As the largest no-kill animal shelter in Grays Harbor, PAWS of Grays Harbor (PAWS) adopts out anywhere from 350 – 425 dogs a year, with a goal of 500, and even more cats. For the last year and a half, the shelter has been going through major renovations to service the county better, including the vital addition of outdoor dog runs.
Currently, the shelter provides several essential services to the over 70,000 people in the Grays Harbor community. They hold rabies clinics, where all vaccines are just $10. They have a spay/neuter program where residents can visit their office during business hours to purchase vouchers for drastically reduced spay or neuter services – $65 for cats and $75 for dogs. Procedures are performed at Brady Veterinary Hospital in Montesano.
Of course, their primary concern is helping homeless pets find loving, forever homes. A recent move to social media has helped them boost their adoption numbers with someone from Bend, Oregon recently adopting a dog they saw online. The renovations will allow PAWS to save money, provide more services and make PAWS a more inviting place to adopt.
“It’s not just about the animals, it’s about the people and finding the right companion for that person,” Molle Bouch, sales manager at Harbor Pacific and board president for PAWS, explains. “Someone may have a hole in their life right now. A lot of times an animal, with a little bit of love, can make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
As part of their remodel, PAWS purchased the adjacent house to add more services for the community. The upstairs is an apartment for a live-in veterinarian who they hope to hire by the end of 2018. The downstairs includes an office, surgery room and recovery room. In addition, a pet bathing room will be open to the public where people can come in and, for a donation to PAWS, bathe their dog using provided supplies.
Despite the progress, there is still more to do. “We are in desperate need to finish these last renovations of the outdoor dog runs,” Molle shares. The dog runs are essential as they allow PAWS to keep dogs on the property 24/7. Currently, all dogs are housed elsewhere – either in foster care, at Blue Cross Veterinary, or Patty’s Place in South Side – and are transported on the days PAWS is open.
“It costs us roughly $3-4,000 a month to house these dogs off property,” Molle explains. “Once we have the kennels, we can not only keep them on-site, but we can expand our hours once again – adding another day that will have late evening hours so people can come adopt a pet after work.”
About $25,000 is still needed to finish the kennels, which includes a fire-proof-roof, walls made of removable steel partitions offering flexible spaces, and fencing. “We are designing and using high-end materials so that this space will last us a long time,” explains Molle. The Seabrook Community Foundation donated $4,000 toward the fence so far but there is still a long way to go.
Have a Pint for Pups at Pawtoberfest
What’s better than Oktoberfest? PAWtoberfest! On October 14, join PAWS of Grays Harbor at the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino for beer, wine, live music and a silent auction to raise money for their new outdoor dog runs.
“I helped out with the first Hoptoberfest when I was on the board of East Grays Harbor Rotary,” says Molle. “That fundraiser went back to the schools of East County, but it wasn’t going to happen this year, so they asked me if I would like to take it over as a fundraiser for PAWS.”
This will be PAWS first-ever fundraiser – they have been running solely on community donations and adoption fees. “We are lucky if we break even on a dog after all the veterinary costs, food and housing. Usually, our adoption fees do not cover all our expenses, so they are not a source of income for the shelter,” she explains. “We are lucky to have a very supportive community that donates generously to keep us going.”
Quinault Beach Resort and Casino donated the space for the event and is offering reduced room rates for people who want to stay Saturday night. In addition, QBRC donated 400 custom mugs for the event. “Their generosity has really helped,” Molle adds. “Since we don’t have a huge overhead bill, more of the money can go to the shelter where it will do good.”
And, PAWtoberfest is shaping up to be a blast. Twenty-eight beers will be on tap including local favorites Steam Donkey, O-Town Brewing, Dick’s Brewing Company and Tart Hard Cider for those who prefer cider to beer. Westport Winery will also be attending with their delicious, local wines. A variety of gift baskets and items from the beverage vendors will be available as part of the silent auction as well.
And of course, there will be a few dogs for meet and greets at the beginning of the evening, in case you are looking for a new best friend.
Tickets are $30 for a couple in advance or $20 per person at the door. You can purchase tickets in advanced at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino, PAWS of Grays Harbor, Harbor Pacific, Waughs in Aberdeen and Aberdeen Office Equipment. Tickets will also be available at the door.
For more information about the shelter and their programs, visit the PAWS of Grays Harbor website.