Our small & mighty team climbs mountains for pets and their people…
At just three days old, Lucy was bitten by a dog. Her owner did not seek treatment. At six weeks, she was surrendered to WCGHS. Her untreated injury had grown into a massive, abdominal hernia. After multiple life-saving surgeries, Lucy was adopted by a WCGHS volunteer who has experience with special needs cats and the ability to take on Lucy’s lifelong medical care. Lucy is now living her best life because of donors like you who make it possible for us to give each and every animal what it needs to survive AND thrive!
One day we received a call from a local veterinarian who needed help with an animal. Shadow, a 10 year old cat, needed urgent surgery to remove a large mass above his eye. The owner could not afford the surgery because his hours had been cut at work due to COVID. He faced having to euthanize his cat. Fortunately, we were able to help because we had just created a new community program called the Jim and Ann Ruscigno (JAR) Emergency Medical Fund. We accepted Shadow as our first recipient and he’s doing great! To learn more about the JAR Emergency Medical Fund, please visit www.wcghs.org
Daisy, a senior Dachshund, came to us through animal control. Her owner died and there was no one to take her. Daisy needed extensive medical care: oral surgery to remove rotten teeth and repair a hole in her mouth that was connected to her nose; six weeks of antibiotics for a bladder infection that had spread to her kidneys; and physical therapy to help her regain rear leg function. She was even fitted for a wheelchair!
During her 55 day stay with us, Daisy was often visited by the officer who brought her in. The officer wanted to adopt her, but he didn’t think his wife would agree to it. Little did he know, his wife secretly planned the adoption. Because of generous donors like you, Daisy is living with a family who treasures her!
…powered by a passion for animal welfare and community support
As I reflect on this past year, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite children’s books “The Little Engine That Could”. If you’re not familiar, it’s about a little train who thought that because of its small size it couldn’t make it up over a mountain…a mountain it had never faced before.
The story is a perfect metaphor for West Columbia Gorge Humane Society for 2020. Early in the year, we were chugging along carrying out our mission and then COVID hit. With it came a mountain of challenges that forced us to hatch a plan, pivot, and step up in ways unimagined prior to this year.
Since 1994, West Columbia Gorge Humane Society’s (WCGHS) mission has been to eliminate unnecessary euthanasia and find pets loving, new homes. We still do that AND a whole lot more. Because of COVID, the downturn in our economy, and this year’s unprecedented wildfires, we seized an opportunity to shift our mission and evolve into a community resource center that is dedicated to not only saving lives, but also finding ways to keep pets and their people together.
Would you believe that since March, we have fielded over 4,700 inquiries? It’s true. The issues have ranged from the need for pet food, to temporary pet boarding, to veterinary assistance, to needing pet supplies, to emergency pet surrenders.
Some of the hardship cases have been downright heartbreaking…
- The veteran who suffered from PTSD. While having a mental breakdown, this man unexpectedly found himself homeless and faced having to give up his service dog. We knew giving up his dog was the worst thing for him, so we provided temporary boarding, pet food and veterinary assistance to help him.
- The woman who was on the run from domestic violence. WCGHS held onto her dog until she found a safe haven. In addition to boarding, we provided anonymity and peace of mind.
- The woman who lost her home due to a wildfire. Instead of leaving the area, she stayed behind living in a tent to feed abandoned pets. WCGHS provided 300 pounds of pet food and pet supplies.
The bittersweet reality is that I could tell you another 700+ stories of those we have helped since January 1st. But, we aren’t over the mountain yet. We are now in our third round of COVID spikes and this one appears to be the worst yet. That means WCGHS programs and services are going to be in even higher demand as more pets and people suffer until a vaccine becomes widely available.
While I feel the weight of our current situation, I am grateful that in the face of this very difficult year, WCGHS has found a way to climb the mountain. I see now that regardless of the circumstances, we will be able to carry out our mission and serve those in need because of awesome supporters like you! YOU are fueling our small and mighty train. YOU are making a difference. Because, truth be told, without you, none of this would be possible.
Please help us continue to climb this mountain by donating generously this giving season. Join us as we attempt to minimize unnecessary suffering for the pets and people in our community in 2021.
With endless gratitude,
Micki Simeone, Interim Executive Director
Give now to help a dog or a cat live a long, healthy life!
$30 – pet food for three animals
$65 – temporary boarding up to 5 days
$150 – spay/neuter for one dog or cat
$275 – care for a litter of puppies or kittens
$500 – dental cleaning/surgery
$750 – emergency medical treatment for a community pet
$1000 – mission critical in-house medical supplies
Other – $___________
*suggested amounts represent possible donation outcomes
Checks can be mailed to:
P.O. Box 270
Washougal, WA 98671
We know that pets are family members, so we go above and beyond to keep pets and people together.