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New shelter great, what about outreach | Letter to the Editor
Thank you for the update on WAIF’s new shelter building.
It was surprising that Mr. Rupp and the “leaders” you mentioned (not sure exactly who) did not include reference to their more important news, the hiring of a new executive director who hails from a well-regarded no-kill shelter in Kansas.
Maybe WAIF will now be able to evolve from a “minimal kill” to a no-kill shelter as so many “leaders” connected to WAG are hoping.
It is great to read that WAIF is now considering phasing-in construction, a notion that was rejected in the past.
Still, it isn’t necessary to wait for the new building to start a subsidized low-cost spay/neuter program for the public.
Island vets have expressed interest in providing such services asap if WAIF would simply allocate donor funds to help them cover costs.
Such programs help reduce the number of unwanted animals that wind up in shelters and face long internments or death.
The new executive director, if he is supported by WAIF’s board, could get such a program underway pretty quickly.
The pet return rate of 60 percent is low by modern standards. If the Coupeville shelter had a stray pet Facebook page like the one started at the Oak Harbor city shelter, reunification rates would rise.
It is now estimated that 6,000 people monitor Oak Harbor’s highly successful page through Facebook networking.
It would have been nice to learn from Mr. Rupp about high-speed Internet access and other technology the new shelter will employ to better reunify and adopt animals.
Finally, what provisions will WAIF make if any to help animals in addition to dogs and cats, as progressive shelters try to do.
Maybe a follow-up story could explore what help the island has for horses and other animals, as how those services (or lack thereof) could be enhanced.
Whidbey Animal Guild