Kitsap Humane Society’s New Rescue Me Program

April 26, 2015

Kitsap Humane Society is in the business of saving lives, and through our new Rescue Me Program, hundreds of animals at risk of euthanasia at shelters across the region are being transported to KHS for adoption. One of those animals was Lucille.

When Kitsap Humane Society was contacted by a small, under-resourced shelter in the south Sound region about a Shepherd-mix puppy in urgent need of rescue, we had to help. The shelter had no veterinarian on staff but knew that KHS had a phenomenal Veterinary Services Department. On the day that nine-month-old Lucille was scheduled to be euthanized due to constant and severe seizures, a volunteer rushed to the shelter and transported her back to KHS.

Our Veterinary Services team quickly got her epilepsy under control with medication, but as the seizures subsided it became clear that a puppyhood of neglect had left Lucille with few manners and skills a puppy her age should have. Behavior and Training Department staff and volunteers worked with Lucille to adjust to her seizure-free life, and just a few short weeks later, she was adopted!

When KHS began transferring in at-risk dogs in 2013, support from the community was overwhelming. In 2014 we expanded our reach, saving even more lives through the Rescue Me Program. What started as a partnership with a handful of shelters has blossomed into a life-saving network of more than a dozen shelters across Washington State and a number in Southern California. In addition to working with regional shelters, Rescue Me is partnering with well-respected national rescue organizations such as Best Friends and ASPCA, both of whom have provided KHS with grants to help fund this expanded effort.

Dedicated KHS volunteers help transport at-risk animals to our shelter through all types of weather and at all hours of the day – even overnight. Through a generous gift, KHS purchased a new, larger, more efficient transport van that holds up to 30 animals.  The Rescue Me Program saved 1,221 dogs, puppies, cats and kittens from partner shelters in 2014. We had the room to take in more animals from other shelters because our own spay/neuter program had been extremely successful in lowering the local stray rate.  Thus the program provided a more diverse selection of pets for the thousands of local customers dedicated to adopting rescued animals.

Some of the shelters we partner with have no veterinarian on staff, or only a handful of kennels. As a result many of the animals that came to us from these shelters were in danger of being put down. Now these animals are in loving homes across the Puget Sound region.