About Whatcom Humane Society

Statement of Principal

The Whatcom Humane Society believes that all animals, as sentient beings, have value beyond economic measurements and are entitled to legal, moral, and ethical consideration and protection.


All animals in our community are treated with kindness, respect, and compassion.


  • Advocate for animals
  • Educate the community to promote humane treatment and respect for animals
  • Provide for abandoned, injured, abused or neglected animals


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 2019

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
Kristopher Bush, Companion Animal Care Manager
Tristen Blackwell
Meghan Bland
Tina Claussen
Jillian Cobb
Kelsey Girvin
KiAnna Hoppe
Madesyn Ingram
Ally Kennedy
Savannah Lampman
Derrick Randolf
Caroline Sullivan
Gabrielle Whitehall
Amy Wilkinson
Gemma Woodhouse, Foster Coordinator

Wildlife Rehabilitation Services

Alysha Evans, Manager, Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, L.V.T.
Makenna Johansen, Lead, Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator
Sinead Andersen
Anna Szabo
Kelsey Wason

Animal Control & Rescue / Field Services
Paul Evans, Manager
Audie Wood, Supervisor
Alison Ehl, Dispatcher
Kate Hisdal, Dispatcher
Claudia Alvarez
Carrie Anderson
Kyle Berger
Robb Roble
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
Victoria Savage, Secretary
Dan Claffey
Deborah Dial-Monroe
Stephanie Peterson
Scott Rice
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 director@whatcomhumane.org.

Department Directory
Main Phone:  (360) 733-2080

Laura Clark, Executive Director
director@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3026

Animal Control & Rescue
animalcontrol@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3017

Shelter Operations
operations@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3075

Adoptions/Customer Service
adoptions@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3001

licensing@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3010

Volunteer & Outreach Services
volunteer@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3024

Humane Education
outreach@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3116

Special Events/Fundraising
events@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3014

admin@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3002

finance@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3021

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
wildlife@whatcomhumane.org / (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.

ReSale Thrift Store Manager - Full Time

JOB TITLE:  ReSale Thrift Store Manager – Full Time
DEPARTMENT:  Development
ACCOUNTABILITY:  Executive Director
FUNCTIONS:  Manage the day to day operations of the Whatcom Humane Society resale thrift store.


  1. Manage and oversee all aspects of daily thrift store operations.
  2. Develop and enforce thrift store policies for acceptance of donations, sorting, pricing, display and merchandising of inventory.
  3. Provide excellent customer service for all visitors to thrift store as well as conflict resolution for complaints received by the public and provide education to visitors and volunteers regarding WHS mission, programs and services.
  4. Oversight of cash handling, check and credit card transactions, daily banking and adherence to WHS cash handling policies and procedures.
  5. Manage inventory of all donated items including coordination of donation item pick up as needed and delivery of items to other resale businesses.
  6. Supervision of thrift store volunteers including training and scheduling.
  7. Maintain appealing, creative and professional appearance of store.
  8. Liaison with property management, coordinating building maintenance and equipment repairs as needed.
  9. Ensure thrift store has adequate coverage for daily operations.
  10. Provide safe and healthy environment for visitors and volunteers.
  11. Coordinate special events and shopping specials to increase sales and visibility for store.
  12. Other duties as assigned.


  1. Minimum two years retail management experience; merchandising experience a plus.
  2. Ability to work in retail type setting and operate equipment such as computer, cash register, calculator and other equipment.
  3. Strong organizational and communication skills.
  4. Experience working with diverse groups including volunteers – and effectively handle difficult interpersonal situations.
  5. Great customer service skills with the ability to work well with the public.
  6. Excellent and proven verbal, written and communication skills – public speaking experience a plus.
  7. Ability to think on your feet, exercise good judgment and maintain strong working relationships with volunteers, customers, members of the public and local businesses.
  8. Computer savvy with excellent cash handling skills and knowledge.
  9. In good physical health, able work for long periods on your feet, bend, twist and able to lift or carry a minimum of 50lbs.
  10. Highly motivated toward the humane care and treatment of all animals and mission of the Whatcom Humane Society.
  11. Ability to work independently or in a team setting.
  12. High School Graduate required.
  13. Able to pass criminal background check and have current Washington State driver’s license.


Be able to deal with a diverse public and volunteer population in a fast paced environment that at times can be stressful. Be able to work weekends and some evenings as scheduled/required. Willingness to travel to WHS Division Street shelter for regular meetings as needed.

COMPENSATION:  DOE with benefits, including medical, dental, vision and paid sick, holiday and vacation time after successful completion of introductory period.

TO APPLY:  Submit cover letter and resume to:

Laura Clark, executive director
2172 Division Street, Bellingham WA 98226
Fax # (360)733-4746

No phone calls please.

WHS is an equal opportunity employer.  Please Note: we use E-verify – www.dhs.gov/e-verify


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


Animal Caricaturist Drawing…Virtually!

Steve, the very popular animal caricaturist, will be VIRTUALLY joining the festivities this year. TWO PAWS UP!

Dog Days of Summer – At Home Edition!

We are pleased to announce the 2020 Dog Days of Summer AT HOME Virtual Walk & Festival!
Sunday, August 23

Putts Fore Pets Golf Tournament

Join us for a great day on the course with your friends and colleagues! September 10 @ 9:00 am

New Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

We must move into a new wildlife rehabilitation center in order to continue to efficiently operate and provide care and core services to injured and orphaned wildlife in need.


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 2020 Winter 2019 Winter 2018
Spring 2020 Spring 2019 Spring 2018
  Summer 2019 Fall 2018
  Fall 2019  
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. Critter Camp at Home!

    July 1 - August 31

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
director@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3026

Animal Control & Rescue
animalcontrol@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3017

Shelter Operations
operations@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3075

Adoptions/Customer Service
adoptions@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3001

licensing@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3010

Volunteer & Outreach Services
volunteer@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3024

Humane Education
outreach@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3116

Special Events/Fundraising
events@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3014

admin@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3002

finance@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3021

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
wildlife@whatcomhumane.org / (360) 966-8845

Farm Facility