We sometimes get calls about animals living with people who are homeless. Have you ever wondered how we respond to those calls? Check out this great post on the City’s Homelessness Response blog and learn about how we respond.
The greying black lab was panting and wagging his tail furiously – Haku had just seen Rick Osterhout, and he knew he was going home.
In 2016, the Seattle Animal Shelter reunited 493 dogs with their owners. Haku was one of the first in 2017.
On Friday, Jan. 28, Haku went missing when he snuck out through Osterhout’s back door. Osterhout posted Haku’s photo on multiple websites, including his neighborhood watch in Ravenna.
“A lost dog in an urban setting is really tough because he’s a dark color and it’s dark outside at night,” said Osterhout.
Haku was one of five dogs in the Osterhout family. Sadly, in January the family had to put down three of their dogs due to old age, and losing Haku would have been devastating. As part of his search for Haku, Osterhout checked the SAS “Found Pets at the Shelter” webpage and saw that field officers had picked up a male black lab mix in the Ravenna area.
“I saw the area and his description and knew it was Haku,” said Osterhout.
When the shelter lobby opened at noon the next day, Osterhout was there. He walked through the dog kennels and couldn’t mistake Haku’s excited bark. From the dog’s expression, Osterhout knew Haku was ready to go home.
Osterhout said he and his wife bought a motorhome specifically for their five dogs to take on travel adventures, and he is happy Haku will be able to enjoy these trips again.
“My wife would signal, ‘ready!’ and we would let the door open for all the dogs to run out at once,” said Osterhout. “They were some of my best memories.”
We’re thrilled to have helped reunite the Osterhouts with their beloved Haku, and want to help others get their happy endings. If you’ve lost a pet in or near the Seattle area, list your pet in our Lost and Found Database, and see the found animals we currently have at the shelter. Visit the Lost Pets section of our website for more information and resources.
For more information: www.seattleanimalshelter.org
While you’re trying to stay warm early next week, don’t forget to also take proper precaution to protect your pets. That’s the message that the Seattle Animal Shelter is hoping area pet owners will hear as temperatures in the low 30s or colder are expected. To help those dogs that are left outside, the shelter is also soliciting new and used dog igloos and doghouses so that they may be redistributed to pet owners in need.
“When temperatures fall, pets need extra care to help keep them comfy, cozy, healthy and safe,” said Ann Graves, Seattle Animal Shelter acting director. “Many pets are left out in the cold with little or no refuge. We are hoping to prevent potential tragedies by making owners aware of what they can do to protect their pets.”
The Seattle Animal Shelter suggests the following:
- Dogs and cats can get frostbitten ears, noses and feet if left outside. Bring pets indoors during cold weather and take them out only when necessary.
- Pets love the smell and taste of antifreeze, and even a small amount can kill them. Clean up spills at once and be alert for antifreeze on the ground or left out in open containers that have not been properly stored or disposed of.
- If your dog must remain outside for a period of time, provide an elevated dog house with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out. The door should face away from the west or north to avoid cold winds. If you have a garage, consider installing a “doggie” door so your pet can seek protection from cold weather. Check water bowls to make sure they are not frozen and avoid using metal bowls, as your pet’s tongue could stick to the frozen metal.
- Gently towel or blow-dry your dog or cat if he or she gets wet from rain or snow. It is important to dry and clean paws as well. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. Remember that chemicals used to melt snow and ice on driveways and sidewalks can burn your pet, so check the paws, mouth and belly after a walk.
- Make sure your pet has a current Seattle pet license and always use a leash. When walking on snow, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. A pet license is your best insurance your pet will be returned to you.
- Cats and kittens often nap on warm car engines and hoods. If your car was recently used, knock on the hood or honk the car horn before starting the engine.
- Help your elderly or arthritic pets when they need to go outside.
- Consider a sweater for short-coated breeds, such as pit bull-type dogs and Chihuahuas, before taking them outside. But choose wisely. Sweaters made from certain fibers don’t insulate when they get wet and can actually remove heat from an animal’s body. Avoid sweaters made of cotton; wool and some synthetics provide insulation, even when wet.
- Do not leave your pet alone in a car. It gets too cold and can quickly become a freezer, causing hypothermia and possibly death.
- Be careful of fireplaces and portable heaters. Keep fireplaces screened and heaters out of reach, as pets may chew the cord or knock it over and cause a fire.
- Like people, dogs and cats are more susceptible to illnesses in the winter. Take your pet to your veterinarian if symptoms occur.
Dog igloo and doghouse donations may be delivered to the Seattle Animal Shelter at 2061 15th Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119.
The Seattle Animal Shelter is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions and licensing. For more information, call 206-386-PETS (7387), or view animals available for adoption online at www.seattleanimalshelter.org.
Donald Edward Jordan
July 2-1967 – Oct. 19, 2016
“Don was a kind, compassionate and dedicated leader, one who devoted his entire career – and many would say his entire life – to the care of animals,” said Mayor Murray. “Under Don’s leadership, the shelter transitioned from the world of animal control into the world of animal welfare. Most would agree that Don’s vision, strength and courage were driving forces behind the Seattle Animal Shelter’s evolution from being thought of as a ‘dog pound’ to the highly respected animal welfare organization it is today.”
In the late 90s, Don opened the door for the creation of the shelter’s volunteer program, which represented a major shift in how animal control agencies were operated at the time. Today, more than 600 volunteers work alongside staff to provide exceptional care for Seattle’s lost, injured and orphaned animals. In Don’s 20 years as the shelter’s director, SAS’ save rate increased and the shelter has gone from saving “one life at a time” to saving “many lives, all of the time.” In fact, it is thanks to Don’s efforts from long ago that the shelter now saves every adoptable animal that comes under its care.
“Don’s professional accomplishments are incredible, but he was also a dear friend to many of us and one of the kindest people I have had the good fortune to know,” said Fred Podesta, Finance and Administrative Services director. “Don understood that animals can bring out the best in their human companions, and he dedicated more than 26 years at the City demonstrating this.”
Don is remembered by shelter staff and volunteers as someone whose compassion for people and animals was endless. He welcomed and created space for new ideas, such as the shelter’s signature Furry 5K event, a 17-year tradition that shelter volunteers first created and organized. He was passionate about changing attitudes surrounding breed ban legislation he believed had no basis in fact, arguing that the focus belongs on “the deed, not the breed.” Don fostered relationships with his peers, participating in national animal welfare organizations across the country. Don was always looking forward and for opportunities to improve how we care for Seattle’s animals.
Some of the stories staff and volunteers shared speak to Don’s humor and good nature:
“Don’s door was always open, and he made time for anyone who walked in his office and sat down. In that space, you were surrounded by his family in photographs and mementos that covered every wall, every ledge that would hold a frame … and in that space you were also a part of his family. He cared deeply about all of us. He loved to laugh and put up with my many pranks, including the year I plastered every surface in his office with newspaper clippings that included any reference to the Huskies after they won the Apple Cup. Three weeks later, he stumbled on the last picture in some crevice, and I can still hear his exasperated ‘Ann!’ from where I was sitting at dispatch.” ‑Ann Graves, SAS acting director
“Don would need data pulled for a report and often it would be needed ‘stat!’ I would drop everything I was doing to pull the information together as fast as I could to meet the deadline. Don knew that I would get frazzled when I had to drop what I was doing to work on data requests, so sometimes he would appear at my door and ask, ‘Hey, can I get a report of all the animals that ever came into our shelter, their names and which ones had droopy ears?’ It was so funny, and we’d have a good laugh together.” ‑Robin Klunder-Ryall, SAS operations manager
“A quote that Don used from time to time was ‘Carpe Dentum’ – ‘seize the teeth’ – instead of the normal inspirational quote ‘Carpe Diem’ or ‘seize the day.’ He recognized the stressful environment we work in when our decisions literally came down to the life or death of an animal. He tried to keep things light and not add any additional stress on us, if he could help it. Yes, he was my boss, but he was more than that – he was also my friend. I will miss sitting in his office chatting with him about our lives, family, past shenanigans at Wazzu and taking some time to just step away from the daily work routine.” ‑Don Baxter, SAS manager of animal care and volunteers
“Don was so kind and supportive when I was developing the Seattle Animal Shelter’s Pet Loss Support Group program – I could not have done it without him. He always took the time to tell us that our work was important and that it was making a difference. He left behind an incredible legacy, and there are thousands of little souls who owe their lives to his work.” ‑Connie Starr, SAS volunteer
Don first joined the Seattle Animal Shelter in 1990 as an animal control officer II. He was promoted to animal control supervisor in 1993 and became the shelter director in 1996.
Don was born in Seattle and grew up in Lake Forest Park. He graduated from Shorecrest High School in 1985 and from Washington State University in 1989 with a bachelor of science in zoology. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Don is survived by his college sweetheart Jenny; children Micheal Miller (Jaclyn), Amanda, Alyssa and Donald; parents Don and Joan; mother-in-law Joyce Chin; sister Stephanie Myers (Matt); brother Jeff (Denae); brother-in-law Darren Chin (Colleen); nephews and nieces Shaylah, Reilly, Jake, Henry, Ainsley, Kennedy, Nicholas, Peyton; and a very large extended family.
Our thoughts are with the Jordan family as we carry forward Don’s work and passion on behalf of all the animals and people whose lives we touch.
Applauding the incredible skills, dedication and compassion of veterinary technicians, Mayor Murray proclaimed Oct. 16-22, 2016, in Seattle to be “Veterinary Technician Week,” which coincides with the national week-long recognition of vet techs. The proclamation honors veterinary technicians in the Seattle Animal Shelter Spay and Neuter clinic, as well as the veterinary technician profession in general.
We are incredibly proud of our Spay and Neuter Clinic veterinary technicians. Please join us in thanking them for the amazing care they provide for Seattle’s animals every day.
Read the proclamation here.
Thank you for your patience during our temporary closure yesterday. We are resuming normal operations today, Oct. 20. The shelter is open from noon to 6 p.m.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Seattle Animal Shelter is closed to the public today, Oct. 19. We will continue to respond to emergency calls. Please check back or visit our website at www.seattleanimalshelter.org for updates on reopening.
Check out our educational booklet for families looking for a companion pet. We collaborated with our favorite local sheltering partner, Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC), and Mud Bay, our regional pet nutrition expert, to create this Newspapers in Education publication. All Seattle Times subscribers received it last weekend and now it’s off to schools across Puget Sound to be put to use in classrooms and encourage children and their parents to make educated choices about their companion pets.
This month, pet owners in Seattle can take advantage of a “license amnesty period” to bring their expired pet licenses up to date or purchase new tags for animals not currently licensed, and the city will waive late fees and other penalties.
The easiest way to purchase or renew a pet license is online at www.seattleanimalshelter.org, said Ann Graves, Seattle Animal Shelter acting director. Pet owners can also obtain or renew a license through the mail or at numerous locations throughout Seattle, including the shelter, located at 2061 15th Ave. W., and the city’s customer service centers. Visit http://www.seattle.gov/animal-shelter/license/purchase-or-renew-a-license for a list of payment locations.
“Many pet owners forget to renew their licenses,” Graves said. “This amnesty period will allow those owners to get caught up without having to pay extra fines that could add up to hundreds of dollars. If you live in Seattle and have an unlicensed pet, this is a great time to get its license up to date.”
Graves explained that many people are unaware how a pet license helps to save other animals’ lives.
“Fees from pet licenses help support the Seattle Animal Shelter’s lifesaving work, such as animal rescue, rehabilitation and adoption, criminal investigation of animal cruelty and providing medical care, including low-cost spay and neuter services,” she said. “Your pet license helps your community and saves lives. It’s a little tag that has a big impact.”
Pet licenses also benefit individual pets. A pet license tells the finder of a lost pet or the shelter that the animal is owned and not a stray that should be kept or adopted out, said Graves. The tag provides the shelter’s phone number, giving a good Samaritan an easy way to help without having to find a microchip scanner. And shelter officers that encounter lost pets will use license information to contact owners immediately and many times give those pets a ride home.
In Seattle, owners must license all cats, dogs, miniature goats and potbellied pigs. One-year license fees are as follows:
- Cats: $22 (altered) and $33 (unaltered)
- Dogs: $30 (altered) and $51 (unaltered)
- Goats: $20
- Pigs: $120 for the first year, $30 each subsequent year
More information about Seattle pet license fees is available online at http://www.seattle.gov/animal-shelter/license/licensing-fees.
The Seattle Animal Shelter, located at 2061 15th Ave. W., is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions and licensing. For more information, call 206-386-PETS (7387), or view animals available for adoption online at www.seattleanimalshelter.org.
Today, at the National Animal Care and Control Association’s annual training conference, Ann Graves, Seattle Animal Shelter’s acting director and manager of field services, was named the 2016 Outstanding Animal Care and Control Employee of the Year! According to NACA, Ann’s nomination was considered along with other employees from across the United States, and she was selected as the employee that met the highest standards for an animal care and control employee. Ann is directly responsible for coordinating a number of sting operations that resulted in the seizure of animals in squalid conditions, the arrest and guilty plea of a fugitive charged in dog fighting, and Class C felony charges of animal fighting against an individual found with multiple roosters in his back yard (trial pending). Ann’s work protecting the public from fractious animals and irresponsible owners has received many compliments over the years. Ann is incredibly deserving of this recognition and we are proud to call her our own.