A bit of thinking outside the box resulted in a creative new way to provide animal services in Ellensburg.
Since 1974, the Ellensburg Animal Sanctuary has operated as a clearinghouse for lost and found animals, stray and dangerous animals, and owner-abandoned animals. But a staffing issue led to a new way of doing things.
The Yakima Humane Society will begin providing animal care services through the Ellensburg Animal Shelter beginning August 1. Under the agreement, the city will lease the building and land to YHS, and all animal housing operations and associated needs will be managed by the Yakima Humane Society.
The Ellensburg Police Department will retain its current full-time animal shelter employee, who will now focus solely on managing law enforcement activities and will work out of the Ellensburg Police Department.
The city will pay $60,000 per year for a three-year term with the YHS.
“I want to thank City staff and Animal Friends of Kittitas County for thinking creatively to find a cost-effective strategy to improve services for lost and abandoned animals,” said Mayor of Ellensburg. , Nancy Lillquist.
“We look forward to developing a relationship with the Yakima Humane Society.”
The Yakima Humane Society’s scope of work under the contract includes: maintaining hours of operation, animal care and exercise standards, transition planning and communications, veterinary care, licensing for animals, management of fees and fines, microchip research, adoption program, audits and reporting, record keeping, partnership and use of volunteers, and management of unclaimed animals , stray animals, redemption and euthanasia.
“We are thrilled at this opportunity to bring our services to Ellensburg,” said Sheryl Haga, executive director of the Yakima Humane Society.
“Not only will we continue our mission to end animal cruelty and suffering and reduce animal overpopulation, but we will focus on microchipping to help reunite pets and owners.
“A few other exciting things you can expect will be adoption events, low cost vaccination clinics, volunteer opportunities and more. We look forward to learning about the needs of the community and continuing to give voice to those who have none.
The Yakima Humane Society Board of Directors will create a membership position in Ellensburg. A transition team made up of representatives from the city, YHS and other stakeholders will meet periodically for up to one year to review the shelter’s performance and communications.