overabundance of unaltered animals with litters constantly inundating the only county shelter.
S.N.A.P. receives far more requests for spay/neuter vouchers than the program has resources to fill. It is important to understand that there is a serious pet overpopulation problem in Yakima County. Spay/neuter programs are the best way to address the pet overpopulation problem and paired with the Pawsitive Alliance adoption events, we will ensure that animals continue to leave the shelter with adoptive families, getting a second chance at a good life. And we will be preventing additional unwanted litters from burdening the shelter.