PAWS of Grays Harbor was established in the early 1970’s by a strong group of women with a passion for protecting the animals in our community. This group operated as the first animal control organization in this area. What started out as pet adoption events in local parking lots over time received a permanent home on the corner of 1st and Park Street in Aberdeen, WA through the donation of a building in the 1980’s. This building has held adoption events and provided shelter for cats for many years. Due to the lack of space, dogs have been unable to be kept on site and have had to rely on foster homes and boarding facilities. These boarding costs have been a costly expense to the shelter for many years.
Now over 30 years later, PAWS of Grays Harbor is still providing much needed shelter for over 500 dogs and cats in our community every year. The need for additional space drove the decision to purchase the adjoining empty lot on Park Street, and the duplex next door on 1st Street when they became available at the end of 2015. Since this purchase, plans have begun moving forward to improve the lives of the shelter animals, reduce the operating budget, and increase community access to the shelter. The help of the community will be needed to make these dreams a reality.
Below is a list of planned projects:
- Parking Lot: The empty lot on Park Street has been recently graded. There are current discussions regarding how public parking could be provided in this area. It would be great to have it blacktopped, but all options are being explored at this time. The shelter currently has limited street parking and has received public complaints regarding this issue.
- New Public Entrance: A new door, window, and covered entrance have been added to the side of the building facing the one way traffic on Park Street. This will provide increased visibility in the community and better availability of off street parking.
- Wheelchair Ramp: A much needed wheelchair ramp has been added to the new front entrance. This will provide increased access to the building to all members of the community.
- Dog Play Yards: Both a large and a small dog play yard are currently under construction. The large yard will be used to provide the dogs an area for much needed play time and socialization. Seeing the dogs outside of their kennel will also allow potential adopters to get a better feel for their personality. The small play yard will be used for meet and greets with potential adopters and a play area for the smaller breeds. This will improve both the health and spirit of the shelter dogs.
- Onsite Dog Boarding: The current laundry and break room will provide onsite kennels for the shelter dogs. Not only will this reduce the operating budget, but will provide increased access allowing shelter staff and volunteers the opportunity to work more closely with the dogs to better understand their needs.
- Air Filtration: An air filtration system is needed to help circulate and clean the shelter air. This will also help regulate temperature. This system will reduce the spread of disease in the shelter environment and improve the air quality for the public.
- Cat Showroom Remodel: The current cat showroom is in need of some improvements. New large cat kennels have been donated from Benton-Franklin Humane Society. A new front office will be added to accommodate the new front entrance, new flooring installed to repair peeling and cracked flooring, an outdoor cat porch will be added, and a fresh coat of paint. This will enlarge the current kennel space for shelter cats and improve the public’s experience.
- Public Dog Bath: A public pet bath and drying will be added to the first floor of the duplex. This will improve the public’s ability to care for their pets.
- Gently Used Pet Supplies Sale: A small area for the sale of gently used pet supplies will be added to the first floor of the duplex. This will allow adopters access to supplies for their new cat or dog, while generating funds for the shelter animals.
- Surgery Room: A surgery room is planned for the first floor of the duplex. This would allow the shelter to bring in veterinarians volunteering their time to perform spays and neuters on shelter animals. This would greatly reduce their operating expenses and improve the onsite care of animals.
- Recovery Room: A recovery room would be necessary to accompany a surgery room. This would provide a quiet environment for animals under observation. This would improve the recovery time of shelter animals by reducing stress.
- General Maintenance: In the past thirty years, the building has endured a lot of wear and tear. The existing building has received roof repairs in the past couple years to repair leaks and the duplex has been re-roofed since the purchase. All flooring and ceilings are in current need of some repairs, and holes in walls need to be filled and the interior could use a fresh coat of paint.
A special thank you goes out to John Hilliard for painting the building exterior, hanging animal cut outs, and providing much needed signage. This has not only improved PAWS of Grays Harbor, but the appearance of the main corridor through Aberdeen.
If you are interested in doing a walk through or would like to help, please contact PAWS of Grays Harbor at (360) 533-1141. If you are able to make a financial donation, this can be done through PayPal (please designate the donation to the Building Remodel fund), our CrowdRise Campaign or by sending a check or money order to:
PAWS of Grays Harbor
PO Box 451