I Found a Pet

We would like to thank you for the concern and effort you have given this animal. Now we hope to reunite him/her with his/her rightful owner. Your responsible and caring actions are greatly appreciated by the Whatcom Humane Society. The following information is to advise you of WHS procedures regarding incoming stray animals.

It is important to know that the Whatcom Humane Society is an “open admission” humane society. This means that we promise to accept into our care ANY animal that comes to us. Because of this, last year we received well over 4,000 animals. Sadly, there are not enough homes for all of these animals. Whatcom County, and our country as a whole, are suffering a tragic pet overpopulation problem, with 10 million animal being euthanized annually nationwide because new homes are not available. At WHS our goal is to find a loving family for every animal, but unfortunately there are simply more animal than there are people who want to adopt them.

Download our Found Animal Tip Sheet here!

By law we are required to hold all impounded, stray animals at our shelter for a 72 hour (3-day) or a 120 hour (5-day) holding period in order to give their owners an opportunity to find them. We choose to hold all stray animals for the 120 hour (5-day) holding period, this holding period does not include their day of arrival, Tuesdays when the shelter is closed, or holidays. At the end of the stay holding period, our staff will examine and evaluate him/her to decide whether he/she can be placed into our adoption program. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to make him/her available for adoption. Much will depend on his/her general condition and the availability of space in our adoption kennels. Even if he/she is made available for adoption we cannot guarantee someone will choose to adopt him/her.

Animals Who Are Not Placed Into Our Adoption Program

The following is a list of conditions under which an animal may not be placed for adoption:

  • If they are under 8 weeks of age.
  • If their advanced age is causing extreme medical or physical problems.
  • If they are in poor general health or physical condition.
  • If their temperament or behavior is such that they would not adapt well to a new home.
  • If they are showing extreme signs of stress due to being placed in a kennel environment.
  • If they show signs of communicable disease that could infect other animals.
  • If there is no space available in the adoption kennels.

Depending on the specifics of the animal’s condition and availability of space, some animals with these conditions may be placed in foster care, held for treatment, or observation until they are old enough to be made available for adoption.

Animals Who Are Placed Into Our Adoption Program

At WHS every effort is made to find loving homes for animals in our adoption program. Once an animal is placed into our adoption program there is no set holding period, animals may remain for a day, week, month, or longer. Animals available for adoptions may be euthanized if there is a decline in their health, temperament, or physical condition. They may also be euthanized if our adoption areas become overcrowded and we need to make room for new incoming animals. Any animal who is euthanized (humanely put to death) will be administered a painless injection of sodium pentobarbital.

If you wish to inquire about this animal, you may do so by calling the shelter at (360) 733-2080. Please save your surrender paperwork to assist us in providing you with information.

IF YOU ARE INTERSTED IN ADOPTING THIS ANIMAL we ask that you come to the shelter before the stray holding period is through and fill out an adoption application. At that time we will discuss your application and the needs and condition of the animal.