Editor’s note: This story has be updated to reflect that DogHouse is paying adoption fees on animals 6 months and older.
Hefty white mastiff Diesel sniffed his way through toy-filled boxes, clamping down on the perfect toy: a plush gray and blue Kong-brand elephant.
On Monday, Cannabis company DogHouse brought the plethora of toys and home-baked cakes to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington in honor of Dogust Day, the national birthday for shelter dogs Aug. 1. North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal adoption organization, established the day in 2008 for dogs whose exact birthdays are unknown.
In addition to the birthday celebration, DogHouse is hosting a free adoption weekend at the shelter Saturday and Sunday. All animals ages 6 months and older will have their adoption fees paid for by DogHouse. Usually, rabbits are $45 each to adopt; dogs range from $50 to $500, depending on age; and cats range from $25 to $180, depending on age.
“It’s really about getting lots of dogs and cats and rabbits adopted,” DogHouse General Manager Chris Bell said.
Bell and his wife, Anna, pulled together the Dogust Day and adoption weekend celebration after reading an article in The Columbian last month on high populations in local animal shelters. Avid animal lovers, Bell said they jumped on the opportunity to support the community and animals in need of homes.
“We can’t write off taxes because we’re still not a federally legal company,” Bell said. “But there’s no way we’re going to do business in this community and not give something back.”
Vancouver-based Campbell Pet Company, All Natural Pet Supply and Beastie Boutique all donated toys for the event. PuppyCake, based in Pennsylvania, provided natural ingredients to use in the dogs’ birthday cakes.
Those who adopt blue pod dogs will receive a “Gotcha” gift bag from DogHouse filled with toys from sponsors and DogHouse pet merchandise.
Diesel is a blue pod dog and one of the shelter’s longest residents, having been there for nearly six months. Blue pod dogs require additional care, as they are too shy or nervous and don’t do well with people walking by their kennel, said Sam Ellingson, director of communications for the Humane Society for Southwest Washington.
“He’s a good, sweet boy,” Ellingson said of the nearly 95-pound dog. “Having a dog this size is just not something every family is ready for.”
Ellingson said he’s looking forward to Saturday and Sunday, as promotion weekends have historically seen a good turnout for the shelter.
The Humane Society for Southwest Washington, 1100 N.E. 192nd Ave., is open for adoptions from 2 to 6 p.m. daily.