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Seeking cost-effective, compassionate, collaborative, creative, common sense solutions (the 5 C's of success) for animals and the people who love them
(Note: Due to Meetup's limited capabilities, when you click on links below, you will leave this page, so use your back button to come back here to us!)
WAG is an island-based regional think tank for animals that encourages the free exchange of information and ideas on the discussion board, which is viewable only to WAG participants. WAG is not a monolithic organization; it is a social network of creative people who focus on public service projects and networking among individuals and groups that care about animals (and people who love them). WAG's committees work on various issues and needs, plan events, and keep WAGGERS informed at Meetups. If you'd like to create, join, or chair a committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of WAG's achievements to date:
Worked locally to find more ways for owners to find lost pets...
WAG participants monitor lost dog/cat ads and boards in an effort to get pets back to their people. WAGGERs make fliers, do Facebook postings, and visit neighborhoods where animals were reported found by animal control. Whether you are in WAG or not, please do what you can to help pets get back to their people quickly by monitoring these resources:
The faster pets are reclaimed, the less it costs taxpayers to shelter them. It saves stress on both pets and owners. After six days in Oak Harbor, and five days in Island County, animals taken to shelters are given to private contractors who then determine their fates, so time is critical. Help owners find their pets before they lose their ownership rights.
If you find a pet you think may be microchipped, veterinarian Dr. Eric Patrin has a universal microchip reader (it will read any brand) and will check for chips anytime his clinic is open. Thanks Dr. Patrin at South Whidbey Animal Clinic
Please encourage animal control shelters where you live to institute as many of these reunification strategies as possible! Not all pets are truly homeless; many are just lost!
Other WAG achievements:
Hosted Nathan Winograd, which attracted visitors from three states and Canada; helped get horse slaughter banned in Snohomish County; lobbied for animal friendly legislation in Olympia; ended BSL in Oak Harbor (reducing number of pit bulls entering shelters); encouraged Oak Harbor to start its stray pet Facebook page; introduced progressive licensing and return home policy in OH; encouraged Oak Harbor to draft a progressive animal sheltering contract; worked since our founding to get Island County to institute real accountability and other reforms (so far without success); raised funds for the following: http://www.meetup.com/Whidbey-Animal-Guild/pages/WHIDBEY_ISLAND_RESCUE_FUND_%28WIRF%29_for_animals
Whether you join us officially or not (it's free; just takes an email address and password), PLEASE:
Get involved somehow!
Encourage shelters in your area to link to Maddie's Fund and adopt no-kill strategies. Find great ideas on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/MaddiesInstitute
Senator Maria Cantwell
Phone: (202) 224-3441
Senator Patty Murray
Phone: (202) 224-2621
IN ISLAND COUNTY:
County Representative is Rick Larsen (he favors horse slaughter and shows little interest in humane legislation of any kind) Phone: (202) 225-2605
Monitor agendas and meetings of Oak Harbor's City Council (Oak Harbor has its own animal control and care system, which is overseen by the police department).
As for the rest of Island County, where animal control and care is governed by the Island County Commission...
In an email dated 5/7/13 the county attorney Greg Banks explained:
"... the current Island County Code establishes an Animal Control Bureau within the office of the County Commissioners, that is administered by the Board of County Commissioners. ICC 6.08.210." But Island County has no animal control and care bureau at all! It doesn't exist!
Ordinance 6.08.160 does not include cats and they cannot be licensed. All dogs seized and not returned to the person having the custody or possession thereof shall be placed in the county pound or contracted dog shelter facility. The management of the county pound shall keep a written record of all dogs received which shall include the date and time of receipt, description of the dog by breed, sex, and color, location of apprehension, and by whom apprehended, license number or other identification on the dog, if any, and such other information as the shelter management shall desire. Written records of dogs received in county contracted dog shelter facilities shall be kept in accordance with the terms of the contract. If the dog has an identification tag or its owner or keeper is known, the shelter management shall notify the owner or keeper that the dog is in the shelter and inform him of the procedure for redemption. The shelter management shall keep the record of dogs received open for public inspection during designated viewing hours and shall answer telephone inquiries concerning dogs in its custody.
(Ord. PA-77-02, January 3, 1978, vol. 17, p. 206; amended by Ord. C-84-12, July 23, 2012, ef
Island County has no animal control and care bureau, no centralized data reporting system (needed for grants and tax dollar appropriations), no advisory board for animal control and care, and no one charged with overseeing daily operations or implementing improvements. County law seems to view cats as noxious vermin and affords them little legal protection. County dog records are viewable one hour a week (Fridays from 2-3 p.m.) There are few if any resources available to help other kinds of animals in need or sufficiently fund wildlife law enforcement (to prevent crimes like poaching). Animal control is not provided with universal (or any) microchip readers. Whidbey Island's public shelter is located in a dump near a methane venting system that's illegal in other states due to safety and environmental concerns. Some have nicknamed Whidbey Island Alcatraz for Animals!
To learn about WAG's current concerns in relation to Island County animal control and care, please read our Letter to the Editor
So what else are we doing?
Progressive licensing -- working to get licensing systems locally and regionally that will let licensed pets go home rather than be taken to the shelters. This saves tax dollars, as well as stress on people and pets. It encourages the purchase of licenses for dogs and cats, proceeds of which can be used for needed services such as subsidized low/cost spay neuter, and even a new state-of-the art "green" public shelter. Oak Harbor recently adopted this policy, as have other jurisdictions like King County, but Island County has not. Learn about progressive licensing from the man who developed this popular, state-of-the art program: Bill Bruce
Or print out a full description of the plan to share with others.
No-kill education -- building awareness here about the national no-kill movement and supporting no-kill alternatives for Whidbey Island and nearby region. WAG is America's largest private "no-kill" Meetup group (and ranks second overall: public or private). No-kill communities build cost-effective, collaborative, compassionate coalitions of care like this one.
Hammer Hounds -- (currently inactive: committee volunteers needed) Fencing assistance committee -- tries to provide assistance for shelter dogs with special fencing requirements, as well as owned dogs on chains or ropes, or owners needing help with fence repairs (to prevent their dogs from getting out and becoming strays)
Vegan education (this committee has been disbanded because its participants have started their very own group -- WAG loves when that happens!) Vegans and Vegetarians of Whidbey Island
Veterinary care -- supporting after hours emergency care for island pets; promoting "best practices" related to health at animal shelters, and subsidized low-cost spay/neuter programs. Currently, people have to leave Whidbey Island to find low-cost spay/neuter services more than once a year.
Disaster planning -- developing and coordinating a thorough emergency disaster plan exists for people's animals in the event of a disaster. The goal is to have a comprehensive plan for Whidbey Island in place by the end of 2013. (Make that 2014...sigh...make that 2015) We do have a handout so people can get prepared at home. Click the More tab above, then on Files.)
Workshops, programs, classes, and seminars -- All WAGGERs may participate in suggesting and organizing events of interest
Our participants include rescuers, trainers, veterinarians, animal care service providers, media representatives, animal-based business owners, clubs, and service organizations, and responsible owners of dogs, cats, horses, and other domestic animals
Our goal is to unite those who value the responsible, humane stewardship of animals, both domestic and wild through effective collaborations. After all, we love songbirds, eagles, and whales, too!
Find our brochure, PowerPoint, and documents you may be able to use in your community under the More tab above (click on Files)
You do not have to live on Whidbey Island to join these local and regional efforts.
We are NOT 1.) a place to buy or sell animals or 2.) a place to launch personal attacks.
Here are some quotes we like. Feel free to email us yours!