Thanks to a grant made by 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 kennel toppers for large dog kennels.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping and construction of the enclosures and toppers took many 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 considered best practice in the animal welfare industry was one goal. The second need was for safety toppers for some of our kennels that house large, jumping dogs that may try to leap over the enclosure — a potentially dangerous hazard for the animal and staff alike.”
For the cats, the enclosures provides two separate areas with an adjoining portal to keep sleeping, food and litter boxes separate. Additionally, OPHS retrofitted existing enclosures with portals to allow for double the space.
OPHS can ensure safe keeping of large dogs with the newly installed kennel toppers as well.
“We had concerns for dogs like Great Danes or Pyrenees trying to scale the kennel doors, Hinkle said. “Best practice in animal care is always our mission throughout the shelter along with finding the perfect forever home for all our animals. We are honored ASPCA choose us for this funding.”
OPHS adds generator
OPHS also recently installed a commercial, 20-foot-by-30-foot tent and generator to help house overflow animals and keep the agency operating in the case 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.
“One never knows when an emergency will be upon us,” Hinkle said. “Once the kennels are full, they are full. If we should have the need to house a large influx of domestic animals, as in the case of a fire, flood, or even a pandemic, we would be hard pressed.”
The large, big-top style tent also performs a dual role as a dog training area during inclement weather.
A new program that certifies OPHS Dog Handlers has recently been implemented using the space for quiet one-on-one training. This advanced course allows a screened volunteer to help train dogs that reside in the shelter.
“We wish to find new, forever homes for all our residents as soon as possible,” Hinkle said. “Many of our dogs need a course in manners, loose leash walking and other areas that make them most adoptable.”
The trainers, coached by Monica Roberts, a certified trainer and dog handler, employ a reward-centric system allowing for a happy dog while reinforcing the techniques OPHS’ staff utilizes for consistency, Hinkle said.
“Not only are we better prepared for an emergency, our dogs are better prepared for adoption as well,” she added. “We are proud to be doing the best we can in both areas.”
Ordering and installation of the tent and generator was delayed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Hinkle said.
“It is our duty to the community to be as prepared as we can to help animals when an emergency happens,” she said. “e plan to expand this emergency readiness program even more if we can garner additional grant funding.”
More about OPHS
For more than 70 years, the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society has maintained an active presence in Sequim, Port Angeles and surrounding areas, sheltering and caring for domestic animals of all types regardless of breed, health or disposition.
The private nonprofit is financed primarily by private donations and gifts and is not associated with any national organization.
For more information, call 360-457-8206 or visit www.ophumanesociety.org.