Yakima Humane Society prepares for Ellensburg service while at max capacity

Yakima Humane Society
Image credit: Yakima Humane Society, Facebook

YAKIMA, Wash. — Just two weeks ahead of its expansion into the Ellensburg Animal Shelter, the Yakima Humane Society is experiencing an influx of people dropping animals at its front door.

Eight animals were abandoned and turned over to the Yakima Humane Society’s within the last two weeks, forcing their shelters to reach 100% capacity. The Yakima Humane Society turned to social media, asking community members to spread the word.

“This is felt by shelters and rescues across WA. Please assist us by passing the word that we are at max capacity,” YHS stated online.

Some animals were let loose at their facility’s front door while others were left on the sidewalk or brought into the facility by irate handlers.

Stretched thin without space for new animals, the Yakima Humane Society is on the precipice of another big push to help the pets of Central Washington. Starting on August 1, 2022, they will provide care for the Ellensburg community.

READ: Community responds to pet food shortage at Yakima Humane Society

Formerly operated by the city’s police department, the Ellensburg Animal Shelter was forced into tough choices in January when staffing shortages threatened the operation. Instead, the City worked out a deal with the YHS to rent the shelter grounds and turn all sheltering activity and associated needs over to the Yakima Humane Society.

In turn, the City of Ellensburg will pay $60,000 per year to the Yakima Humane Society for three years while maintaining the Shelter’s full-time employee to aid the transition and work on animal-related activity with the Ellensburg Police Department.

Sheryl Haga, Executive Director of the Yakima Humane Society, offered the following comments:

“We are excited at this opportunity to bring our services to Ellensburg. Not only will we continue our mission of ending cruelty and animal suffering and reducing animal overpopulation, we will focus on microchipping to help aid in reunification of pets and owners. A few other exciting things you can expect to see will be adoption events, low-cost vaccinations clinics, volunteer opportunities and more. We look forward to getting to know the needs of the community and to continue to give voices to those who have none.”

READ: Dozens of animals rescued from neglectful conditions at Cle Elum residence

These are the duties being turned over to the Yakima Humane Society:

  • Maintaining hours of operation, standards of care and exercise of animals
  • Transition and communications planning
  • Veterinary care
  • Animal licensing
  • Handling of fees and fines
  • Scanning for microchips
  • Adoption program
  • Audits and reporting
  • Record retention,
  • Partnering and use of volunteers
  • Handling of unclaimed animals, stray animals, redemption and euthanasia

YHS plans to create a new position on its Board of Directors for someone representing the Ellensburg operation. This individual will meet with the city, other Human Society leaders and stakeholders to uphold the standards of this operation.

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