By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor
The New Year brought plenty of changes to Lynnwood.
One of the biggest was the shifting of animal sheltering services from the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) to the Everett Animal Shelter.
What that means is that any animal picked up by Lynnwood’s Animal Control Officer is taken to the Everett Animal Shelter, which is located at 333 Smith Island Rd. in Everett. In addition, any stray animal found within the city limits of Lynnwood by a resident should be now taken to the Everett Animal Shelter.
As of mid-January, the shelter has sheltered seven animals from Lynnwood, according to Everett Animal Services Director Shannon Johnson.
“Change is difficult for anybody,” Johnson said. “We provide a great service for the animals here.”
The Everett Animal Shelter is contracted with 10 cities and towns in addition to unincorporated Snohomish County.
When an animal from Lynnwood arrives at the facility, the shelter first attempts to find its owner. The stray hold period is 72 hours or three days.
“If we do have some leads or other possibilities of tracking down an owner, then by contract we’ll hold them for 10 days, meaning they aren’t available for public viewing or adoption or transfer,” Johnson said. “We make every attempt possible to reunite them with their owner.”
After the stray hold period, the animal is evaluated for possible adoption or transferring out to a rescue group. The shelter has a veterinarian on staff, who addresses any potential health issues. All animals on the adoption floor are spayed and neutered. Animals are given a wellness exam upon arrival and are vaccinated at that time.
In the last five years, the shelter has worked hard at building partnerships with rescue organizations and the community, Johnson said.
“We are a positive impact on an animal’s life when it is transitioning and trying to find a new home,” she said.
Johnson noted that the shelter has not euthanized for space issues for dogs in the last six years and has not euthanized for space issues for cats in the last two years.
The Everett Animal Shelter is an open admission shelter, which means it does not refuse to take any animals even if the shelter is at capacity or an animal has a behavioral problem.
“We don’t turn anybody away,” Johnson said. “We take everything. … For an open admission shelter to increase their save rate by 30 percent and to not euthanize for space is huge. We have worked very hard at making that progressive step forward.”
The shelter has a foster network of volunteers who take in sick or injured animals and about 300 active volunteers who play an integral part in the shelter.
“Our volunteers are very, very valued and very much needed,” Johnson said. “They are a huge part of our success at the shelter.”
The shelter has the capacity to house up to 110 dogs and 100 cats. The early part of the New Year, however, generally is a slow time for the shelter. The shelter also has other animals available for adoption, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and birds. Potential new pet owners are encouraged to spend time with the animals to get a feel for them.
The animals’ record includes where they were found and who found them. The animal’s time in the shelter also is documented as well as any health concerns.
“If everything fits and works out well for the family, then they would complete the adoption papers and be able to take home the animal that day,” Johnson said.
Adoption fees range from $50 for adults cats, $125 for kittens (6 months and younger), $150 adult dogs to $250 for puppies (6 months and younger).