All domestic animals in Whatcom County have permanent, responsible, and loving homes.
All animals, regardless of species are treated with respect and compassion.
WHS operates a state-of-the-art shelter facility and resource center.
WHS is widely recognized and respected as a core service in the community.
WHS educational programs promote responsible animal care and prevent abuse, neglect, and overpopulation.


The Whatcom Humane Society (WHS) has been caring for animals throughout Whatcom County since 1902.

As the oldest non-profit animal welfare organization in Whatcom County, WHS is committed to caring for any animal in need.

As an open-admission animal shelter, WHS turns no animal away, regardless of the animals age, breed, temperament, physical or medical condition.

Our dedicated staff and volunteers care for approximately 4,500 domestic, wild and farm animals annually. We currently operate 3 shelter facilities – a domestic animal shelter, a wildlife rehabilitation center and a farm facility.

In addition, WHS provides 24 hour a day animal control & rescue services for the majority of Whatcom County including the Cities of Bellingham, Ferndale, Blaine, Sumas, Everson, unicorporated Whatcom County and has relationships with both the Lummi & Nooksack Indian Reservations.

Click here to view our most recent Audited Financial Statement.

Number of animals brought to our domestic animal shelter in 2018

Number of hours in a day that Animal control officers are available for your calls.

Injured trumpeter swans were brought into the WHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center last year.


What is an Open-Admission Shelter?
The Whatcom Humane Society has always been and will always remain, an open-admission shelter. This means that we accept animal animal in need regardless of the animals’ age, temperament, breed, medical conditions, physical conditions or the amount of space available in our shelter facilities.
Is WHS a “no-kill” shelter?
No! The Whatcom Humane Society is not a “no-kill” or limited admission shelter. We are an open-admission shelter, taking in all animals in need. In order to operate a “no-kill” facility, an organization must limit the number of animals it receives to those it has the resources to care for and the room to house at any given time. In a world where there are many more animals in need of homes than there are homes available, a “no-kill” or “limited admission” shelter can only maintain that status by turning some animals away. Those denied admission must be taken elsewhere to be adopted or euthanized. While “no-kill” shelters help some of the animals in a community, they cannot meet the needs of many of the stray or at-risk animals that are served by an “open-admission” facility like the Whatcom Humane Society. “No-kill” or “limited admission” facilities can only function well in communities that have an open admission shelter.
What do I do if I find a stray animal or see an animal in need?
If you find a stray animal or see an animal in need, please contact our animal control & rescue department at (360) 733-2080, extension # 3017 for assistance.
How long are stray animals held at Whatcom Humane Society?
Stray animals that are picked up or brought to the shelter without identification are held for a minimum of 3 – 5 days, not counting the day they came into the shelter or Tuesday and holidays. Those animals that come into the shelter wearing identification are held a minimum of 10 days. When stray animals are admitted, we make every attempt to locate their owner(s).If the animal is not claimed by the end of the stray holding period, he/she becomes the property of WHS and is carefully evaluated to determine whether he/she will be made available for adoption or euthanized. Factors taken into consideration upon making this decision often include the animal’s age, health, temperament and physical condition, as well as the amount of space available at the shelter.
How long do animals stay up for adoption at Whatcom Humane Society?
WHS has no set time that an animal stays at the shelter. Each animal is treated as an individual and evaluated on an individual basis. We will hold an animal as long as necessary providing there are resources available and the animal is physically and psychologically healthy. WHS has a large network of “foster homes” that animals are placed into for various reasons including age, health and space available at the shelter.
What is the Whatcom Humane Society’s Animal Wellness Plan?
The Whatcom Humane Society heightened its commitment to caring for animals by incorporating a comprehensive Animal Wellness Plan which includes:

  • Full time veterinarian provides in-house veterinary services for shelter animals five days a week.
  • Each animal receives a thorough physical examination by a trained animal care technician. The animal is given a “report card” that is monitored twice daily. The “report card” allows WHS staff and volunteers to observe the animal’s appetite, energy level, stool, general health and other daily activities, thus making it easier to notice changes in the animal that need to be further evaluated.
  • When necessary, each animal has a medical treatment plan prescribed by the veterinarian.

Several veterinary hospitals are now offering a free one-time basic exam with each WHS adoption. New adopters present the veterinary hospital with a copy of the animal’s WHS medical card at their initial appointment. This partnership benefits everyone as the participating veterinary hospitals increase their client base while WHS is assured that adopters are getting started on the “right paw” by taking their new companion animal to the vet.

How is it decided which animals will be up for adoption and which will be euthanized?
After the initial holding period, most animals that are relatively healthy and temperamentally sound will be made available for adoption. Those animals that would not qualify for adoption are those with aggressive behavior or those whose physical state involves pain or ongoing suffering. WHS works with rescue groups and with other shelters to place animals in appropriate homes.
What is euthanasia and how is it done?
Euthanasia is the act of facilitating a good death. Dogs are euthanized by an intravenous injection of an overdose of sodium pentobarbital. In approximately eight seconds the dog is rendered unconscious and the entire system shuts down within a few minutes. Cats are euthanized by an intraperitoneal injection. While this process takes longer, it is less stressful than an intravenous injection for cats. The euthanasia process requires a trained and certified technician. The procedure is a quick and painless one.

What do you want to know about the shelter?


Here are the great people who work hard behind the scenes at Whatcom Humane Society.

Our Staff


Executive Director, Laura Clark

Courtney Adams
Sarah Kirkish

Dana Berger

Special Events
Dana Browne, Manager

Humane Education
Kelsey Forbes

Volunteer & Outreach Services
Carly Brewer, Manager

Animal Care & Shelter Services
Danielle Yencopal-Smith, Operations Manager
Kate Miller, Companion Animal Services Manager
Angelia Reid, Supervisor
Meghan Bland
Cholena Brown
Tina Claussen
Jillian Cobb
Kelsey Girvin
KiAnna Hoppe
Savannah Lampman
Derrick Randolf
Gabrielle Whitehall
Hailee Wickersham
Amy Wilkinson, Foster Coordinator

Wildlife Rehabilitation Services
Alysha Evans, Manager, Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, L.V.T.
Makenna Johansen, Lead, Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator
Caroline Sullivan
Hayley Vanderveen
Animal Control & Rescue / Field Services
Paul Evans, Manager
Audie Wood, Supervisor
Alison Ehl, Dispatcher
Claudia Alvarez
Carrie Anderson
Kyle Berger
Veterinary Services
Karen Rounds, DVM
Sarah Hansen

Our Board

Monthly meetings of the WHS board of directors are held the 4th Thursday of each month.

Board Members
Janet Hofmann, President
Kim Rice, Vice President
Ali Alsos, Treasurer
Dan Claffey
Deborah Dial-Monroe
Scott Rice
Victoria Savage
Jane Talbot
Kevin Williamson
How to Contact the Board
To contact the board, please write
c/o: Whatcom Humane Society Board of Directors
2172 Division Street
Bellingham, WA 98226

For additional information, please email

Department Directory

Main Phone:  (360) 733-2080

Laura Clark, Executive Director / ext #3026

Animal Control & Rescue / ext #3017

Shelter Operations / ext #3075

Adoptions/Customer Service / ext #3001

Licensing / ext #3010

Volunteer & Outreach Services / ext #3024

Humane Education / ext #3116

Special Events/Fundraising / ext #3014

Donations / ext #3002

Finance / ext #3021

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center / (360) 966-8845

Farm Facility

It’s a labor of love.


Job Opportunities at WHS

The Whatcom Humane Society seeks individuals highly motivated toward the welfare of ALL animals.

Animal Control Officer - Full Time

JOB TITLE:  Animal Control Officer (Full Time)

FUNCTIONS: To enforce local and state laws pertaining to animals in the community. To participate in the implementation of other field service, education, and public relations activities for the benefit of animals, always following the established policies, principles, and objectives of the Society.

1. Enforce City, County, and State Animal Control laws.
2. Investigate complaints by the public.
3. Impound stray animals at large, issue citations and written warnings to owners/keepers in violation of local ordinances. Testify in court when necessary.
4. Implement quarantine procedures in cooperation with the Health Dept. for rabies control.
5. Capture, contain, and secure livestock, exotics, vicious dogs, and unusual animals for the safety of the public, transporting when appropriate.
6. Pick up dead animals from private/public designated areas.
7. Inspect/monitor kennels, pet shops, animal fairs, zoos, rodeos, and special events to insure the safety and well-being of the animals.
8. Sell pet licenses.
9. Keep complete records, daily logs, activity reports.
10. Write clear, concise reports.
11. Obtain search and seizure warrants/court orders when warranted.
12. Obtain voluntary statements from witnesses/experts.
13. Secure crime scene. Gathers evidence if applicable.
14. Cooperate with and assist other law enforcement agencies.
15. Maintain regular, open communication with supervisor and other officers.
16. Perform service pick up of unwanted/stray animals that are confined by citizens.
17. Collect fees and contributions when appropriate.
18. Record complete animal information on pickups.
19. Transport animals to shelter, veterinarian, or other when appropriate.
20. Respond to emergencies: injured animals – domestic and small wildlife, animals in distress, vicious domestic animals at large, administers first aid/transports to shelter, veterinarian, or owner for treatment or euthanasia.
21. Maintain interior and exterior of vehicle sanitation. Reports mechanical problems to designated person or supervisor.
22. Participate in work related training and education programs both by the Society and other agencies in order to develop or improve work skills.
23. Satisfactorily complete training and certification programs required for performance of duties.
24. Other duties as assigned.

1. High School Graduate or equivalent and minimum two years professional animal-related experience.
2. Has or can obtain a valid Washington driver’s license.
3. Minimum of 21 years of age
4. Must be eligible for limited commission/authorization by Police/Sheriff Dept & Superior Court (criminal background check necessary).
5. Ability to learn and interpret laws and ordinances governing animal care and control and teach others.
6. Demonstrate ability to express ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.
7. Report writing ability to accurately record information in reports. Good spelling and grammar necessary.
8. Knowledge of the characteristics and appearances of common breeds of dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. Skilled in the handling and care of animals.
9. Knowledge of animal control equipment. Able to load and trailer livestock.
10. Ability to work harmoniously with other employees.
11. Ability to perform humane euthanasia and pass all certifications if necessary, as required by this agency and Washington State law in the use of Sodium Pentobarbital and Legend drugs.
12. Must be in good health, able to pass a physical examination, sit, stand, bend, twist and lift 50+ pounds.
13. Highly motivated toward the welfare and humane treatment of all animals.
14. Successful attendance/completion of WACA or NACA animal control academy (if needed) within 1 year of hire.

Must work irregular hours, shifts, nights, weekends (both Saturday & Sunday) and holidays. Be able to deal with unruly, vicious, and dangerous animals humanely. Be able to deal with a hostile public, a fast paced workload that at times can be stressful. Be able to deal with strenuous physical activity and the emotional drain of the job. Exposure to parasites and infectious diseases.

$13.00 per hour, plus on-call and overtime pay. Benefits including medical/dental, vacation, sick, holiday pay after successful completion of introduction period.

Send resume and cover letter to:
Whatcom Humane Society
Attn: Paul Evans, Animal Control & Rescue Manager
2172 Division Street
Bellingham, WA 98226
Fax:  360-733- 4746


WHS is an equal opportunity employer.

Please Note: we use E-verify –


If you LOVE animals, you will LOVE volunteering for Whatcom Humane Society.


“Meowga” ~ Yoga with Kittens!

“MEOWGA”!! It’s Yoga . . . with Kittens!!! What’s NOT to LOVE?!

Dog Days of Summer

A festival for dogs & the people who love them! August 25 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

The 10th Annual Whatcom Humane Society Putts Fore Pets Golf Event

Join us for a great day on the course with your friends and colleagues! Aug. 8 @ 11:30 am

Walk on the Wild Side Series

Join us for an informative series of talks about wildlife native to Whatcom County.

Four Courses with the Horses Dinner

Join fellow animal lovers for this exclusive dining experience! May 18 @ 5:00 pm


Published quarterly, our PawPrint Newsletter is a great way to keep up-to-date with the work we are doing for abandoned, injured and abused wild & domestic animals throughout our community.


Winter 2019 Spring 2017 Summer 2016
Spring 2018 Winter 2017 Spring 2016
Winter 2018 Winter 2016
Fall 2018 Fall 2016

Questions about feeding native wildlife?  Read the latest article from our Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to get all the info you need to what is best for the wild animals in your area.

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Upcoming Events

  1. “Meowga” ~ Yoga with Kittens!

    July 27 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Address & Hours

Address:  2172 Division Street, Bellingham, WA  98226
Phone:  (360) 733-2080
Fax:  (360) 733-4746

Shelter Services (licensing, lost & found, redemptions, etc.)
Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm & Sunday – Monday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Closed Tuesdays & Major Holidays

Adoption Services / Animal Adoption Viewing
Wednesday – Saturday 11:00 am – 5:30 pm & Sunday – Monday 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Closed Tuesdays & Major Holidays

Animal Control Dispatch
Sunday - Tuesday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Farm Facility:  By Appointment Only

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center:
September-April 9:00 am-5:00 pm
May-August 8:00 am-7:00 pm
(360) 966-8845 – please call, not open to the public

Department Directory

Main Phone:  (360) 733-2080

Laura Clark, Executive Director / ext #3026

Animal Control & Rescue / ext #3017

Shelter Operations / ext #3075

Adoptions/Customer Service / ext #3001

Licensing / ext #3010

Volunteer & Outreach Services / ext #3024

Humane Education / ext #3116

Special Events/Fundraising / ext #3014

Donations / ext #3002

Finance / ext #3021

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center / (360) 966-8845

Farm Facility