Passionate About Pets? New Humane Society Needs You!
North Eastern Washington Humane Society Needs Volunteers, Donations And Ideas
Are you interested in animal welfare in Stevens County? Do you have a passion for responsible pet ownership? Have you ever taken in a stray dog or cat because you did not want it to starve? If you answered yes to any of these questions, The North Eastern Washington Humane Society (NEWHS) could use your help.
You may not have heard about NEWHS, as they are fairly new. The non-profit organization was formed around the middle of 2009, when several like-minded people came together because they were concerned about the lack of any animal welfare organization in Stevens County, especially the southern part of the county.
"Since we don't have a shelter that serves the county, or that offers low cost spays and neuters, people have nowhere to turn when it comes to individual strays, feral dogs or cats, and marauding packs like we saw last year," said Becky Washington, President of the organization. "We also have many people who get in over their heads with their own animal populations for lack of the affordable option to spay or neuter. We hope we can get out to more public events so we can offer some education on the necessity of spaying and neutering to help control some of these problems," she explained.
Indeed, anyone who resides in Stevens County quickly becomes aware there is very little help available when it comes to animal-related problems. The only entity that can do anything legally is the Sheriff's Department. For the immediate future, NEWHS will concentrate on serving the south end of Stevens County rather than the entire county since, according to Washington, there is an animal control officer in Colville and there are more sheltering options there.
NEWHS is off to a good start, and the organization has already been busy tackling animal welfare issues in the county. "We have donated dog food to food banks in the county, and we have had two low cost vaccine clinics," Washington reported. "Our board members have spoken to people about spaying and neutering their pets. We have also received a few calls about suspected animal neglect that we did some investigation on to see if the Sheriff needed to be called. Right now, we are available for advice, questions, public speaking, reporting suspected animal abuse and hoarding. We can make a contact or take a look at the situation, but we have no authority from the Sheriff who is responsible for the final assessment," she added.
NEWHS is not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States, but rather they have our own goals and by-laws. "The National organization works to change and make laws," said Washington. "We are a separate, stand alone group that does not have any jurisdiction, as yet, over anything! We would like to become a part of the process in Stevens County's animal control situations." she concluded.
As far as goals for the new organization, NEWHS hopes to be a resource for the community, providing information, education, and outreach services, such as spay/neuter programs, including assistance for low income homes. They also want to assist law enforcement in cruelty investigations, rescue and monitor animals in need and assist in the prosecution of abusers to protect animals from abuse and neglect.
The biggest item on their goal list is to raise funds to build a self-supporting animal rescue facility that will provide a clean and pleasant environment for unwanted, abused, or stray animals while facilitating adoption of healthy animals to qualified homes. The need for such a facility is great. "I have been involved with pet rescue for over ten years, placing around 400 dogs and other pets from my home," Washington said. "I would love to stop filling my own yard with strays and other people's surrendered pets, and have a nice facility where the public could come to safely rehome their pets instead of dumping them or abandoning them, and where people wanting pets could come see all the animals in need of new forever homes," she added.
Now that NEWHS has their 501(c)(3) non-profit status, they will be going forward with many more fundraising activities. They will be at Chataqua in Chewelah with a Photo Booth fundraiser July 12 -14 , and then at the Valley Fair making Indian Tacos on August 11.
As with any young organization, NEWHS is a work-in-progress. They are a small group now, but have hopes to grow and impact the residents―and animals―of Stevens County in a positive way. Come Join Them!
North Eastern Washington Humane Society meets at 7:00 p.m. the third Monday of every month at the Fire Hall in Springdale. For more information visit, WWW.NEWHUMANE.ORG, call 509-563-4040 or e-mail the organization's President, Becky Washington, at firstname.lastname@example.org.