Live chat transcript with Humane Society of Southwest Washington




Humane Society of Southwest Washington joined readers April 20, 2012. The hour-long chat included their policies, supporters, volunteer opportunities, and information about upcoming events such as the 21st annual Walk for the Animals.

Are there any local people or organizations you would like to see on a live chat? This is your chance to tell us! Send your ideas and topics to social media coordinator Matt Wastradowski or tweet the live chat intern, Setareh Alizadeh, @col_chats.

Live chat transcript April 20, 2012:

Setareh Alizadeh: Welcome to today’s live chat! The Humane Society of Southwest Washington will be joining us shortly. Send in your comments and questions and be the first to chat with them.

Southwest Humane: Hi!

Setareh Alizadeh: Thank you for joining us today, we will wait a little while longer before we begin!

Southwest Humane: Great

Setareh Alizadeh: Would you like to introduce yourself? And tell us your roll with The Humane Society of Southwest Washington.

Southwest Humane: Hello, I am Courtney Givens, Director of Development and Communications for the Humane Society and with me is Lisa Feder, Director of Operation for HSSW.

Setareh Alizadeh: Wonderful! Glad to have you two here.

Southwest Humane: Thank you for having us!

Setareh Alizadeh: Lets start off by telling our readers a little bit more about your organization and the open admissions policy.

Southwest Humane: The Humane Society for Southwest Washington was established in 1897 and serves as southwest Washington’s only open admission shelter. Open admission means that we take in any and every animal regardless of age, sex, breed, condition or health.

Southwest Humane: We also shelter all stray animals for Clark County Animal Control as they do not have a facility of their own.

Setareh Alizadeh: Is this the only open admissions shelter in Portland as well?

Southwest Humane: In addition to our animal population, we also offer education programs, outreach, two thrift stores and an in-house retail store.

Southwest Humane: Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas County all have municipal shelters that primarily accept stray dogs and cats in conjunction with their animal control function.

Southwest Humane: They do take owner surrender as space allows.

Setareh Alizadeh: Where is your facility located?

Southwest Humane: We are located in east Clark County off of 192nd – just north of the new Costco. 1100 NE 192nd Ave., Vancouver, WA 98684

Southwest Humane: We do accept volunteers and have a very active program. We have an adult volunteer program as well as a Teen Volunteer Program for students age 15-17.
Southwest Humane: All of our Volunteer Program information can be found on our website at www.southwesthumane,org

Setareh Alizadeh: How is the Humane Society financially funded?

Southwest Humane: We are funded from a variety of sources including services such as adoption and surrender fees, our thrift stores, fundraising, private donations, grants and contracts to serve as the shelter for animal control.

Southwest Humane: Overall, we are a completely philanthropically funded organization. Fundraising and private donations account for approximately 63% of our income each year. We are extremely proud to have received our 4-star rating on Charity Navigator. It will show that our Admin and fundraising costs are under 10%!

Setareh Alizadeh: How does the adoption process work?

Southwest Humane: The goal of our adoption process is to match people with pets and pets with people! The public is welcome to visit the shelter 7 days a week and view all of our adoptable animals. They can also visit them online. Once a person finds an animal they are interested in, we arrange a “social” for the person and family to meet the animal. If it is a good fit, we have the adopter sit with a staff member and counsel them about taking home their new pet. All of our animals are spayed and neutered before they can go home as well as microchipped and licensed.

Setareh Alizadeh: I heard about the Adopt A Thon in March , how did the event go? Here is a link about the event

Southwest Humane: It was awesome! We adopted out 131 animals in 12 hours!

Southwest Humane: It was heartening to see the community response and so many animals find wonderful new homes.

Setareh Alizadeh: I will upload some images of pets that need adopting

Southwest Humane: Great – I know we have sent you some pictures of several of our long time residents who we are anxious to find homes for.

Southwest Humane: That is Parker and he has been with us for 94 days so far. Parker is a great dog. We believe he is a greyhound mix. Very social and a staff and volunteer favorite!

Donna Dunbar Mason: What about Millie the Dalmatian mix? She is a great dog. Is she still waiting, or did she find a home yet? She was this week-s featured dog in the Columbian.

Southwest Humane: Millie is a GREAT dog! She is still with us although many have shown interest in her but we are still looking for the right home!

Southwest Humane: Ah, Sarsgard! I love this sweet boy. He is a 4-yr old German Shepard mix and has been with us for 97 days.

Setareh Alizadeh: Buddy caught my attention, is there any additional surgeries for this cat that a owner would need to give?

Southwest Humane: This is Buddy. Buddy is a darling cat with a friendly disposition even despite his disability. His front two legs were broken at one point and did not heal correctly. He does fine compensating and will not require future surgeries for his paws. Buddy has been with us over four months now.

Setareh Alizadeh: He looks like a playful fella!

Southwest Humane: This is Lucky and this happy lab has been with us for over four months as well. He is very active for an older dog.

Southwest Humane: This is Honeysuckle – a beautiful torti – very striking when you see her. She is five years old and been with us for just over 8 months. Honeysuckle will need a home that is quiet where she won’t be chased as her knees are weak. She may need medical attention in the future such as arthritis medicine but for now she is comfortable and happy.

Setareh Alizadeh: Has the economy affected your adoption rates? Are people not adopting as often as they used to?

Southwest Humane: Not necessarily – we have seen an increase in our adoptions over the past few years. Where we see an economic impact is in the number of surrenders – families who are no longer financially able to care for their animals.

Southwest Humane: or are having to move due to job changes, housing loss, etc.

Southwest Humane: The economy has also affected our ability to raise funds in the community.

Setareh Alizadeh: Will there be fundraising opportunities in the upcoming events such as the Walk for the Animals?

Southwest Humane: Absolutely! The Walk is our second largest fundraising event. We raise funds through registrations, peer to peer fundraising, vendor booths and sponsorships! The Walk is a great community event with over 800 participants and 500+ companion animals. We encourage everyone to come out on May 5th and support us in any way they can!

Southwest Humane: It is held annually at Esther Short Park, starting at 7:30am!

Setareh Alizadeh: How long will the event be running?

Southwest Humane: The event usually ends around noon to 12:30 and then participants can enjoy the Farmer’s Market which is conveniently located next door!

Setareh Alizadeh: Should owners bring their pets? will there be any activities going on?

Southwest Humane: Of course! This is a big day for them as well! We just suggest a couple of guidelines: 1. Pets should be on a leash 2. They should be currently vaccinated and licensed for their safety 3. Please clean up after your pets.

Setareh Alizadeh: Wonderful!

Setareh Alizadeh: What is the Paws on the Green Golf Tournament about?

Southwest Humane: As for activities, there is a Vendor Village that showcases local businesses, non-profits and our own services such as micro-chipping, licensing, retail and our thrift stores!

Southwest Humane: This is another annual fundraiser for the HSSW. In our second year, it is a great day on the links for everyone. We hold the tournament at Camas Meadows in August and we encourage all the golf lovers out there to come out and join the fun!

Setareh Alizadeh: Are there registration requirements for the tournament?

Southwest Humane: Yes, interested parties can either contact myself at 360.213.2615 or go online to register for individual spots, foursomes or sponsorships!

Setareh Alizadeh: Or age limits?

Southwest Humane: No age limits for the tournament or Walk! In fact, at the Walk, we have a Kids Corner with fun activities all morning long!

Setareh Alizadeh: Will there be any camp or kids volunteer opportuntities during the summer?

Southwest Humane: Why yes, we have a Critter Camp program for children entering 3-6 grades. There are three sessions, each a week long. You can register your child by contacting Amy Tanska, Development & Education Supervisor at …Camp dates are: WEEK 1 Grades: 3-4 June 25-29, 10am – 3pm WEEK 2 Grades: 5-6 July 16-20, 10am – 3pm WEEK 3 Grades: 5-6 July 30 – August 3, 10am – 3pm

Donna Dunbar Mason: If you have time, could you please also talk a bit about the re-vamped, “new and improved” ReTail Thrifts stores, the need for donations, the new donation drop off at the Shelter, etc.?

Southwest Humane: Absolutely – Our ReTails Thrift Stores, formerly Paws n Claws, are one of our main funding sources. The Humane Society for Southwest Washington is proud to offer the southwest Washington community two quality thrift stores. Together, our two ReTails Thrift Stores are one of the largest contributors to the Humane Society, and proceeds directly benefit the more than 10,000 animals served each year. At ReTails Thrift Stores shoppers can explore aisles of gently used clothing, housewares, furniture and more at great prices. Merchanside changes daily, so every day brings a new shopping experience. ReTails prides itself on quality merchandise, low prices, friendly staff, and a clean and comfortable shopping environment. Shoppers will find well displayed merchandise, organized shelves, plenty of room to move about and even a “boutique” at ReTails Thrift Store #1 where high-end, name brand merchandise is displayed. ReTails also welcomes your donations of gently used, clean and quality items. For donation locations, a list of acceptable items, and tax information, please visit our Thrift Stores’ “Donate” page. There’s defintely something for everyone at ReTails Thrift Stores. Come see us!! .

Southwest Humane: You can always find more information about all of our services and programs on our website at

Setareh Alizadeh : Looks like we are almost out of time, but I want to thank you Courtney and Lisa for joining us today ! and to all of our readers if you have an idea, local person or organization for a live chat please email our social media coordinator Matt Wastradowski

Southwest Humane: Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Setareh Alizadeh: thanks again to The Humane Society of Southwest Washington. Until next time, have a great Friday and wonderful weekend!