By Jan Murphy
Shelter Manager, Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor
At this special time of year, the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to everyone in the community who has supported us over the last 35 years; especially during the last several months, as we have embarked on building a new animal shelter. Because of your generosity, our little island shelter was able to re-home over 160 dogs and cats during 2017.
As many of you know, we are a private, non-profit organization, and do not rely on tax-payer money to fund our work. We do what we do through the generosity and kindness of private donors. Our mission is to save the lives of pets in need, and we are very proud and thankful to live in a community that so generously helps us do just that.
Over the last several years we have formed transfer agreements with several other shelters and rescue groups throughout Washington and as far away as California and Mexico. We continue to partner with the NOAH shelter in Stanwood, The Seattle Humane Society, and Whatcom Humane Society, not to mention Oregon Dachshund Rescue and several other animal shelters and private rescue groups in nearby communities. We are thrilled to work with Wings of Rescue, a California-based organization that uses volunteer pilots to fly homeless pets to participating shelters in times of need due to storms, fires, natural disasters and shelter over-crowding. We are also often called upon to help Pasado’s Safe Haven of Monroe, Washington with hoarding and cruelty cases. Most recently we have worked with several rescue groups on Whidbey Island to help with the overflow of homeless cats that cannot be accommodated at WAIF, the animal shelter there.
Over the last 18 months, we have saved the lives of over 60 dogs from our newest partner, The Lakeside Spay and Neuter Center in Chapala, Mexico. These dogs are flown here at no charge to us, fully vetted, vaccinated and spayed or neutered. Each comes with a story of homelessness, neglect, and in some cases, cruelty. Each is so deserving of a second, or even third chance, at a happy, safe life. We are often the last resort for these dogs, who have run out of other options. Chances are you have met some of these happy, lucky dogs here on the island, where many of them have found their forever homes.
Here at our animal shelter, we like to tell people, “Homeless animals know no borders or zip codes.” At the Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor, we take great pride in the lifesaving work we do, ensuring that the animals in our care go to responsible, loving homes. We share that pride with you – our wonderful, supportive community. Thank you for helping to make it all possible!