Humane Society reopens campuses to walk-in adoptions

Bark House to feature ‘adoption trail’

Olympic Peninsula Humane Society’s campuses for cats and dogs have reopened to the public for walk-in adoptions.

“Our shelters are now disease-free and kitten season is upon us (as) five litters of kittens have been surrendered already this spring,” Humane Society executive director Jason Stipp said.

Kitty City at 91 S. Boyce Road, Sequim, and The Bark House at 1743 Old Olympic Highway, Port Angeles, are open from 12:30-4:30 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays, with no appointments necessary.

Stipp said various restrictions have been in place dating back to the Covid-19 pandemic, with adoptions previously only available by appointment or at special events.

“When I started (in February), I thought, ‘We need to get back to normal,’” he said.

Kitty City reopened to the public two weeks ago, while the Bark House opened last week. As of May 30, the facilities have about 55 dogs and 50 cats, plus more animals in foster care homes.

To better accommodate visitors to the Bark House, staff are constructing an adoption trail with nine dog kennels and a play yard so people can better interact with their potential pets.

Humane Society staff held four off-site adoption events in April with 26 dogs adopted, but they’ve seen “an unprecedented number of surrenders — nine or 10 each week — that is stressing the dogs and our staff,” Stipp said.

When animals are surrendered or transferred, they all spend five days in quarantine, unless they have the previous owner’s vaccination records, then they can make adjustments accordingly, Stipp said.

Animals are vaccinated immediately, spayed/neutered and micro-chipped.

Prospective pet parents will have a chance to play with the animals, and they’ll be asked questions about their home life from staff to see how the animal and owner will get along.

“We do everything we can to match families with the right animal,” Stipp said.

“We want to save as many lives as possible.”

Prospective pet parents are required to own a home or have their landlord’s approval. Fees range depending on the type and age of the animal.

Most animals come mostly from Sequim and Port Angeles as the Cities of Sequim and Port Angeles, and Clallam County have contracts with the shelter.

Stipp said they’re not doing transfers now due to the “unprecedented amount of surrenders and some hoarder situations.”

He said there’s a misnomer that many pets are “damaged goods” in a shelter, as they’ve likely been socialized and house trained and they come in for many reasons, such as their owner dying. The facilities also see many pure breed animals come through, Stipp said.

“We’re a big proponent of adopting, not buying,” he said.

Late last year, animal shelter leaders shared a range of reasons for the increasing pet surrenders, such as increased costs for pet care, and animal breeding, along with a lack of spay/neuter clinics.

The Humane Society also found a few cases of the contagious and deadly canine parvovirus and the feline panleukopenia virus that led staff to close facilities to the public, but they’ve since found no traces of the viruses and have taken extra measures to prevent them.

According to the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society’s 2023 annual report, the facilities took in 1,192 animals, and adopted/returned 914 animals to owners.

Additionally, 519 spay/neuter surgeries were performed along with 14 lifesaving surgeries and 134 animals rescued from high kill shelters.

For more information about adoptions and the facilities, visit ophumanesociety.org or call 360-457-8206.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash/ Josie the cat is one of about 50 cats available at Kitty City after it reopened for walk-adoptions.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash/ Josie the cat is one of about 50 cats available at Kitty City after it reopened for walk-adoptions.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
Mac the cat explores some freedom during a tour of Kitty City as Liv Carlson, a kennel technician, watches him.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash Mac the cat explores some freedom during a tour of Kitty City as Liv Carlson, a kennel technician, watches him.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
Kitty City and the Bark House, owned and operated by the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society recently reopened to walk-in adoptions after being “by appointment only.”

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash Kitty City and the Bark House, owned and operated by the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society recently reopened to walk-in adoptions after being “by appointment only.”

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash/ Kitty City and the Bark House, owned and operated by the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society recently reopened to walk-in adoptions after being “by appointment only.” Cats like Squeak are one of about 50 available as of press time.

Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash/ Kitty City and the Bark House, owned and operated by the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society recently reopened to walk-in adoptions after being “by appointment only.” Cats like Squeak are one of about 50 available as of press time.

Britt Walker, vet services manager, on left, and “Red” Parsons, Kitty City assistant manager, test Tucker the cat for feline immunodeficiency virus on May 30 as Liv Carlson, a kennel technician, watches. Walker said it’s one of the many things they screen pets for at Olympic Peninsula Humane Society’s facilities.

Britt Walker, vet services manager, on left, and “Red” Parsons, Kitty City assistant manager, test Tucker the cat for feline immunodeficiency virus on May 30 as Liv Carlson, a kennel technician, watches. Walker said it’s one of the many things they screen pets for at Olympic Peninsula Humane Society’s facilities.