Tag Archives: Kitsap Humane Society

Golf in South Kitsap goes to the dogs

Kerris, the yellow lab who works at the Kitsap County Courthouse, started the weekend early with a round of golf Friday morning at Trophy Lake Golf & Casting.
Perhaps you remember the story I did on Kerris in 2010. The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s office brought her on as a courtroom therapy dog to put witnesses at ease during difficult testimony, and generally to diffuse the tension. Her handler is Keven Kelly, chief of District Municipal Court.

The two were golfing for charity at the Kitsap Humane Society‘s Fore the Animal’s golf tournament. This is the third year of the tournament, which is notable for allowing animals to tag along.

I love imagining dogs in plaid knickers and spiked shoes, wagging their little tails as they get ready to tee off. Alas, it doesn’t work like that. The dogs pretty much just ride in golf carts, slobber and shed.

There were 100 golfers and seven pooches signed up for the tourney, said Rebecca Johnson, the Humane Society’s event coordinator and executive assistant.

Their goal was to raise $15,000 for KHS.

Humane society expands feral cat trap-neuter-return program to Port Orchard

In February 2013, the Kitsap Humane society launched a program to reduce the feral cat population in Bremerton. KHS calls them “community cats.”

The method (not without its critics) is trap-neuter-return. KHS vets say it’s documented to work in gradually reducing feral, pardon me, community cat colonies.

Adult feral cats can’t be socialized for placement as pets. The past approach to eradication of feral cat colonies has been to trap and euthanize the animals. But that doesn’t work well, according to KHS veterinarian Jen Stonequist.

Because feral cats are territorial, eliminating members of the colony simply creates a void that is soon filled again by new cats – and their unchecked litters of kittens. The cats who live in these colonies are generally in poor health and carry disease.

“An effective TNR program works to stabilize the free-roaming cat population in a community by preventing new litters of unwanted kittens, and reduces feline illnesses by reducing mother-to-litter transmission and transmission by fighting,” said KHS Spokeswoman Rachel Bearbower. “It can also significantly reduce the noise and odor which arise from unaltered males fighting, mating, and marking territories.”

KHS officials estimate there are more than 2,200 feral cats in the 98366 area code, where the effort is focused.

The Community Cats Program, funded through a PetSmart grant provides live traps and training on trapping to willing neighborhood volunteers.
Adults are neutered or spayed, and given a full check up and a rabies vaccine before they are reintroduced to their preferred neighborhood. A small mark on the ear prevents repeats. Kittens are taken into the humane society for placement as pets.

Over time the colony shrinks, as the animals are unable to reproduce.

The humane society also has a litter abatement program. If your pet has had a litter, you can bring the babies (dog or cat) to KHS. They will be spayed and neutered, and placed in “forever homes.” KHS also will spay the parent free of charge and return the animal to you.

Anyone with information about feral cat colonies in the Port Orchard area, or who is interested in volunteering for the Community Cats program, is asked to contact Kitsap Humane Society at CommunityCats@kitsap-humane.org or call 360-692-6977.

That’s one lucky (or really smart) dog

What are the chances that a dog hightailing it through the countryside in total panic, fleeing fireworks, would find refuge in the home of the local humane society director?

Kitsap, believe it or not.

The husky was startled by the popping and blasts from a neighboring yard. His owner had just put the other family dog inside and was heading back out for the husky, when the dog’s’s flight impulse kicked in. The last thing the owner saw was the south end of the husky heading north over the fence.

Kitsap Humane Society Executive Director Eric Stevens was “surprised when a beautiful red husky dog showed up at our back door. … As soon as I opened the door, he came darting into the house.”

The dog, panting heavily, made himself at home in Stevens’ kitchen and had no inclination to leave. Luckily, he had current identification on his dog tags, so Stevens was able to reunite him with his family, who were “relieved and overjoyed.”

Unfortunately, not all pets frightened by fireworks are so lucky. In the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July, more lost pets end up at the Kitsap Humane Society than any other time of year, according to KHS Spokeswoman Kelly Michaels.

Michaels has the following tips to keep your pets safe:
* Make sure your dog or cat has current ID on his or her collar, and make sure the collar fits properly (no more than two fingers should fit underneath for dogs). Cats should wear safety collars that will pop off or stretch if they get caught on something.
* Keep animals inside the house during festivities. If people will be coming and going, shut your pet in the bedroom. Close widows, shades and curtains, so they will feel more secure.
* Muffle the sound of fireworks by turning on the TV, radio or a fan.
* Sit with a very anxious pet. Distract them with play and their favorite toys.

If a pet is lost:
* Do not delay. Start looking for them as soon as possible.
* Visit the Kitsap Humane Society daily if possible to look for your pet. “Sometimes it may take several days before a lost pet is brought into the shelter, so keep coming back,” Michaels said.
* Visit the humane society online, kitsap-humane.org/looking-lost-pet and follow the steps, including calling the KHS lost pets hotline, (360) 692-6977, ext. 2. Also check with Kitsap Lost Pets, http://www.kitsaplostpets.org/, a lost-and-found animal site, hosted by PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap. KHS and PAWS partner on reuniting pets with their families.

Now through July 8, it’s Red, White & Meow! at the humane society. Adoption fees will be 50 percent off for 10 dynamite cats “with extra spark.”
Valentino“They each have their own unique personalities,” Michaels said. Visit kitsap-humane.org/red-white-and-meow for a list of these cats.

On July 13, the humane society will host its annual PetsWalk fundraiser. Registration starts at 8 a.m., with 1 K and 5 K walks starting at 9:30 a.m. A costume contest, behavior tip clinic, dog races and pet tricks are all part of the fun. The entry fee is by donation. Raise at least $35 in pledges to get T-shirt. For information and to register, visit http://www.kitsap-humane.org/petswalk-2013 or call (360) 692-6977.

Send PetsWALK pix to the Kitsap Sun

Because you know you have the cutest pet in the world, or at least Kitsap County. …

SILVERDALE — There may be some soggy doggies at this year’s PetsWALK from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Kitsap County Fairgrounds.
The weather is supposed to continue its November-like rain and chill, but it was rainy last year, too, and that didn’t stop people from signing up for the annual fundraiser for the Kitsap Humane Society, according to spokeswoman Kristin Lauver.
Walkers and their furry companions have gathered pledges in days leading up to the event. Participants alternately can sign up the day of the walk beginning at 9 a.m. A $35 registration fee is suggested.
PetsWALKS promises fun for both animals and animal lovers, with 1K and 5 K routes, a vendor fair, pet contests, demonstrations, a microchip clinic ($30), and adoptable pets.
Stick around for the afternoon costume contest and talent show.
All money raised goes toward the care of local animals in need. Participants who raise at least $50 will get a commemorative PetsWALK T-shirt.
Go to yourmedia.kitsapsun.com after PetsWALK to upload photographs of your pet. If enough are submitted the Kitsap Sun will create a photo gallery.
The humane society is located at 9167 Dickey Road NW in Silverdale; (360) 692-6977.

Humane Society waives adult cat adoption fees during “Feline Frenzy”

The Kitsap Humane Society is temporarily waiving adoption fees on cats older than one year of age, during a “Feline Frenzy” event this weekend. The offer, good through Sunday, is intended to boost adoptions in response to an unexplained influx of cats.
As many as 10 cats a day are being brought into the shelter. The rate in May has been 20 percent higher than the same time last year, leaving the shelter with limited kennel space.
“We’re not sure yet why there’s been such an increase, but it’s been a trend for most of the year,” said Director of Shelter Medicine Dr. Jen Stonequist. “We don’t expect cat intakes to slow down anytime soon and we’re looking at the possibility of having a full shelter throughout the summer.”
KHS encourages adopters to make a donation to help offset its costs. The shelter takes in any homeless animal in need for any reason.

Kitsap Humane Society recruiting volunteers

The Kitsap Humane Society has been digging out from a public relations meltdown in the wake of former Executive Director Sean Compton’s largely unexplained departure in January, followed by the exit of three key staff members over the next couple of months.

Humane Society officials are eager to move forward, but an independent audit due out and available for public consumption within the next couple of months will answer some lingering questions about how the agency got in such a pickle.

The board has been criticized for leaving donors, volunteers and staff out of the loop. According to new board President Rosemary Shaw and Interim Executive Eric Stevens, the board and management are making efforts to mend fences and reconnect with all of those groups.

KHS is recruiting new board members (and three on the board with the greatest longevity will be stepping down in June), positioning itself to search for a permanent ED, getting its records up to date and recruiting additional volunteers.

KHS will host an information session for prospective volunteers from 6-7 p.m. Thursday in the Training Center. Topics to be covered include what each department does, what the current volunteer opportunities are and how to get started. Volunteers must be at least 13 years old and should be able to commit to at least eight hours per month for six months. KHS is located at 9167 Dickey RD NW in Silverdale (98383). For information, call (360) 692-6977.

Kitsap Humane Society vying for ASPCA money

The Kitsap Humane Society is hoping for a chance be one of 50 animal shelters that gets to compete for $100,000 made available by the ASPCA.

But it depends on them getting enough votes…

So, if you’re interested in helping out, go to the website where you can vote, just once each day, from now until midnight Eastern time on April 15. The 50 contestants with the most votes will be announced April 18.

Vote here.

I’m Just Sayin’ …

So I’m working on this story for Wednesday about “Loose Ends” from 2010, in which we follow up on stories run earlier in the year. One is about this MTV video shot in Bremerton (at Skateland roller rink), and there’s this Port Orchard Police Department patrol cruiser in a couple of shots. Way to muscle in on Bremerton’s turf, POPD. … I’m just sayin’ …

In other Bremerton news, there is a dead dog in the parking lot off Warren and 4th Street.

We were alerted to the canine carrion by reporter Tristan Baurick, whose mother lives nearby. Tristan, formerly a freelancer covering Banbridge Island, joined our staff at the end of November, replacing Derek Sheppard, who went to make videos for Bastyr University in Seattle. Six degrees of separation and all that jazz.

Tristan described the hapless animal as “post-apocalyptic.” Now there’s a writer for you. “This dog has been there for a long time. It’s kind of being picked apart. … It’s pretty disgusting,” he said. Which reminds me of that old Loudon Wainwright song …

The dog did not appear to have been abused, Tristan said, just ignored. To the Kitsap Humane Society’s credit, once Tristan alerted them to the dog, they quickly agreed to remove the carcass.

Also today in Bremerton, I understand, the city’s latest sculpture is being installed. Is there a connection? Probably not. I’m just sayin’ …

Herding Cats

It’s that time of year when cats breed at lightening speed, resulting in litters of unwanted kittens … unwanted at least from a human point of view.

Feral Cats

In today’s Kitsap Sun, you’ll see a Code 911 item about one East Bremerton couple who took matters into their own hands, bought a live trap and rounded up kitties in their neighborhood for deposit at the Kitsap Humane Society.

The couple advised neighbors at a meeting that they would photograph each cat, so that pet owners could see if their cats had been swept up with the strays.

Not everyone applauded their efforts. One neighbor, who collected his cat from the Humane Society, approached the couple’s home with a baseball bat and now could face charges.

Reminds me of a story I wrote in 2008 about Linda Dennis, a Bremerton woman on a mission to reduce the feral cat population. Only instead of shipping cats she caught in a live trap to the humane society, she collected donations to get them fixed and returned them to the neighborhoods from which they came.

Dennis has worked in conjunction with Seattle’s Feral Cat Project, which offers low-cost spay and neuter surgeries. The theory of the organization — and folks like Dennis — is that the neutered and spayed cats returned to their home will stake our territory and so prevent new strays from moving in.

No doubt stray cats are a problem. We used to have neighbors on either side who fed them. Looking across the fence, I would see hoards of mangy little faces peeking our suspiciously from under the one neighbor’s deck. The smell of cat feces wafted our direction, and I once found a deformed dead kitten in our kids’ playhouse.

One of the kittens that wandered into our yard eventually became our family pet. After we decided to keep the little guy, however, it took a lot of care to get him in shape. For one thing, he was so covered in fleas that they were visibly crawling all over his face and into his eyes. And yes, we did get him neutered.

If you have stray cats in your neighborhood, how have you dealt with it? Has your approach, like the East Bremerton couple’s, caused conflict? What do you think is the best way to handle the problem of pet overpopulation — other than the obvious, everyone spay and neuter their animals?

Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinics

Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project, Seattle; (206) 528-8125; www.feralcatproject.org

Coalition: HUMANE, Tacoma (formerly Peninsula Spay Neuter Clinic); (253) 627-7729; www.coalitionhumane.org

Animal Welfare Organizations

Kitsap Humane Society; (360) 692-6977; www.kitsaphumane.org

A.R.F. (animal rescue families); (360) 698-6576; www.animalrescuefamilies.org

PAWS of Bainbridge Island (cats only); (206) 842-2451; www.pawsbainbridge.org

PAWS of Bremerton; (360) 373-7043; www.pawsofbremerton.org

R.E.D. (rescue every dog); www.rescueeverydog.org

The Big Dog Project; (360) 434-2364; thebigdogproject@yahoo.com