Seattle Humane Society Programs
Low-Fee Spay/Neuter: We spay/neuter all shelter pets pre-adoption and offer low-fee spay/neuter surgeries for pets of low income-qualified community members. Last fiscal year we altered more than 2,700 public pets and assisted other animal welfare organizations with their spay/neuter surgery needs. Through our partnership with Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, 4th year students alter shelter pets as part of their clinical training, freeing up Seattle Humane vets to serve more animals in the community.
Community Outreach: Pet Food Bank provides pet food and supplies to nearly 1,500 low-income, disabled and senior clients each month; more than 15,000 pounds of food is donated monthly by community groups, pet food companies and individuals. Pet Project helps nearly 190 low-income community members disabled by AIDS/HIV keep and care for their pets by providing pet food, supplies and basic veterinary care. Nearly 30 Visiting Pet Friends volunteers regularly bring the healing power of animal companionship to nursing homes, hospitals and children’s homes. Humane Education Program brings the MaxMobile, our mobile adoption/teaching center, to schools, community centers and festivals; our summer camp and teen club educate the next generation about animal welfare and volunteerism.
Volunteer Corps: We are able to offer a wide range of programs/services thanks to our more than 1,800 passionate volunteers. They walk dogs, brush cats, deliver food, help with office work, provide adoption support, staff special events. Last fiscal year, they committed nearly 198,000 hours of their time – the equivalent of 95 FTEs -- and more than 5,400 pets benefited from volunteer foster care that expands the walls of our shelter.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Successful Record-Breaking Year: In 2013, our live save rate rose to 97.85%, one of the highest in the country. We adopted out nearly 6,000 pets, the best year in agency history. More than 3,000 animal lives, a 48% increase from 2012, were saved through our Life-Saver Rescue Program from shelters in Eastern Washington and California -- with the support of donors, we have funded the program for two years as well as the purchase of two custom rescue transfer vehicles. We achieved these successes without any local/state/federal government support or assistance from any national animal welfare group.
Current Needs: Pet homelessness and overpopulation are significant problems in our community. We continue to address these problems with record success, but much more needs to be done. We face the challenge of adopting and rescuing even more animals with an aging and overburdened facility, limiting our ability to expand critical services.
Nonetheless, we find creative ways to advance our mission. Our volunteer foster network continues to expand, opening up more space at the shelter to take in more guests. Our partnership with WSU’s vet school allows us to perform more medical procedures; provide an extraordinary education in community-based, wellness-centered primary animal care; and establishes a replicable model for the delivery of animal shelter services with an embedded teaching program. We benefit from the resources provided by our volunteer corps to expand the reach of our staff so we break agency records each year, as well as to connect us with additional space outside the shelter to host events, meetings and educational programs. We do the best we can, but a state-of-the-art adoption center, shelter and teaching hospital would enable us to do more.