It’s the season of thanksgiving…and there’s a lot to be thankful for this year. So many people in our community have made lives of our companion animals a whole lot better.
Senator Annette Cleveland led the way for a change in Washington law that allows humane societies, like HSSW, to provide veterinary care to the animals of low-income families. It was a two-session process; but in July, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5004 into law. We are grateful to Senator Cleveland, as well as the Washington Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies, Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, Senator Ann Rivers and Representatives Monica Jurado Stonier, Larry Hoff and Sharon Wylie. There were many volunteers and donors who contacted their legislators and other partners who supported this effort. As a result, in 2022, HSSW will open the first urgent care center for pets of low-income families in Washington.
Kitten season seems to never end. On the first Monday in November, we had 79 kittens in foster care, and we received 12 stray kittens over the weekend. While it definitely means we’ll have kittens for Christmas, it also means that our kitten mentors and kitten fosters are exhausted. If you’ve ever had a kitten, imagine fostering 4 or 5 or even 6 at a time. We are so very grateful for our fosters’ compassion and endurance, through what is typically a 6-month process, and is now an 8- going on 9-month deluge of kittens.
Paul MacKay, came to HSSW in 2015, a retiree of Nike, where he managed Niketown stores, created their warehouse program for Nike.com and led efforts to prevent fraud in their consumer businesses. He knew retail sales, but not thrift store sales. He set about putting a team together of long-time ReTails staff and bringing on new hires; created a customer service and rewards program; and built sales and increased net income to support all the work we do at the shelter. On the first weekend in November 2019, Paul and his team opened our annual holiday store, A Christmas Tail. It featured a “Christmas Tree lot” of donated artificial trees, stockings and wrapping paper, lights and holiday dishes, outdoor lighted structures, nutcrackers, ornaments and more. They sold 7,000 items in those three days for total sales, after taxes, of $28,474. More than 35% of ReTails' sales go to support the work of the Adoption Center/Shelter. We are amazed and so grateful for the ReTails team, and for all the people who donate and shop at ReTails. You are truly making a difference in the lives of the animals in SW Washington.
There are many more people and efforts we are thankful for this season. We can’t name them all. Just know you are in our hearts, as we say Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!