When it comes to finding a new best friend, a great place to look is PAWS of Grays Harbor (PAWS). They are the largest no-kill animal shelter in Grays Harbor and find homes for up to 450 dogs every year. For the past year and a half, PAWS has been renovating their entire facility. The renovations will allow PAWS to save money, provide more services and make them a more inviting place to adopt. One of the biggest parts of the renovation is still to be done – outdoor dog runs.
“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.”
PAWS is doing everything they can to boost their numbers, hoping to increase the number of dogs adopted out to 500 a year. 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.
“It’s amazing the difference a pet can make to someone who may have a hole in their life right now,” explains Molle Bouch, sales at Harbor Pacific and board president for PAWS. “A lot of times an animal, with a little bit of love, can make a huge difference in someone’s life. It’s not just about the animals, it’s about the people and finding the right companion for that person.”
The shelter provides services in addition to adoption that are essential to the over 70,000 people in the Grays Harbor community. These services include rabies clinics with $10 vaccines and 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.
PAWS is working toward even more services with the purchase of the house adjacent to them. The upstairs is an apartment for a live-in veterinarian who they hope to hire by the end of 2018. Downstairs has an office, surgery room and recovery room. The building will also have 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. About $25,000 is 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
To finish those vital outdoor dog kennels, PAWS is hosting PAWtoberfest On October 14 at the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino for beer, wine, live music and a silent auction.
“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,” Molle adds. “Their generosity has really helped. Since we don’t have a huge overhead bill, more of the money can go to the shelter where it will do good.” In addition, QBRC donated 400 custom mugs for the event.
Although PAWS has never had a fundraiser before, running solely on community donations and adoption fees, Molle is no stranger to these events. “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 event will really make a difference in their renovation budget. “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.”
PAWtoberfest is sure to be a lot fun. Start the evening out by meeting a few dogs that will be looking for their forever homes.
Then, wet your whistle with 28 beers, including Western Washington favorites Dick’s Brewing Company, O-Town Brewing, and Steam Donkey. Westport Winery will also be attending with their delicious, local wines. More of a cider fan? Tart Hard Cider will be there as well. Round out night with the silent auction with a variety of gift baskets and items from the beverage vendors.
You can purchase tickets in advance at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino. Tickets will also be available at the door. Tickets are $30 for a couple in advance or $20 per person at the door.
For more information about the shelter and their programs, visit the PAWS of Grays Harbor website.