Vashon Island Pet Protectors Programs
To reduce the number of homeless pets, a reduced-cost spay/neuter program is available to pet owners throughout the year, via the Northwest Spay and Neuter Center in Tacoma. In addition, VIPP partners with island veterinarians for February Fix-a-Cat and March Fix-a-Dog programs, to provide discounted spay and neuter services close to home.
To care for relinquished or abandoned pets until new homes can be found, VIPP’s cat shelter and adoption center houses 30 to 50 or more cats at any given time. Spacious rooms with outdoor access allow cats to move freely in compatible groups, while numerous volunteers provide feeding, cleaning, medical care, play and affection. Prospective adopters can visit the shelter on adoption days or by appointment. Dogs in VIPP’s care are fostered by loving families or housed at a local kennel. They meet adopters by appointment, and act as VIPP ambassadors in the Strawberry Festival parade, at the farmers' market, and in other public spaces and events. Volunteers have created promotional videos to increase public interest in adoption of rescued animals. Here's one from 2012: http://vimeo.com/34170899
Thanks to many diligent volunteers, VIPP has a very effective 24/7/365 lost and found pets hotline. Pictures and information go quickly up on VIPP's website, and details are rapidly shared to community email lists and social media. Photos of lost or found dogs and cats are also laminated and placed in areas where the pet was last seen.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Members of our community know that in the event of their death they can count on VIPP, as a no-kill organization, to care for and re-home their pets. Recently two 11 year-old dogs, each with medical issues were left in the care of VIPP. After four months, we were able to place the dogs in good homes where they can live out their lives in comfort.
The vast majority of found or relinquished animals need medical care. At intake, all animals get a checkup by a veterinarian, receive tests for disease and health status, and are vaccinated and microchipped. Many of them, particularly the older ones, require medications for pre-existing conditions. One of our current dogs needs expensive surgery to repair her hind legs. To address the health needs of the animals in our care, medical funding is a very important ongoing need.