For more than three decades, West Sound Wildlife Shelter has provided live saving veterinary services to Kitsap County’s’ injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife. They now are exploring new fundraising opportunities for sustainable growth.
From humble beginnings, WSWS serves as the only wildlife shelter on the Kitsap Peninsula. The Shelter has resided on the grounds of the Bloedel Reserve since 1999.
“Bloedel has generously let us use this land since 1999 and has played an integral role in our success. Without their support we wouldn’t be able to operate,” says WSWS Executive Director, Lisa Horn. “We are very grateful to the staff and Board of Directors of the Bloedel Reserve.”
With the generous donations of individuals, businesses, and foundations, the shelter has helped care for over 1,300 orphaned, injured, and ill animals in 2023.
“We are the sole wildlife center on the Kitsap Peninsula equipped to address all aspects of wildlife protection. Holding permits from both the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, we are authorized not only to rescue, rehabilitate, and release wildlife but also to maintain educational ambassador animals. These permits enable us to engage in educational initiatives with schools and the community, conveying the importance of conserving habitats,” explains Horn.
Within the counties located along the Western Puget Sound region, WSWS serves over 6,000 residents with wildlife conflict resolution services as well as animal education programs to over 5,000 children and adults annually.
Now marking the 32nd anniversary of operation, a great deal has changed since those early days on Bainbridge Island. As inflation continues to rise post-pandemic, the Shelter has been forced to adapt, seeking out more sustainable revenue streams beyond an already strained giving climate.
In order to reliably support the services provided to the community, WSWS is exploring the possibility of opening its very own resell shop called Wild Bird Mercantile. Starting in January, WSWS will hold exploratory popup sales on the second weekend of every month starting January through April, hosted at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church on Bainbridge Island. They will be open 10-5 on Fridays and 9-3 on Saturdays (1/12-13; 2/9-10; 3/8-9; 4/12-13)
Conceived in 2022 as part of strategic planning to increase revenue while reducing a reliance on special events as a main source of fundraising, the Wild Bird Mercantile will resell carefully curated vintage finds and exceptional new and gently used home goods with 100 per cent of the proceeds directly benefiting lifesaving wildlife services.