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.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (509) 662-9577.