Copyright © 2007-2012 Humane Society of Central Washington, All Rights Reserved.
2405 W. Birchfield Rd. ~ Yakima, WA 98901 ~ USA
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Frequently Asked Questions



What is the Humane Society of Central Washington and what do you do?
We are a private not-for-profit organization. We offer adoption services, community outreach and education programs, free or low-cost spay/neuter program, and we are an authorized licensing agent for Yakima County, Yakima City, and Union Gap. We contract out for Animal Control Services to the cities of Grandview, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Wapato, Union Gap, Selah, and areas of the Yakama Nation Housing Authority complexes. We also carry housing contracts with the City of Yakima and Yakima County to house strays that Animal Control receives. We are not authorized to handle abuse or neglect cases within the city limits of Yakima or the rural areas of Yakima County. We are, however, empowered to investigate and enforce animal cruelty or abuse cases in the cities of Grandview, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Wapato, Union Gap, and Selah. For more information on Animal Control issues please go to our Animal Control page.
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How long are stray animals held at the shelter?
Stray dogs that are picked up or brought to the shelter without identification are held for a minimum of 2-3 days (depending on what jurisdiction they came from) - not counting Sundays, or major holidays. Those animals who come into the shelter wearing identification are held a minimum of 5 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 the HSCW and is immediately made available for adoption as long as there isn't any health issues or aggressive tendencies. There are no legal requirement to hold cats or other small animals - these are immediately available for adoption pending assessment.
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Is the Humane Society of Central Washington a "no-kill" shelter?
No. We are an open-admission shelter. Which means that we accept every stray dog, cat, and occasionally small animal (we do not have the proper facilities to care for small animals at this time) that is brought to us. Occasionally, we will ask people to hold onto an animal for a couple of days until space is available. We will only accept owner relinquished animals when space is available. We make every effort to place the animals into loving and permanent homes - if a successful adoption doesn't occur within a short amount of time we utilize off-site adoptions, foster homes, and an ever-growing network of transfer partners across Washington, Oregon and Idaho to get animals out of our facility and provide them with more time to find a loving home.

The most difficult task that our staff performs is to euthanize animals. We do NOT place a "time-limit" on the animals in our care, but unfortunately we do have to euthanize for space reasons, especially during our busy seasons. At these times, we first select the sick, injured, and aggressive animals for euthanasia. If there is still a need for space than we will select Pit Bulls for euthanasia. If an animal that is admitted to us possesses a serious medical or behavioral issue that makes it unfair to the animal and to potential adopters to place it for adoption, we will humanely euthanize the animal. We believe that in some cases the most humane action that can be taken for a particular animal is to euthanize it.

It is important to understand that there is a serious pet overpopulation problem in this country. That is why it is so important that pet owners spay or neuter their pets; there are simply not enough homes for all of the pets that are born.
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How is euthanasia performed?
Euthanasia is humanely performed in a room separated from the other animals by a compassionate, trained and certified technician. Dogs are euthanized by an intravenous injection of Sodium Pentobarbital. Cats are euthanized by an intraperitoneal injection of Sodium Pentobarbital. The procedure is quick and painless for the animals.
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Does shelter loan out cat traps?
Yes. We do rent out humane traps to the public. Please contact the Front Desk at 1-509-457-6854 for availability of traps. There is a $50 refundable deposit and a fee of $8 per day for rental, there is no charge for the cats that you bring to us in the trap. Before trapping a stray cat, it is important to make sure that the trap you are using is a humane one, and that you check the trap frequently so that the cat is not trapped for any length of time that may be detrimental to their health and well-being. All trapped animals must be treated humanely.
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I suspect that an animal is being abused/neglected. What should I do?
If you suspect that an animal is being neglected or abused, please contact your local animal control agency. Your voice is needed to protect that animal! Get as much information as possible. This includes the condition of the animal and whether the animal is being provided with proper shelter, water, and other necessities. The exact location and description of the animal is also helpful. However, even if you cannot obtain this information and you suspect an animal is being neglected, you should still report this.

Information provided to your local animal control agency is usually confidential. For the correct animal control agency to contact please visit our Animal Control page.
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I found a stray animal, what do I do?
Please call us immediately. There is a good chance someone is already looking for a lost pet. If you wish to keep it while the owner is found, that’s fine, or you can bring the animal to our facility. There is a minimal fee for all animals coming into our facility. If you would like animal control to come and pick up the animal please visit our Animal Control page for that information. If the animal did not come from Yakima County we cannot accept it, please contact your local Animal Control or Police Dept. for your options.
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I need to have my pet euthanized, what can I do?
If your pet is very ill or has serious medical issues, please speak with your own personal veterinarian about what options are available. The Humane Society of Central Washington does not perform euthanasia for the public at this time.
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What if my pet passes away at home?
Deceased animals may be brought to the Humane Society of Central Washington for disposal - there is a fee to help recover our costs. We are sorry, but we do not make house calls.
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When I make a donation, where does my money go?
Your donation stays locally and helps us to provide programs and services to our community. We are a private nonprofit organization and are not a part of any national organization or government agency, so all funds received are greatly appreciated and very much needed. Our service area includes all communities within the boundaries of Yakima County.
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Which programs and services are funded by donations?
Everyone one of our programs! We utilize all unrestricted donations wherever the needs are the greatest. All donations help us to fund our programs and services; such as animal adoptions, community education and outreach, free or low-cost Spay/Neuter certificates, operational expenses, and more.
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What currently are your biggest needs in terms of funding?
These vary, but we are always in need of support for our basic supplies such as pet food, cat litter, and medical supplies. We also need funding to keep our programs and facility operating, which includes staffing, utilities, computer equipment, etc.
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Can I designate my donation to go to a specific program or service?
Yes! We currently have several permanent funds where donations can be directed: General Operating Fund (where the need is greatest), SNAP Program (Free or Low-cost Spay/Neuter program), and the Medical Fund. Just include a note with your donation indicating which fund, or funds, you want to support.


What does it cost to become a member?
Our organization does not currently offer a membership program. Instead, we offer giving levels, which provide donors with enhanced levels of information and access to our organization. All donors of $25 (Supply Level) or more in the year receive our quarterly newsletter. Additional levels of giving include $100 (Spay/Neuter Level), $250 (Puppy/Cat Condo Level), and $500 (Dog Kennel Level). At the $250 and $500 levels a plaque signifying your donation will be prominently displayed on a Puppy/Cat Condo or Dog Kennel for 1 year.
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Do you sell my personal information?
Never! Your personal information is not sold or exchanged with any other organization. We maintain standard physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that protect the confidentiality and security of nonpublic personal information.
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Will I get “junk mail” if I donate?
No. you will receive our quarterly newsletter and possibly different mailings from our organization, but these will never be excessive. If you ever receive mail that you would prefer not to receive in the future, we encourage you to call and let us know, and we will delete your name from receiving those types of mailings.
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Can I donate online?
Yes, just go to our Monetary Donations page to make a secure online donation. You can also set up payment plans with your bank or directly with our office.
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Can I make a donation using a credit card?
Yes. We currently accept MasterCard,Visa, and Discover by phone,mail, or online.
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Can I make a donation in honor or memory of a person or animal?
Yes. This is a great way to honor a special person or animal in your life. For example, we often receive donations in honor of a person’s bar mitzvah, birthday, or wedding; just to name a few. Please inform us of the person or pet to be remembered or honored, including their address, and we’ll let them know of your special gift.
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How will I know you have received my donation?
Unless you request us not to, we will provide a thank you note and tax receipt after each donation. You should receive this correspondence within a few days of our receiving your contribution.
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Are you a member of United Way?
No. We are not a “member” agency, but you can designate that your gift to United Way be directed to our specific organization (just be sure to indicate our organization’s full and correct name, which is the Humane Society of Central Washington).
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Can I donate at my place of business or through payroll deduction?
Most workplace campaigns, United Way drives, or other organized fundraising campaigns allow you to choose the nonprofit organization of your choice. Please check with your human resources department or campaign coordinator.
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How can I make my donation go farther?
There are two easy ways to stretch your support:  through matching gifts and payroll/reoccurring gifts. With every donation you make, you should check with your employer to see if your company can match your gift. Some companies will match you dollar for dollar and others even provide a 2:1 match! Another easy way to stretch your support is with a payment plan. Setting up a donation directly from your paycheck, checking account, or credit card is one way to ease your way to a higher level of support without the one-time financial hit.
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Are you part of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or any other national group?
No. We are a local nonprofit organization serving Yakima County. We are not a chapter of The HSUS, and we do not receive support from this or any other national organization.
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Don’t my taxes help pay for your services?
No. We do not receive any tax support. Our programs are supported by donations, grants, and fees. Currently, we contract with the City of Yakima and Yakima County to house the stray animals that Animal Control receives until they are reunited with their owners or adopted into new homes. We also contract with the cities of Grandview, Prosser, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Wapato, Union Gap, Selah and areas of Yakama Nation Tribal Housing for Animal Control services.
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