WCHS values the human/animal bond, provides stewardship for homeless pets, and promotes compassionate treatment of all companion animals.
Out of deep respect for companion animals, WCHS provides
- A modern, humane sheltering facility for homeless pets
- Affordable spay/neuter program
- Adoption services for homeless animals
- Community education and opportunities for community service
The idea for a new independent animal shelter in Whitman County came about after an article was published in the Daily News detailing how impending budget cuts due to I-695 could severely impact the operations of the Pullman Animal Shelter.
A small group of concerned citizens from Pullman and surrounding areas formed a task force to discuss the plight of the former Pullman Animal Shelter, the tragic loss of life at the shelter, and the sad irony of having an inadequate and inhumane animal shelter in a town renowned for its veterinary teaching hospital. This group first met on February 16, 2000 around the kitchen table in Ray and Cathy Schulhauser’s home. They approached the City of Pullman to offer a solution to the animal care situation when budget cutbacks made it impossible for the city to adequately staff and maintain its animal shelter facility. The task force formally organized into the Whitman County Humane Society, Inc. and subsequently entered into negotiations to contract with the City of Pullman to provide management services for the existing pet shelter.
The Society has been operating the facility since July 1, 2000.
Under WCHS’ management, several policies were initiated that more closely supported the organization’s mission statement. Under city management, overcrowding was addressed with a high euthanasia rate with very short time limitations on the lives of the animals. Because the Society and the community at large did not feel that this was an acceptable or humane management of the pet overpopulation problem, the Board of Directors committed to run a no-kill organization. No adoptable animals have ever been euthanized because of lack of space. Service was improved by fully staffing the existing shelter with trained animal care professionals.
The founding board members included Ray and Cathy Schulhauser, Carmel Travis, Robin Germain, Steve Barr-Jorgensen, Lauri Sue Torkelson, former shelter manager Bill Clark, veterinarian of record Dr. Chris Stone, attorney Jean Campbell, and advisory board co-chairs Mike and Susie Hardy Gormsen. Thanks to the Gardner House and Lauren McCluskey Foundation, we have been able to expand our facility and we have several more kennels to take care of the hundreds of cats we care for annually.