2018 was a year of growth for the Humane Society of Cowlitz County. We had over a thousand adoptions, over five hundred pets returned to their owners and over five hundred animals relocated to other shelters and rescues.
We gained a new director and many partnerships in 2018. The Humane Southwest Network is a shared services agreement between HSCC, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington and West Columbia Gorge Humane Society. The purpose of this partnership is to share resources such as transportation, relocation of animals and medical services. We have also been working with Kitsap Humane Society, Oregon Humane and several other shelters and rescue groups to transfer animals in and out of our shelter.
In 2018 we also started a new volunteer program. The new program includes several different levels of volunteering. With proper training and education, our volunteers are now able to become more involved in the day to day tasks of caring for our doggies and kitties. In this new year, we are planning to provide more opportunities for our volunteers and community to get involved with the shelter.
In the last year we hired two part time veterinarians. Three days a week we have a vet at the shelter to spay and neuter animals as well as check on the health of other animals at the shelter. In 2018 we did several emergency and necessary surgeries on stray animals that came to our shelter. From removing broken limbs and ruptured eyes we gave many animals a second chance at life.
We also took steps to educate ourselves to better the shelter. Our director went to the Emancipet Conference as well as attending a conference put on by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. All staff members participated in an educational seminar regarding vaccinations, and several staff members also participated in a communications training.
Our shelter has made some improvements on our building this year. We built a wall separating our stray dogs from our medicated cat room. By building this wall we were able to reduce the noise level that came from barking dogs. The hope was to in turn reduce the stress level for our cats that are recovering from illnesses. We also added three new handwashing / dish washing stations to allow several people to do dishes at once to increase efficiency as well as reducing the spread of illnesses.
2018 was a year of positive changes and growth in many ways for the Humane Society of Cowlitz County. 2019 will be a year of continued improvements, growth and education to better the stay of our furry friends. We couldn’t do this without our volunteers, fosters, community members and partnered shelters. Here’s to making 2019 our best year yet!