About Whatcom Humane Society

Statement of Principle

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, unincorporated Whatcom County and has relationships with both the Lummi & Nooksack Indian Reservations.

Number of animals brought to our domestic animal shelter in 2022

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 any 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

Andrea Merrill
Julia Pollock

Dana Berger

Humane Education
Alaina Rhodes

Volunteer & Outreach Services
Auna Carter, Manager

Animal Care & Shelter Services

Nathan Flowers, Shelter Services Supervisor
Amy Wilkinson, Behavior & Enrichment Specialist, Lead
Gabby Whitehall, Lead
Hayley Vanderveen, Lead
Mark Henry, Working Cat Coordinator
Zoe Bartsch
Jillian Cobb
Kaitlyn Heibel
Allison Lukas
Summer Daniels
Lauren Evans
Kelsey Girvin
Ben Hayes
Robert Paris
Leila Parnell
Chandler Privitt
Dakota Rogers
Gwen Stone

Wildlife Rehabilitation Services

Alysha Evans, Manager, Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator, L.V.T.
Anna Szabo, lead wildlife care tech
Annie Muller, wildlife care tech
Renata Luders, wildlife care tech
Anna Schwabe, wildlife care tech
Ashley Austin, wildlife care tech
Rachel Costello, volunteer/intern coordinator, wildlife care tech

Animal Control & Rescue / Field Services

Paul Evans, Manager
Kyle Berger, Acting Manager
Henry Miller, Dispatcher
Carrie Anderson
Lauren Hippensteil
Shelby Myhre
Madelynn Robison

Thrift Shop
Dana Browne, Manager
Jo Williams
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, Treasurer/Secretary
Michael Berres
Dan Claffey
Deborah Dial-Monroe
Scott Rice
Jane Talbot
Kevin Williamson
Stephen Zylstra

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 #3024

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

licensing@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3017

Volunteer & Outreach Services
volunteer@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3075

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.

Companion Animal Services Manager


Companion Animal Care Manager


Animal Care/Shelter Services  


Executive Director   


To manage and supervise the Society’s department of animal care in accordance to the standards and procedures established by the Society. Provide leadership to maximize companion animal lifesaving while prioritizing public, staff, volunteer safety, animal quality of life and working within department and organizational guidelines while utilizing available resources. 


  1. Ensure that humane care and proper attention is provided for all domestic animals in the Society’s care.
  2. Provide professional and positive leadership to animal care personnel and supervise staff to ensure efficient and smooth daily operations within department.
  3. Oversee general administration of animal care department, establish priorities, standard operations using industry best practices and assist with daily activities of department when needed which may include:
  4. Clean, disinfect and maintain various animal quarters and accompanying areas in sanitary condition.
  5. Vaccinate, feed and monitor animals daily as to their health and well-being.
  6. Collaboratively work with staff veterinarian to provide special care when advised of animals requiring medication, treatment, and/or other special needs.
  7. Provide support and leadership to lead animal care staff to provide timely behavior and temperament evaluations for animals while in the shelter and prior to their placement in the adoption kennels, transfer to outside rescue partner agencies or euthanasia.
  8. Participate in the humane euthanasia of animals in accordance with Society policies and Washington law. Schedule and select animal care personnel for euthanasia certification and assist with training. Responsible for keeping euthanasia drug inventory control and records in compliance as required by Society policies and Washington law.
  9. Work collaboratively with foster care coordinator to establish a standard of care for all animals placed into WHS foster homes.
  10. Liaison with other departments respectfully and effectively in order to improve animal care operations and support over the WHS mission. Foster a positive, team environment with all members of the organization to accomplish department and organizational goals and objectives.
  11. Screen and counsel potential adopters in accordance with the Society’s adoption policies.
  12. Maintain domestic shelter facilities in a safe, professional, clean, orderly and good working condition. Communicate facility and equipment maintenance issues and needs to shelter services supervisor.
  13. Conduct regular rounds with staff veterinarian and lead animal care staff to assess the well-being of animals in care.
  14. Manage screening and hiring of new animal care department employees and provide direct supervision, scheduling and daily oversight for all animal care department staff. Ensure all animal care staff are fully trained to fulfill the requirements of their job.
  15. Support animal enrichment, training and stress reduction programs for all domestic animals to ensure their short and long term needs are met. Work collaboratively with other staff and volunteers to further develop enrichment and behavior programs to benefit animals in care.
  16. Maintain open lines of communication including holding regular department meetings.
  17. Ensure a safe work environment, following all safety guidelines. Serve on WHS safety committee.  
  18. Work collaboratively and respectfully with other department managers and supervisors.
  19. Work on special projects as requested.
  20. Ensure that a positive approach and attitude is prevalent in dealing with animals, the public, staff and volunteers.
  21. Other duties as assigned.



  1. High School Graduate or Equivalent with minimum of five years proven, professional experience in animal welfare, non-profit and/or veterinary clinic field.
  2. Minimum of three years supervisory experience, working with a diverse staff, preferably in the animal welfare/veterinary or non-profit field.
  3. A strong belief in the welfare and humane treatment of all animals and WHS’ mission, open-admission sheltering philosophy, scope of services and activities.
  4. Proven working knowledge of a wide variety of domestic animals and basic knowledge of farm animals and wildlife. Basic understanding of animal behavior with focus on positive, reward based training. Strong domestic animal handling skills and knowledge of companion animal behavior and care. Fear Free Shelter certified or ability to become certified within 60 days of hire.
  5. A record of good judgment/decision making skills, strong conflict resolution skills and the ability to remain positive and mission focused while under stress.
  6. Ability to work well and communicate in a positive manner with co-workers, members of the public, volunteers and community partners.
  7. Valid driver’s license and good driving record.
  8. Able to pass criminal background check. 
  9. Ability to lift 50lbs, bend, twist, kneel and work on your feet for long periods of time.
  10. Excellent written, verbal and computer skills.
  11. Ability to organize, prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
  12. Ability to keep information confidential.



  1. Proven supervisory experience working with animal shelter staff and volunteers.
  2. Ability to perform humane euthanasia and pass all training and certifications required by WHS, the State of Washington and the DEA in the use of Sodium Pentobarbital. Required within 3 months of hire.
  3. Knowledge of animal sheltering/care best practices.



  1. Must work irregular hours, shifts, weekends, holidays.
  2. Be physically and mentally able to deal with unruly, vicious, and dangerous animals humanely.
  3. Able to deal with a hostile public, a fast paced work load that at times can be stressful.
  4. Ability to deal with strenuous physical activity and the emotional drain of the job.
  5. Exposure to parasites and infectious diseases.

$24.00 per hour – $32.00 per hour DOE.  Benefits include medical, dental, vision plans – generous paid vacation, sick, holiday pay – retirement plan (403b) with employee matching option. Employee Assistance Program.

Send cover letter and resume to:
Whatcom Humane Society
2172 Division Street, Bellingham, WA 98226
Attn: Laura Clark, executive director
Email: director@whatcomhumane.org
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

Fundraising and Donor Engagement Manager

JOB TITLE Manager, Fundraising and Donor Engagement
DEPARTMENT Development
ACCOUNTABILITY Executive Director
SUMMARY To plan, develop, implement, and oversee fundraising activities and events in order to provide adequate funding for WHS overall operations. This position will also serve to cultivate donor engagement and increase donor awareness for Whatcom Humane Society.

● Fundraising
o Develops and coordinates all activities pertaining to financial development including planned and annual giving programs, major gifts, matching gifts, memberships, endowments, bequests, and fundraising events
o Proposes new methods of income development and donor awareness for the organization
o Creates new strategies for increasing attendance at fundraising events
o Seeks sponsorships, both monetary and non-monetary, for fundraising events and programs
o Develops and implements plans for donor recognition, retention, and increasing donations. Ensures that donor stewardship is a priority throughout WHS
o Oversees the production and distribution of fundraising print materials such as letters, brochures, and direct mail appeals, as well as online giving campaigns
o Implements programs to identify prospective contributors and cultivate major donors
o Solicits gifts from foundations, corporations, community organizations, and selected individuals
● Executive Support
o Supports the Executive Director & Board of Directors with special projects, board driven fundraisers and other duties as needed
o Provides detailed and regular reports about fundraising and donor outreach to the Executive Director and Board of Directors
● Donor & Event Outreach
o Interacts frequently with donors, board members, vendors, community partners, and the public with the purpose of growing donor base and community support
o Serves as a visible spokesperson and advocate for WHS’s mission and programs in the funding community

● Management
o Works collaboratively with Volunteer Manager to cultivate and mentor volunteer support for fundraising committees and events
o Supervises daily activities of development associate position
o Works collaboratively and respectfully with various department staff and volunteers
o Serve on WHS safety committee and other committees/duties as assigned
o Ensure that a positive approach and attitude is prevalent in dealing with animals, the public, staff and volunteers

● Minimum 3-5 year’s experience and proven track record in the following:
o fundraising, special events planning, and direct mail campaigns
o grant writing, preparation and presentation of proposals
o building and maintaining a donor database, planned giving, and major gift solicitation
o developing fundraising strategies at both the project and organization-wide level
o corporate and foundation giving
● A strong belief in the welfare and humane treatment of all animals and WHS’ mission, open-admission sheltering philosophy, scope of services and activities.
● Demonstrated experience in managing people, projects and budgets
● Ability to work in an extremely chaotic, hands-on environment with limited resources
● Strong time management skills and proven ability to work with diverse people and also independently
● Exceptional written, interpersonal and verbal communication skills
● Ability to stay abreast of new developments in the business and non-profit community, animal welfare movement, and philanthropic sector
● Ability to effectively gain the respect and support of various constituencies, including board and staff members, donors, foundation and civic leaders
● Able to pass a criminal background check
● Valid driver’s license and ability to pass WHS driving requirements
● Ability to maintain confidentiality

● Animal welfare and/or non-profit experience

● Must be able to sit for extended periods of time
● Ability to lift up to 25+ lbs, with some bending, and lifting
● Ability to stand for extended periods of time
● Must be willing to work some irregular hours, holidays, weekends, evenings as needed
● Be able to deal effectively with a hostile public and a fast paced workload and environment that at times can be stressful
● Be able to manage compassion fatigue

● $24.00 per hour – $32.00 per hour DOE
● Benefits include medical, dental, and vision plans
● Generous paid vacation, sick, holiday pay
● Retirement plan (403b) with employee matching option
● Employee Assistance Program

Send resume to:
Laura Clark, Executive Director
Whatcom Humane Society
2172 Division Street, Bellingham, WA 98226
Email: director@whatcomhumane.org

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.

A Day in the Life at the Whatcom Humane Society.

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of our domestic animal shelter, wildlife rehabilitation center and farm facility is really like?  Check out this fun, festive music slideshow featuring our staff, volunteers and some paw-some animals and see for yourself!



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
Summer 2021 Spring 2020 Spring 2019
    Summer 2019
    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.

Executive Director Laura Clark goes on KAFE 104.1 FM every week with an adoptable animal! See the current and previous Kafe Kritters using the link below.

Address & Hours

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


Shelter Services/Front Office
Open Tuesday thru Sunday 11am – 6pm

Animal Adoption Services and Kennel Viewing
Open Tuesday thru Sunday 11am – 6pm
Adoption counsels stop 1 hour prior to closing

Closed To The Public
Mondays & Major Holidays

Animal Control & Rescue Department: (360) 733-2080 ext 3017

Customer Service: (360) 733-2080 ext 0

Farm Facility:  By Appointment Only

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center:
Not open to the public. Please call for assistance with injured and orphaned wildlife.
(360) 966-8845

WHS Thrift Store Address & Hours

Address: 4151 Meridian St #110, Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone:  (360) 543-6792

Store Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 11am-3pm.

Donations Accepted: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9am-4pm & Sunday 11am-2:30pm.

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 #3024

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

licensing@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3010

Volunteer & Outreach Services
volunteer@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3075

Humane Education
outreach@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3116

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

administration@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3002

finance@whatcomhumane.org / ext #3021

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

Farm Facility