The Whatcom Humane Society (WHS) has been caring for animals throughout Whatcom County since 1902.

As the oldest non-profit animal welfare organization in Whatcom County, WHS is committed to caring for any animal in need. As an open-admission shelter, the dedicated staff and volunteers at the Whatcom Humane Society cared for approximately 5,000 domestic and native wild animals last year.

The Whatcom Humane Society has a long-standing, positive working relationship with the City of Bellingham, having provided 24 hour animal control and rescue services since 1973.

In addition to providing these services for the City of Bellingham, WHS also has animal control contracts with the Cities of Blaine, Ferndale, Sumas, Everson/Nooksack and working agreements with the Nooksack and Lummi Indian Reservations.

Since December 1, 2007, the Whatcom Humane Society has provided animal control and rescue services to all of Whatcom County (with the exception of the City of Lynden).

Summary of Programs and Services

  • Founded in 1902, WHS is the oldest non-profit animal welfare organization in Whatcom County.
  • Open-admission shelter, the Whatcom Humane Society turns no animal away regardless of his/her age, temperament, breed, physical or medical condition.
  • Provided care, comfort and services for approximately 5,000 domestic and native wild animals in 2014.
  • Operates a state of the art facility in Bellingham, a 10 acre farm facility in Everson and wildlife rehabilitation center near Bellingham.
  • Provides 24 hour animal control and rescue services for Whatcom County.
  • Investigates cases of animal neglect & cruelty.
  • Interactive adoption program for homeless animals that includes counseling new
  • adopters on responsible pet care and a variety of animal behavior issues.
  • Animal wellness program that provides health exam, vaccinations, flea medication, de-worming and additional medical treatment for animals upon arrival – and spay/neuter surgery, microchip, collar, license or id tag prior to adoption.
  • Staff veterinarian provides in-house veterinary services for shelter animals five days a week.
  • Operates wildlife rehabilitation services center, providing life-saving care and services for orphaned and injured native wildlife.
  • Implementation of Safe-Pet Program, providing short-term pet safekeeping for victims of domestic violence.
  • Humane education programs in Whatcom County schools and libraries that educate children (K-12) on the importance of showing kindness and compassion towards animals.
  • Critter Camp – weeklong day camps for kids ages 8-11.
  • Community outreach programs including working with local media to showcase animals available for adoption, presence at local street fairs and festivals and networking with other area non-profits and businesses to foster good relations.
  • Low cost & free Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) for the pets of low-income residents in need.
  • Pet food bank providing pet food to the pets of low-income residents in need.
  • Working relationships with other local and national animal welfare organizations.
  • Volunteer services department with over 200 dedicated volunteers giving hands-on care to animals, educating our community, providing administrative support, and more.
  • Foster program that houses animals with special needs and/or severe medical issues in volunteer homes for care and rehabilitation until animal is ready to return to the shelter.

A Day in the Life

To see what a “typical” day looks like at the Whatcom Humane Society, check out our A Day in the Life at WHS video!