Frequently Asked Questions


Wenatchee Valley Humane Society hosts a monthly Pet Food Assistance days on the last Saturday of each month, available to those who are income qualified. Dog or cat food will be available first-come first-served, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., or until supplies run out (whichever comes first). Check our event calendar for specific dates. Food assistance is not available outside of these dates.

Wenatchee Valley Humane Society does not currently have funds to assist with vet care for privately owned pets.

Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. For a summary on their names, roles and responsibilites, visit the WVHS Board Members page

No. WVHS no longer accepts court ordered community service applicants.

In August 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders from across the nation convened at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, for the purpose of building bridges across varying philosophies, developing relationships and creating goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States. As part of the accords, a uniform reporting standard was created to foster transparency and establish a means of comparing animal shelters. Wenatchee Valley Humane Society publishes its annual Asilomar Live Release Rate Report on our WVHS Statistics page

Every year an average of 5,000 animals come through our doors. Lost or stray animals will be brought in by Good Samaritans or Animal Care & Control officers. Wenatchee Valley Humane Society also cares for animals seized by law enforcement agents due to neglect. Sometimes because of tragedy, animals are left without a guardian.  In all cases, WVHS works to find animals a loving home.

Before any animal can be adopted by a new owner, there is a stray hold time to give owners an opportunity to claim their pet. Local law prescribes a three day hold time for pets without identification. In this time Wenatchee Valley Humane Society make all possible efforts to contact any potential owners, as well as list them on the website.

Wenatchee Valley Humane Society is a local, independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving the pets and people in Chelan and Douglas Counties. Although it may collaborate when missions overlap, it is not affiliated with other local, state or national animal welfare organization. Wenatchee Valley Humane is not a chapter of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), nor does it receive funding from HSUS or any other animal welfare organization.

Wenatchee Valley Humane depends entirely on donor support and service fees to provide services. WVHS has served the local community since 1967 and is an independent, private, federally registered, non-profit organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.  To learn more about WVHS, consider attending a volunteer orientation.

WVHS is a No-Kill shelter that saves both healthy and treatable dogs and cats, with euthanasia reserved only for unhealthy and untreatable animals. While No-Kill organizations save all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats under their care, No-Kill communities save all of the healthy and treatable pets in all of the animal welfare agencies community-wide.

Animals are thoroughly evaluated for both health and temperament for the adoption program. In the case of dogs, there are no breed discrimination rules for pit bulls or other bully breeds. Instead, the shelter behavioral team assesses each animal’s potential on an individual basis using a temperament test, which measures the dog reaction to people, touch, sound, toys, food and other dogs. Animals suffering mentally and/or physically due to injury or disease, vicious or aggressive animals whose adoption placement would constitute a danger to the public, and animals that pose a public health hazard are not placed for adoption. The decision to euthanize an animal is never taken lightly, and every case is thoroughly assessed on an individual basis. If an animal must be euthanized, he or she is treated humanely and with respect.

Surrendered animals are those brought in by their owners. Pets are surrendered for a variety of reasons, including the death of an owner, relocation, incorrect household fit, etc. There is no required holding period for these animals before making them available for adoption.

Visit the shelter and you’ll find that it’s an inviting, bright, and clean facility. Thanks to hardworking staff and volunteers, pets in Wenatchee Valley Humane Society's care receive quality care, social interaction, and exercise. We see the work we do as both rewarding and inspiring because we have a positive impact on the lives of many animals and on the people who adopt them. While we occasionally see sad cases of cruelty or neglect, we also experience the joy and satisfaction that comes when neglected animals are rehabilitated and find a loving, new home.

Call Animal Care & Control at 509-662-9577, option 1 and leave as much detail as possible.

WVHS gratefully accepts donated cat and dog food for distribution to our pet food assistance recipients. Donated food may be dropped off anytime during our open hours or ordered from our Amazon Wishlist for direct shipping. Shelter animals are fed Hill's Science Diet brand pet food.

You may be asked to supply Wenatchee Valley Humane Society’s EIN or Federal Tax ID when filing your taxes if you made donations for the animals during the year.  This information is also needed to leave estate gifts for Wenatchee Valley Humane Society.

Legal Name: Wenatchee Valley Humane Society

Legal Address: 1474 S. Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee, WA 98801 or PO Box 55, Wenatchee, WA 98807

Federal Tax ID: 91-0838299

Type of Organization: 501(c)(3) nonprofit


Walk-in space is limited and prioritized on a case-by-case basis for end-of-life services and strays. If you need to surrender an animal, an appointment is required to allow our staff adequate time to perform a brief exam and a behavior evaluation.

Yes. Appointments are necessary to stabilize the flow of animals coming into the shelter so that we can effectively serve both human and animal customers. Setting appointments also provides customers with the opportunity to discuss options and resources before making a trip to the shelter.

First, check if the cat’s ear has been tipped. If so, it has been sterilized and you can leave it there. Studies show* that stray and feral cats are able to find food and survive outdoors. If the cat has a collar, or appears lost or distressed, see if it will approach you to identify the collar or tags, take a photo, and file a Found Cat Report.  The cat may have an owner that is missing it!

They are cats or their offspring that have been lost, abandoned, or allowed to roam outdoors.  They are called by many names, but they have something in common- they have no owners.

Trap Neuter Return (TNR) is when a stray or feral cat living outdoors is humanely trapped, neutered or spayed, ear-tipped (the universal sign that a cat has been sterilized), vaccinated, and returned to the area where it was trapped. TNR will stabilize the cat population because no more litters are born from the cat. These sterile cats guard the territory against new cats moving in. TNR will also reduce nuisance behaviors like yowling, fighting, and spraying. TNR, supported by leading national animal welfare organizations, is the most humane, cost-effective, and effective method of controlling the feral, unowned, free-roaming and stray cat overpopulation crisis facing virtually every city, town, and rural community in the country. TNR involves trapping all or most of the cats in a colony, having them neutered, vaccinated for rabies, left or right ear tipped, and then returned to their territory. Whenever possible, young kittens and any friendly cats are removed for veterinary care and socialization, and placed for adoption. TNR slows the growth of a colony if at least 70 percent of the fertile adults are neutered. Neutering 100 percent will result in a gradual decline of the population over time. In addition, the nuisance behavior often associated with feral or stray cats is dramatically reduced. This includes the yowling and noise that comes with fighting and mating activity and the odor of unneutered males’ spraying to mark their territory.  The cats tend to roam less and so become less of a visible presence. Spayed females are only feeding themselves, so the excessive hunting of females raising young is decreased. Why not trap and remove, or trap and kill? If stray cats are using territory, food, and other resources in an area, and then removed, other cats will move into the area to use those resources and breed, making the removal ineffective. This is called the “vacuum effect.” Outdoor cats that are spayed or neutered serve as placeholders in the area. Their inability to reproduce breaks the breeding cycle that leads to cat overpopulation. Because there are thousands of free-roaming cats, and because the vast majority cannot be homed, TNR is the best solution.

We use the word “eartip” to describe when a small portion of the tip of an unowned cat’s left or right ear is surgically removed during neuter surgery, to denote that the cat has been neutered and vaccinated. Ear-tipping is done while the cat is anesthetized and is not painful for the cat. Ear tipping is the most effective way to identify spayed or neutered, unowned cats from a distance, to make sure they are not trapped or do not undergo surgery a second time.

The traditional approach for unowned cats—catching and euthanizing—is endless and cruel, and it does not keep an area free of cats. Cats choose to reside in a location for two reasons: there is a food source (intended or not) and shelter. Because of a phenomenon called the vacuum effect, when cats are removed from a location,  new cats move in to take advantage of the food resources and shelter, then breed to capacity. Many unowned cats are not socialized to people and cannot be touched, except sometimes by a regular caregiver.  The ideal window for socializing unowned kittens is 12 weeks of age or younger—beyond 12 weeks, unowned cats may never socialize completely or at all. Outdoor cats that are friendly and socialized to people are called stray cats, and sometimes they can be re-homed. Because most unowned cats are not socialized to people, they are unadoptable as pets. In most shelters and pounds in the US, unadoptable animals are euthanized.  If a cat exhibits signs of being feral- and are surrendered to a shelter instead of being trapped, neutered or spayed, then returned to the area where they were found- they will most likely be euthanized. Many shelters now realize that Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane approach for free-roaming, unowned cats.

To help cats become more accepted, use kindness and patience with your neighbors. Find out what is bothering your neighbors about the cats and work with them on those specific issues. For example, deterrents such as motion-activated sprinklers, garden rocks and citrus smells will help keep cats away from the people who do not want them digging in their gardens or roaming their property.

While unowned cats do kill birds, they kill proportionally more rodents. Other issues, such as the decline of natural habitat, deforestation of migratory habitats, window collisions and use of pesticides also have a negative impact on bird populations. Do your part: spay/neuter your cat(s) before they have even one litter, and please don’t let your pet cats roam free outdoors. If you want your cat to have some time outside, make it safe for the cat AND local wildlife by building an outdoor enclosure, installing cat fencing, or taking your cat outside on a leash and enjoying some outdoor time together. Some organizations are working  on initiatives including “Cats Safe at Home” to encourage people to not let their pet cats roam free. Fewer free-roaming cats mean fewer unowned cats born on our streets. Fewer cats means less predation on wildlife.

If cats are sleeping under your porch or somewhere else, the’re looking for dry, warm shelter. Lure the cats out with tuna or wet cat food. Block openings with chicken wire or other material to prevent nuisance dwellings in unwelcome areas. Provide shelter in a small dog house in an alternative area, or research how to make feral cat shelters from large tote bins and insulation.

If you smell cat urine everywhere outside, we can help with Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) to have the offending cats neutered or spayed. Once they are “fixed” their urine becomes much less pungent, and they are less likely to mark their territory.


WVHS offers holds on felines and canines for a small $25 non-refundable fee, which can be applied to the adoption fee. The hold lasts until an hour before close on the following day. Fees not used towards adoption will be considered a donation to Wenatchee Valley Humane Society.

WVHS has various promotions and offers throughout the year. The best way to find out about these promotions is to sign up for our e-news or follow us on Facebook.

1. Consider how a new pet will mesh with your lifestyle, and what qualities you are looking for. 2. Check with your landlord or home-owner’s association to see which animals are allowed, and what applicable fees or deposits might be. 3. Identify possible adoption candidates online, or visit an adoption center. 4. Consult with our staff and volunteers to help  find the right match for your needs. 5. Complete an adoption application. 6. If not already spayed or neutered, you may need to wait for your pet to undergo surgery and recover. 7. Complete an adoption consultation to review your pet’s history and any considerations to ensure your adoption will be a long-term success. 8. Prepare for your new pet by purchasing supplies.  Wenatchee Valley Humane Society offers collars, leashes and various other supplies on site. 9. Complete the adoption contract and payment. 10. Post-adoption, you may consider behavior & training classes to encourage good behavior and improve quality of life for you and your pet.

Call and chat with someone at the shelter. We can often point pet owners in the right direction, solve minor issues, and even prevent a pet from being surrendered due to their behaviors in some instances. 509-662-9577, option 2.

Statistics show that almost 50% of renters have pets. For rental property managers, it makes good business sense to maintain a policy that welcomes responsible pet owners. An animal-friendly policy will increase the marketability of a housing property or community and often results in an increased length of occupancy. Tenants must be willing to show proof that they are responsible pet owners, take measures to ensure their pets act appropriately, and adhere to all pet-related rules established by their housing community. When tenants and property managers work together, it can be a win-win situation for all and result in fewer animals surrendered to shelters.

Based on a pet’s temperament, history, and behavior assessments, we may sometimes flag a pet not to live in a home with small children. Maybe a pet’s play style is too rough, or maybe kids would just stress them out! Please check the adoption description or ask adoption staff about how old / respectful children need to be for a particular pet.

Based on a pet’s temperament, history, and behavior assessments, we may sometimes flag a pet not to live in a home with dogs. Maybe a pet’s play style is too rough, or they show fear, or may become aggressive with dogs. Please check the adoption description or ask adoption staff about specific circumstances for each pet.

Based on a pet’s temperament, history, and behavior assessments, we may sometimes flag a pet not to live in a home with cats.  Maybe a pet’s play style is too rough, or they may demonstrate fear or aggression toward cats! Please check the adoption description or ask adoption staff about the needs of each pet.

We want our animals to be adopted in homes where they will have quality, lifelong care. While adoptions are seldom turned down, an adoption will be denied if we truly believe that the animal will not be provided with adequate companionship or care. We use this opportunity to educate people about the specific needs of companion animals.

The main focus of WVHS is on adopting out cats and dogs, but we also can have small critters, feathered friends, some farm animals and the occasional reptile, depending on what has been surrendered. Best way to know what is currently available is to keep an eye on our adoptables page, or create a "want" on

Yes, we do!

Every adoption package at WVHS includes the spay/neuter surgery, initial vaccinations, a vet exam, microchip, 30 days of pet health insurance, and other valuable benefits. In addition, we evaluate pets for health and temperament, so that we can help match adopters with the pet that’s right for them. We also offer post-adoption support to address concerns and questions that may come up after a pet goes home. In all, adopting a pet is a tremendous value for the price. A “free” pet is not really free because you will likely have to pay for his first vet exam, vaccinations, sterilization surgery, microchip, and other services. Those costs add up quickly, and you will probably end up paying more for your “free” pet than if you adopted one from a reputable rescue group or shelter.

Adoption fees for dogs that are in high demand (e.g. small dogs, puppies, unusual shelter breeds, and purebreds) are set higher than our base prices. These types of dogs tend to be adopted very quickly, which helps offset the cost of care for other dogs that may stay with us for a month or longer before finding new homes.  In addition, many dogs receive dental work and other medical services prior to adoption, so the higher fees can help offset some of those costs as well. Our dog adoption package is a great value because it includes the spay or neuter surgery, initial vaccinations, flea treatment, microchip and inclusion in national registry, a free vet exam, one month of pet health insurance, and collar.

Our goal is to place adoptable animals with people who can care for them properly and meet their needs throughout their lifetime. We do not expect adopters to be perfect guardians, but it’s important to make the right match for both the adopter’s sake and the animal’s. We may turn an adopter down who is not the right fit for a particular animal, but can often help the adopter make the right match with another pet.

Yes. WVHS allows more than one adoption for cats, kittens and adult dogs. We may also encourage two pets to be adopted together, if they come into the shelter as a bonded pair.

Your adoption satisfaction is guaranteed.  If you adopt a pet from Wenatchee Valley Humane Society and discover that you are not compatible, you may return the pet within 30 days and exchange for another pet that will meet your needs.

Foster and Volunteer

When you volunteer at Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, you are one of the most important people to the many animals that come through our doors. You help create an environment of respect, responsibility, and compassion towards animals. You improve the lives of the animals in our community. You play a part in keeping the animals social and healthy, and keeping the shelter operating in an inviting manner. You help provide community awareness of our programs and services.

No. WVHS no longer accepts court ordered community service applicants.

Visit our shelter and you’ll find that it’s an inviting, bright, and clean facility. Thanks to hardworking staff and volunteers, animals at WVHS receive quality care, social interaction, and exercise. We see the work we do as both rewarding and inspiring because we have a positive impact on the lives of many animals and on the people who adopt them. While there are the occasional sad cases of cruelty or neglect, there are many more experiences of joy and satisfaction that come when neglected animals are rehabilitated and find a loving, new home.

Volunteers are asked to email our volunteer coordinator at Once contact has been made, you will be scheduled to attend a volunteer orientation. At the volunteer orientation you will learn about the volunteer opportunities and how to become more involved with the organization.

Wenatchee Valley Humane Society accepts volunteers 10 and over. Opportunites vary depending on age and training.

Due to the nature of the work, and often confined physical space, we are not able to safely accommodate volunteers under the age of 10. For safety reasons, all volunteers must meet general requirements and be able to work safely with adoptable animals. Individual volunteers must also complete the application process. The foster program is a great way for youths and parents to have a rewarding volunteer experience together. Although the primary volunteer must be 18 years of age, the entire family can participate in the fostering experience.

Commitment level depends on the volunteer opportunities. Please email to sign up for volunteering and to learn more.

In order to provide the best care and support possible to the shelter animals, Wenatchee Valley Humane Society requires volunteers performing some taks to commit to a minimum amount of service on a regular, pre-set schedule. This requirement is needed to ensure quality care and to maintain a consistent level of volunteer coverage. That said, shelter staff realizes volunteers are generous people with many other “life duties” and do understand the need for vacations and needed days off. To help maintain consistent care, volunteers are asked to communicate extended breaks of time from the shelter, or inability to attend a shift, with the Volunteer Coordinator.

Yes. Each volunteer role has training sessions which cover all aspects of that position. Training is done with staff member. The time it takes to complete training varies, based on volunteer availability, training schedules, and specific training needs.

Yes. Wenatchee Valley Humane Society volunteers wear name tags and designated T-shirts. To help offset the costs, volunteers pay a $15 'uniform' charge.

Walking shelter dogs (or socializing with any of our WVHS adoption animals) involves more than a leash and your time. We strive to give the animals a consistent high-level of quality care while they are with us. This includes ensuring all who interact with shelter animals know best practices for reducing stress on them and how to utilize our behavior reinforcement training to help them become ready for their new home. Research shows that shelter animals that are trained are more adoptable and have typically have a shorter length of stay at a shelter.

Training also gives us the opportunity to educate volunteers about safety procedures and protocols that are in place to limit the transfer of diseases. In addition, experienced dog walkers can volunteer as adoption counselors, people who help potential adopters identify potential pets that would be good for their lifestyle and family. Volunteers acting in this capacity need to have the most information possible to help with potential adoption visitations.

That’s awesome and your experience will likely be of great value as you begin volunteering with us! However, each humane society, animal control facility, or rescue group is an independent agency, so very few of us are connected locally (as in some states) or to any organization on a national level. This means our policies and procedures might be completely different from the facility where you previously volunteered. Most shelters adhere to a “Standards of Best Practices/Care” so there are certainly some similarities but you'll need to be familiar with our shelter's policies/procedures.

Student Volunteers are welcome to complete their community service hours through us. The hours for community service are 7AM-11AM daily. You will need to pre-arrange your schedule with our volunteer coordinator prior to serving.

Because of the sheer amount of volunteers and time sensitivity for many volunteer needs, email is the most efficient and cost-effective way for us to communicate with volunteers. For this reason, we require all volunteers have online access and a current email addresses. If you do not have access to a computer in your home, your local North Central Washington Regional Library location has public computers available to anyone with a library card (which is available for free). Visit: for more information.

The WVHS does not accept volunteers with a criminal record in relation to (1) sexual offense, (2) violent crimes or (3) animal neglect or cruelty within the last 15 years. We require all adult volunteers applying to volunteer to state any past criminal records and reserve the right to conduct a background check on any volunteer.

No prior experience is needed in our entry level volunteer positions, but we do require all volunteers to have good communication skills and a willingness to learn. We supply all the training needed for each entry-level volunteer position. For further advanced volunteer positions, we ask a minimum hourly requirement; however, each volunteer asking for further advanced duties will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Communications about animals available for foster goes out via email to all current foster volunteers. These animals are placed into homes on a first-come, first-served basis. Foster volunteers are never expected to take an animal that is not a good fit for their home or family. Foster animals are not yet available for adoption, so are not listed on our Website. Our foster homes work with animals in need of medical care, sick, pregnant, or of a recumbent stay.