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 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
Angelia Reid, Interim Companion Animal Services Manager
Tristen Blackwell
Meghan Bland
Tina Claussen
Jillian Cobb
Kelsey Girvin
KiAnna Hoppe
Savannah Lampman
Melissa Moon
Derrick Randolf
Karoline Tyne
Gabrielle Whitehall
Amy Wilkinson
Gemma WoodhouseFoster Coordinator

Wildlife Rehabilitation Services

Alysha Evans, Manager, Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, L.V.T.
Makenna Johansen, Lead, Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator
Sinead Andersen
Caroline Sullivan
Hayley Vanderveen

Animal Control & Rescue / Field Services
Paul Evans, Manager
Audie Wood, Supervisor
Alison Ehl, Dispatcher
Claudia Alvarez
Carrie Anderson
Kyle Berger
Clifford Goff
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 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.

Companion Animal Care Manager - Full Time

JOB TITLE:  Companion Animal Care Manager – Full Time
DEPARTMENT:  Shelter Services
ACCOUNTABILITY:  Senior Operations Manager
FUNCTIONS:  To manage, supervise, and participate in the Society’s Department of Animal Care in accordance to the standards and procedures established by the Society. Provide all sheltered animals with the highest quality care and attention.  Provide supervision, support and training to animal care and their duties.


  1. Ensure that humane care and proper attention is provided for all domestic animals in the Society’s care.
  2. Supervise and assist animal care personnel with their daily activities and ensure that all animal care staff are trained to provide humane care and services to all domestic animals in the Society’s care.
  3. 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. Manage selection and processing of animals for adoption and disposition of animals for placement in foster care, transfer to outside agencies and/or euthanasia in accordance with Society’s policies.
  8. Manage, supervise and participate in the humane euthanasia of animals in accordance with Society policies and Washington law, train and prepare personnel for euthanasia certification. Responsible for keeping euthanasia drug inventory control and records as required by Society policies and Washington law.
  9. Manage and establish a standard of care for all animals placed into WHS foster homes.
  10. Conduct/Oversee behavior and temperament evaluations on animals while in the shelter and prior to their placement in the adoption kennels, transfer to outside agencies or euthanasia.
  11. Screen and counsel potential adopters in accordance with the Society’s adoption policies.
  12. Maintain domestic shelter facilities in a professional, clean, orderly and good working condition. Communicate facility and equipment maintenance issues and needs to Operations Manager.
  13. Manage screening and hiring of new animal care department employees and provide training mentoring and oversight for animal care department staff.
  14. Oversee and support animal enrichment, training and stress reduction programs for all domestic animals to ensure their short and long term needs are met. Communicate with staff, volunteers and potential adopters as to each animal’s behavior plan.
  15. Cultivate, manage and develop relationships with rescue/transfer partners and agencies to transfer domestic animals in and out of the shelter facility as needed.
  16. Provide counsel and education to the public and potential adopters regarding animals behavior, medical condition and care – and ensure safe interactions between the public and shelter animals.
  17. Work collaboratively with other department managers and supervisors.
  18. Serve on various committees and work on special projects as requested.
  19. Ensure that a positive approach and attitude is prevalent in dealing with animals, the public, staff and volunteers.
  20. Other duties as assigned.


  1. High School Graduate or Equivalent with minimum of five years experience in animal care/animal sheltering field.
  2. Minimum of three years supervisory experience, working with a diverse staff, preferably in animal shelter field.
  3. Ability to work well and communicate in a positive manner with public, volunteers and other staff.
  4. Proven working knowledge of a wide variety of domestic animals and basic knowledge of farm animals and wildlife.
  5. Exceptional strong domestic animal handling skills and knowledge of companion animal behavior and care.
  6. Maturity, good judgment and conflict resolution skills.
  7. Good physical health, the ability to lift 50 lbs and pass a physical examination.
  8. Valid Washington driver’s license and good driving record.
  9. Highly motivated toward the welfare and humane treatment of all animals.
  10. A strong belief in the Society’s mission and activities.
  11. Excellent written and verbal skills.
  12. Ability to organize, prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
  13. Ability to keep information confidential.
  14. Ability to perform humane euthanasia and pass all certifications required by WHS, the State of Washington and the DEA in the use of Sodium Pentobarbital and Legend drugs.

Must work irregular hours, shifts, weekends, holidays. Be able to deal with unruly, vicious, and dangerous animals humanely. Be able to deal with a hostile public, a fast paced work load 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.

DOE.  Benefits include medical, dental, vision plan – vacation, sick, holiday pay after successful completion of introduction period.

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


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.


New Wildlife Facility

We must build a new wildlife rehabilitation center in order to continue to efficiently operate and provide care and core services to injured, abandoned and abused native wildlife in our community. There simply is no other option.

Learn American Sign Language

Learn American Sign Language & help the animals at WHS!

Spring Break Critter Camp

Kids ages 6 to 9 are invited to attend our first ever
Spring Critter Camp! April 6 – 8 @ 11:00 am-3:00 pm

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

Join fellow animal lovers for this exclusive dining experience! May 30 @ 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. Community Cats

    March 4 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 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
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