Last Look: 2014
What a year for WAIF and Whidbey Island! While there are still a few days to go in the year, I wanted to just stop and share the good things the past year has brought us. To list just a few of the more interesting events of this year:
- Selected as the state of Washington’s “Shelters Across America” award recipient by MuttNation Foundation. This award of $3,000 came as a complete surprise to WAIF. Selection was based upon MuttNation Foundation’s own research, where we met the criteria for “no kill” standards, community and volunteer involvement, and financial accountability.
- WAIF assisted in the writing of the Coupeville Disaster Response Plan, which includes the sheltering of companion animals during times of emergency.
- WAIF was chosen “Best Nonprofit Organization” on the island, by Whidbey News Group (Whidbey Times, The Whidbey Examiner, South Whidbey Record, Whidbey Crosswind) “Best of Whidbey: Readers’ Choice Awards.”
- Over eighty volunteer Ambassadors helped at many, many booths, tables, and parades this spring and summer, spreading the news and information on the New Shelter campaign!
- New Shelter Groundbreaking in July–The foundation has been poured, and walls are going up, even as we speak. You can find a timeline of construction photos here. If weather and other factors hold, we may be able to move in sometime late next summer!
- Online Licensing option now available through WAIF.
- Intake of dogs continues to decline for fifth year in a row, cat intake is up however, for the year (through October).
- WAIF is now an approved Adoption Partner with Petco Store in Oak Harbor!
- Live Release Rate of 94%+ through October continuing a life-saving tradition for the island that all residents, not just pet owners, can be proud of, and is reflective of the wonderful lifestyle we islanders choose to live.
- For lost/stray dogs, 73.7% (205 out of 278 lost/stray dogs) were returned to owner (through October Stats for Coupeville Shelter and Oak Harbor Holding Facility). For cats, 6% were returned to owner (16 out of 265 cats–Coupeville and Oak Harbor). National average for return to owner is 22% for dogs and 2% for cats.
- WAIF is now a participating shelter in “A Million Cat Challenge” a shelter-based campaign to save the lives of one million cats in North America over the next five years. This partnership with the UC Davis Shelter Medicine Program, University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, and Maddie’s Fund seeks to achieve this worthy goal through five initiatives:
-Alternatives to Intake (enable cats to stay in home or community)
-Scheduled Intake (to match capacity of shelter)
-Capacity for Care
-Remove Barriers to Adoption
-Return to Field
We are thankful for the wonderful residents of Whidbey Island and the support that has been given to homeless dogs and cats this year. Wonderful things are on the horizon, with 2015 being our Silver Anniversary (25 years) of service on Whidbey, and with the move-in and Grand Opening of Whidbey Island’s first animal shelter to be built specifically for that purpose!