Homeward Pet gears up for Clear the Shelters campaign

  • Written by Derek Johnson

If you’re thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, mark your calendar for August 18. Homeward Pet will be featuring their “Clear the Shelters” campaign.

DSC 3360Ms. Sophie -- a stray dog rescued from the streets of Yakima. (Photo by Derek Johnson) “That’s something that’s nation-wide,” said Ashley Heinbaugh, HP’s assistant shelter manager. “Basically to participate we waive the fees for adult animals. We’re doing that for any animal that is three years and older. Its fun, we did it last year.  We brought in a lot of people. It was exciting. You walk in in the morning, every single kennel is full. And by the end of the day, almost every single kennel is empty.”

The Woodinville Weekly toured the facility last Thursday afternoon. At one point, a mixed terrier puppy sat up in her cage. Her tail wagged and her body tremored. She peered up through the bars with earnest dark eyes.

“This is Ms. Sophie -- not pathetic at all,” Heinbaugh said with a lilt in her voice. “What a sweet thing. She’s excited to explore the world, but everything terrifies her at the same time. She just needs a home that builds her confidence and shows her the world can be a happy, safe place.”

According to Heinbaugh, Sophie was a stray picked up on the streets of Yakima. Dozens of other animals at Homeward Pet have their own stories.

Homeward Pet is a non‑profit, no‑kill animal shelter located in downtown Woodinville. Their mission is to give homeless animals a second chance through rescue, shelter, and adoption

The facility offers a vast array of rooms and services. There are kennels, meet-and-greet rooms, an operation room, a laundry room and private suites for animals that need quarantining or a quiet place.  Services include medicated baths, dental procedures, spay and neutering, microchip implants, glucose curbs and, for god’s sake, even ACL repairs.

Along one wall were hundreds of tiles that serve as memorials. They featured inscriptions from people who donated to the shelter in their deceased pet’s memory.

“When it comes to donations we’re really lucky because we’re in an area where people donate generously,” Heinbaugh said. “Anything we don’t use here in the shelter we put back into the community. There are local food banks. And within those food banks are pet food banks. So we are able to support them too.”

For people looking to adopt, Homeward Pet offers a survey to see what potential adopters are looking for. If they see an animal that might be a good fit, they can come in for a meet-and-greet. Home visits are also an option.

Heinbaugh was asked if she’s ever sad to see the animals leave.

“Yes, we get to develop a relationship with these animals and they become part of our family,” she said. “But we’re not their forever family. So we’re always excited when they get adopted. And then we’re thrilled when adopters send us updates six months down the line that their animal is doing great.” 

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