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WVHS Staff and Updates

ANIMALS AT WENATCHEE VALLEY HUMANE SOCIETY BEGIN TAKING DAILY BREAKS

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WENATCHEE, WA- Beginning Monday, January 7, 2019, Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is changing its weekday hours of operation to implement a new ‘Quiet Time’ for the animals at the shelter. When the program launches Monday, the shelter will begin closing for an hour on weekdays, from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

The new ‘Quiet Time’ will give animals at the shelter a much needed midday break. Currently, shelter animals begin their day at 6 a.m. and live in a constant state of stimulation, with approximately 12 hours of disruption, including: kennel cleaning, feeding time, medical checks, dog walking, behavior modification, socialization with volunteers, and potential adopters visiting.

During ‘Quiet Time’ adoption halls will be closed to any activity with lights out and music off.  Recent research presented at the ASPCA Learning Lab shows that pets in shelter and kennel environments benefit tremendously when they are allowed at least one hour of downtime during the day. The break helps calm the animal, reduces illnesses and helps overall demeanor.

Animals also need enrichment to keep them curious and reduce boredom while waiting for a new forever home.  “Our awesome volunteers love to make and hand out enrichment items like stuffed Kong toys, bark boxes, toys and frozen pup cups,” says WVHS Executive Director, Dawn Davies. “The goal is to provide shelter animals a healthy balance of enrichment and socialization while reducing over-stimulation, which can have a negative impact on their behavior and health.”

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Davies demonstrated the need for ‘Quiet Time’ to shelter staff and board of directors by asking each of them to sit in a dog kennel for five minutes while normal every day activities went on around them. “It sounds silly, but the experience really helps to build empathy for the individual needs of each animal in our care.”

Shelter staff will also benefit from this change, utilizing the allocated time to take uninterrupted breaks, participating in meetings, trainings, and updating animal records. Davies says she also sees this time as a way to reduce the overall staff stress of handling constant, emergent situations.

Animal Care and Control (ACC) can be reached during this ‘Quiet Time’ by phone at 509-662-9577, option 1, however the lobby is closed for licensing and other ACC-related business during this hour.

Shelter hours of operation are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (closed 1:30-2:30 p.m., beginning January 7, 2019), Monday through Friday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shelter is located at 1474 Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee.

About WVHS

Founded in 1967, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is a private non-profit organization with a mission is to serve the community through education, protection and pet adoptions. We continue our mission by caring for displaced pets, rescuing injured and lost animals, providing a low cost spay/neuter program, hosting a pet food assistance bank, offering a Pets for Life program, investigating cruelties and finding homes for the orphaned animals. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or more information on how you can help, email wvhs@wenatcheehumane.org or call (509) 662-9577.

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Wenatchee Valley Humane Society Participates in ASPCA Learning Lab Program to Help Shelter Dogs with Behavior Issues

Hands-on training at ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center provides
innovative techniques and protocols to help homeless dogs nationwide

WENATCHEE, WASH.—The Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) today announces its partnership with the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) through the Learning Lab program. This program, based at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Weaverville, North Carolina, is an interactive educational program where select shelters participate in an intensive, hands-on workshop and discuss all aspects of advanced behavioral care in animal shelters.

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WVHS is among the first group of animal welfare agencies to participate in the ASPCA Learning Lab program and will be applying key learnings to integrate behavioral and psychological support for homeless dogs into its entire sheltering operation. The WVHS team was chosen for the selective program after taking part in an in-depth application and shelter visitation process.

“We were honored to be invited to send six of our key staff to participate in a four-day Learning Lab retreat at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in North Carolina,” said Dawn Davies, WVHS Executive Director. “The ASPCA Learning Lab demonstrated game-changing techniques in both a classroom and hands-on environment.   The ASPCA tailored private training to specifically address the challenges that we face as an open-door shelter in greater Wenatchee. We are excited to implement new tools to enrich shelter life not only for animals, but for our dedicated staff too, and ultimately, to increase our success rate of placing hard to adopt animals into forever homes.”

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“Wenatchee Valley Humane Society has a highly skilled, insightful, and cohesive team and we had impactful working sessions together over the course of the four-day retreat,” added Dr. Katherine Miller, Senior Director of the ASPCA Learning Lab program. “We’re excited that they are joining the Learning Lab’s network of shelter partners and we look forward to continued collaboration on methods to elevate behavioral healthcare in animal shelters.”

The ASPCA Learning Lab launched in 2018 at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, the first-ever permanent facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and study of extremely fearful, unadoptable homeless dogs, most of whom are victims of cruelty or neglect. As the Learning Lab program evolves, the ASPCA plans to develop a national network of partner organizations that can share learnings and best practices and serve as specialized behavioral rehabilitation hubs in their communities.

The work of the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center is showcased in an award-winning ASPCA documentary, “Second Chance Dogs”, which is available on secondchancedogsfilm.com. For more information on the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, please visit aspca.org/BRC.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society
Founded in 1967, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is a private non-profit organization with a mission is to serve the community through education, protection and pet adoptions. We continue our mission by caring for displaced pets, rescuing injured and lost animals, providing a low cost spay/neuter program, hosting a pet food assistance bank, offering a Pets for Life program, investigating cruelties and finding homes for the orphaned animals. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or more information on how you can help, email wvhs@wenatcheehumane.org or call (509) 662-9577.

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NEW SHELTER PROGRAM HELP DOGS MAKE EASIER ADOPTION TRANSITIONS

WENATCHEE, WA- Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) has added behavior and obedience programs to their list of resources. The programs are a tool used to help some of the more rambunctious and untrained dogs at the shelter.  The goal is to reduce their length of stay at the shelter and increase their adoptability.

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“Dogs that come to the shelter with behavior issues have a difficult time being adopted,” explains WVHS Executive Director, Dawn Davies. “Long lengths of stay in a shelter setting are stressful for animals. Our goal is to give these dogs every opportunity to find their forever home, as quickly as possible. Adding a dog behavior program that teaches positive habits, confidence for good manners and basic obedience skills was the next natural step for us to take.”

All dogs entering the shelter are evaluated. Those who show signs of treatable behavior issues are placed into either the Canine Good Citizen-Ready (CGC) program or the Total Obedience Program (TOP) Dog program. Both programs give dogs a second chance for a happy home through training, diligence, and one-on-one development.

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In the CGC program, WVHS staff and volunteers work with the selected shelter dogs to train them on specific good behavior skills, with a goal of mastering them. Mastering these behaviors prepares them for the American Kennel Club CGC Test and once ready, shelter dogs are tested on ten real-world scenarios. If they pass, they are labeled ‘CGC Ready.’ Adopters of these dogs will be briefed on their dog’s skill set and are encouraged to work with an independent CGC Evaluator for CGC certification testing.

Dogs participating in the TOP dog program work on skills similar to the CGC-Ready Program but in addition to good behavior skills, TOP Dogs learn advanced skills specific to each dog’s needs. Adopters of TOP Dog participants have the opportunity to visit WVHS with their dog, where the owner can learn the training skills received during the program and earn a WVHS TOP Dog certificate.

About WVHS

Founded in 1967, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is a private non-profit organization with a mission is to serve the community through education, protection and pet adoptions. We continue our mission by caring for displaced pets, rescuing injured and lost animals, providing a low cost spay/neuter program, hosting a pet food assistance bank, offering a Pets for Life program, investigating cruelties and finding homes for the orphaned animals. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or more information on how you can help, email wvhs@wenatcheehumane.org or call (509) 662-9577.

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HUMANE SOCIETY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HELPS LEAD CHARGE ON STATEWIDE PET LIFE-SAVING EFFORTS

Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) Executive Director, Dawn Davies, has joined other public and private animal welfare leaders throughout Washington State to launch Pet Alliance of Washington (PAW). The Coalition, who's mission is to increase lifesaving efforts of organizations within Washington State that provide care for stray, neglected and abused cats and dogs has also gained the help from Best Friends, a national organization with extensive experience improving animal outcomes.

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“While our shelter may be thriving, others are barely surviving.” says Davies, “There are many outlying areas in Washington that are a resource desert in terms of animal welfare.”

“WVHS is the only private, non-profit humane society in North Central Washington, primarily serving Chelan and Douglas County,” Davies explains, “As much as we would like to extend our life-saving programs to neighboring counties, we simply don’t have the capacity.”

The coalition was founded after a group of animal welfare professionals from several regions in Washington State took notice of issues within the animal welfare industry and identified that many could benefit from a collaborative and regional approach, rather that attempting to solve the same issues on an individual level. Strategies implemented by the coalition are set to boost pet save rates and improve outcomes and includes mentoring Pet Alliance members on model programs, grant funding, and direct action.

As one of the founding board of directors for PAWS, Davies is excited to share her experience and the success at WVHS to help others. “The Board of Directors is inspired to lead a statewide effort to reach a 90% live release rate by 2020,” Davies notes. “WVHS has maintained a 93% live release rate since 2015 by providing programs such as Trap/Neuter/Return, Pets For Life and Low Cost Spay and Neuter clinics. I am hoping that our experience will be helpful to other organizations.”

“It’s heartbreaking when I hear of high euthanasia rates and populations of unwanted litters, which is preventable,” she continues. “I am looking forward to working with PAW to mentor and assist other non-profit agencies, while bringing awareness to North Central Washington.”

Other members of PAWS’s board includes recognized animal welfare leaders from Seattle Humane (SH), Humane Society for SW Washington (HSSW), Blue Mountain Humane Society, Kitsap Humane Society, Pasado’s Safe Haven, Northwest Spay and Neuter Center, Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC), South County Cats, Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS), and Best Friends Animal Society (Best Friends).

About WVHS

Founded in 1967, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is a private non-profit organization with a mission is to serve the community through education, protection and pet adoptions. We continue our mission by caring for displaced pets, rescuing injured and lost animals, providing a low cost spay/neuter program, hosting a pet food assistance bank, offering a Pets for Life program, investigating cruelties and finding homes for the orphaned animals. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or more information on how you can help, email wvhs@wenatcheehumane.org or call (509) 662-9577.

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WVHS Welcomes New Medical Director to Team

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WENATCHEE- Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS), proudly announces the addition of Dr. Kyla Krissek to the team. 

“I am proud of our community and our organization to have attracted the talented Dr. Krissek.  She was my first choice of several candidates. Her dedication and passion are a perfect fit to expand our services and quality for care for shelter animals,” said Dawn Davies, WVHS Executive Director.

Since the addition of an in-house veterinarian position in July of last year, many of the day-to-day procedures, including dentals and alterations, are performed on-site. WVHS has seen an increase in turn around for spay/neuters surgeries, which means adopted animals can go home sooner. 

“It’s also allowed for us to expand our low cost spay/neuter clinic services,” explains Davies. “Having an on-site vet gives us the opportunity to serve income-qualified pet owners once a week rather than quarterly or putting any more burden onto our vet partners already busy schedules.” Still, WVHS relies heavily on the veterinarian community in our area for more complex surgeries or treatments.

Krissek’s addition to WVHS comes as Dr. Brad Crauer returns to Kansas State as an Assistant Clinical Professor in Shelter Medicine.

“Dr. Crauer’s gift for teaching will benefit the animal welfare industry, as more traditional shelters look to open internal clinics.” Davies stated, “Shelter Medicine is a fairly new elective course that includes addressing specific challenges faced by non-profit budgets such as capacity for care and disease prevention.”

Prior to her appointment at WVHS, Krissek served as a shelter veterinarian at SPCA of Texas in Dallas. She’s a graduate of Kansas State and her interests include internal medicine and TNR (trap, neuter, return) programs. She first became interest in shelter medicine while working at a local shelter during her undergrad and, after graduation, completed a shelter medicine internship at Kansas State under Dr. Crauer.  

Krissek is a Kansas native, born and raised in Topeka and Wichita. Krissek has rescue dogs and a cat at home.

About WVHS

Founded in 1967, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is a private non-profit organization with a mission is to serve the community through education, protection and pet adoptions. We continue our mission by caring for displaced pets, rescuing injured and lost animals, providing a low cost spay/neuter program, hosting a pet food assistance bank, offering a Pets for Life program, investigating cruelties and finding homes for the orphaned animals. If you would like to volunteer, donate, or more information on how you can help, email wvhs@wenatcheehumane.org or call (509) 662-9577.

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ANNOUNCING THE APPOINTMENT OF DR. BRAD CRAUER IN-HOUSE SHELTER VETERINARIAN

Dawn Davies, executive director of the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS), announces the appointment of Dr. Brad Crauer to the recently-created position of in-house shelter veterinarian. Dr. Crauer will be responsible for overseeing a shelter medicine program at WVHS, with a strong emphasis on spay/neuter surgery.

“This appointment helps us realize a dream we have been working on for some time,” notes Davies. “We want every homeless animal that comes through our doors to have a thorough in-house vet check-up, and to receive spay/neuter surgery as quickly as possible to ensure they are ready for adoption with little delay.”

Davies points out that the volume of spay/neuter surgeries the shelter requires can often overwhelm the important partnerships WVHS has with the veterinarian community in our area. “With an in-house veterinarian, these will be handled more efficiently, and routine health checks will avoid delays in treatment,” Davies says. “We will still need to rely on our veterinarian partners for more complex surgeries and treatments on specific cases, and greatly appreciate all they do for us, often without advance warning, and during evening and weekend hours.”

Dr. Crauer has served as Assistant Professor at Kansas State University, where he developed a shelter medicine program. Prior to joining the faculty at Kansas State University, he served as Seattle Humane Society’s Chief Medical Officer and as an Adjunct Professor at Washington State University. He is a 1991 Iowa State University graduate with over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and administrator in private practice, emergency and shelter facilities.

“When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Dr. Crauer acted as an advisor to FEMA and was the lead veterinarian in charge of rescue, triage, treatment and long-term management of an evacuation shelter,” Davies says. “We believe his background equips him very well for the position at WVHS.”
Dr. Crauer’s family includes his wife, two college age children, two dogs and two Katrina rescue cats. He will begin his position at WVHS in July of this year.