West Columbia Gorge Humane Society (WCGHS) is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, animal shelter located in Washougal, Washington.
Established in 1994, our programs and services are carried out by a small staff and over 100 volunteers who are dedicated to the welfare of animals in need from our community and beyond. Thousands of pets and people are the recipients of our compassionate care and assistance each year.
To save the lives of pets and provide resources that keep pets and their people together.
Our vision is for all pets to live healthy lives, in loving homes.
WCGHS embraces and fosters a culture of kindness, respect, compassion and integrity towards all pets and people.
WCGHS is focused on bettering the lives of both pets and their people in our community. This is why we are committed to these tenets of socially conscious animal sheltering:
- Finding placement for every healthy or treatable animal.
- Ensuring unwanted or homeless pets have a safe place to go for shelter and care.
- Assessing the medical and behavioral needs of unwanted or homeless animals and ensuring these needs are thoughtfully addressed.
- Aligning shelter policy with the needs of the community.
- Alleviating suffering and making conscientious decisions regarding euthanasia based on the health and safety of the animal.
- Enhancing the human-animal bond through proper matchmaking and post adoption support.
The Impact You Made in 2021
WCGHS believes that sheltering should be based on the principle that each animal is an individual with its own story. We believe that animals deserve the utmost respect and are cared for in the most compassionate manner. When animals are placed in our care, we take into consideration our capacity for meeting their needs, the safety of the community, and the quality of life of both pets and people.
Animals come to WCGHS through owner surrender and partner organizations. WCGHS is also contracted by the Animal Control division for the cities of Camas and Washougal to manage and care for stray dogs found in the community.
Our campus consists of two separate buildings; one for dogs and one for cats. We also have an extensive foster home network, and we operate an adoption center located inside our local PetSmart. Like all shelters, we have limited space and resources, but when we accept an animal into our care, we make a lifetime commitment to its well being.
By definition, WCGHS has been what is known as a “no-kill” shelter since its inception because of our over 90% save rate. We have chosen to no longer use the term “no-kill” to describe our mission due to backlash toward shelters who are unable to meet this criteria. In parts of the U.S., and pockets of the Northwest, there are shelters who must euthanize healthy animals because they have no space or resources to care for them. By collaborating with these overburdened organizations, we are able to transport animals to WCGHS in an effort to save lives and place these animals in loving homes.
WCGHS relies on individual and corporate donations, as well as grants from foundations to fund our programs and services. We host two fundraising events per year: “A Tail to Remember” Dinner & Auction and “Hike on the Dike” – Walk/Run for the Animals. WCGHS does not receive any portion of dues or donations paid to national organizations or other humane societies. WCGHS operates independently of any other shelter group.