SILVERDALE — Kitsap Humane Society got a little more crowded Oct. 19 when it took in 12 animals from Vallejo, California, to open up space in shelters there for animals displaced by the wildfires.
But by Oct. 22, that extra crowd of animals had almost entirely found new homes, with one fluffy exception: Streak, a five-month-old male brown tabby kitten.
“Streak is so cute,” Kitsap animal welfare director Natalie Smith said. “He seemed a little shell-shocked from the flight and drive from SeaTac, but he is adjusting well to his new kennel with the help of comfy beds, treats, toys and attention from staff and volunteers.”
Smith said Streak “could be a little nervous” when meeting new people or in new situations, “but once he realizes you’re his friend, he loves chin scratching and becomes a purr machine.”
Streak was still available for adoption as of Oct. 24; an ideal home would be one with no young children and no dogs, Smith said, “since they can be a little too loud and intimidating.”
This isn’t the first time KHS has taken in animals from areas struck by disaster. In September, KHS welcomed more than a dozen dogs from Texas to clear up room in shelters there for animals displaced by the hurricane.
And on Oct. 24, the shelter welcomed even more cats from California, this time from Los Angeles.
“Tonight, with the ASPCA, we will be rescuing a number of kittens from the Los Angeles area, where cats and kittens are at high risk of euthanasia due to lack of space,” Smith said. “And this Thursday (Oct. 26), we will be rescuing a few more small dogs from California with the ASPCA.”
KHS has partnered with ASPCA’s Relocation Program (www.aspca.org/animal-placement/animal-relocation) for about three years, Smith said.
“KHS’s Rescue Me program partners with shelters and rescues across Washington state,” she said, “but a few years ago, it became clear that there were many communities outside of Washington state with very adoptable animals that were at-risk simply due to lack of space. We re lucky to have enough space and wonderful support from the community to be able to find homes for our local community’s pets in need, as well as pets from our partners.”
Through the Rescue Me program, KHS has taken in more than 2,000 pets from its partners. In the last year, the shelter has received two grants from ASPCA to support efforts to transfer animals from at-risk areas in California.
“We’re so lucky to live in a community where compassion transcends borders,” Smith said. “It is so inspiring to see our adopters, volunteers and supporters committed to helping pets in need after the recent natural disasters.”
— Michelle Beahm is online editor for Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.