Letters to the Editor

WAIF policies harm animals

WAIF has undertaken the huge job of caring for Whidbey’s homeless animals. While we commend them for their mission, we think they need to review some their policies. We recently placed a deposit on two kittens at WAIF we expected to be able to take them home right away. That’s when we learned of their spay/neuter policy, that no animal leaves the shelter before being altered. This would have been acceptable, except they had an upper respiratory infection going through the cat population at the Seaplane Base shelter and our kittens were going to start medication.

Since they were on medication they couldn’t be spayed for at least 10 days. We said, “Fine, but let us take them home and we will bring them back to be spayed.” The response was “absolutely not,” no exceptions to any animal leaving before being altered. We offered to leave a large deposit to guarantee that we would bring them back, we offered references, including local veterinarians, and we talked to the WAIF manager and members of the board of directors, and were still told “absolutely, no exceptions.”

We waited 10 days, visiting the kittens every day the shelter was open. Then we were told they were still sick and it would be at least two more weeks before they would be evaluated and possibly ready to be spayed. We consulted with two local veterinarians who said the kittens would have a better chance of getting well if they left the shelter. We again offered, at our own expense, to provide food, medicine and a loving indoor environment for these kittens until they could be spayed, and were denied again. This would have also made room for two more animals at the shelter.

We discussed the situation and decided we were uncomfortable bringing animals into our lives that had been caged 24/7 in a shelter full of sick animals for their first two months of life. We also feel that requiring animals this young to be spayed is not in the best interest of the animals.

We feel one person has too much power at WAIF and that the board of directors is being told what policy is, instead of making it. WAIF should consider reviewing their policies and realize that flexibility and compromise can go a long way to the future success of their organization. WAIF’s current policies and attitude toward potential adoptive families could adversely affect future donations.

Our local veterinarian clinic called and offered us two kittens since they knew we had just lost the last of our adult cats to cancer. We are very happy and excited about the new additions to our family, but still feel the loss of the WAIF kittens.

Robert and Tobie Johnson

Oak Harbor

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