Letter: Outcomes show WAIF is employing best practices

Editor,

To address some misunderstandings in the article published Jan. 9, as WAIF’s executive director, I wanted to provide clarification for those in the community.

WAIF has two cat adoption facilities (Freeland and Oak Harbor), not one as listed in the story, in addition to our main shelter in Coupeville.

In the article, a 6 percent euthanasia rate was extrapolated from our average Live Release Rate of 94 percent.

Non-live outcomes also include animals that have died in shelter, including those undergoing treatment, but failing to survive, or those with an unknown condition. Thus, our euthanasia is actually lower than 6 percent.

See our statistics page on our website.

The kind animal lovers of Whidbey not only built a shelter, they built a campus designed for enrichment. A large off-leash play yard allows opportunity to burn off energy for shelter dogs.

Six smaller play yards provide individual playtime, and make introductions to other dogs in a safe environment. Volunteers walk dogs in our dog-walking park with nearly six acres of wooded dog walking trails. This is much safer than taking them off campus. Supporters for the construction of the new shelter also had comfort in mind for dogs as the kennel wings have radiant heat flooring to use during the cold winter months.

For cats, there are community cat rooms, and the recent addition of catios. Cats each take a turn in the cat rooms to get time to roam outside their cages, both at night and during the day.

The author rightly points out that national best practices can sometimes be vague.

They are that way by design. Large urban animal shelters have different needs than small rural shelters. Shelters located in high-resource areas have a different capability than those in low resource places. The best way to know if a shelter is using best practices is to look at their outcomes.

Some of WAIF’s include:

• A 94 percent Live Release Rate.

•A return to owner rate of 83 percent for lost dogs, compared to 22 percent nationwide, and 14 percent for lost cats, compared to 2 percent nationwide.

Returned adoptions rate of 2 percent, indicating a good matching process.

One of only two shelters in the state of Washington listed as a “Saving 90 Community” by the national No-kill Advocacy Center.

Charles Vreeland, MPA

Executive Director, WAIF

More in Letters to the Editor

Letter: Challenges of enjoying single-use plastics

Editor, Penn Cove. For many, these words are associated with beautiful sunrises,… Continue reading

Letter: Navy failing to follow through with promises

Editor, Quite a few years ago, during the Environmental Impact Statement 106… Continue reading

Letter: NAS Whidbey has led the way in cleaning up contaminants

Editor, The Jan. 7 letter to the editor of the Whidbey News-Times,… Continue reading

Letter: ‘Deranged screed’ wrong, Americans are suffering

Editor, You recently published a deranged screed from a local Trumpster. He… Continue reading

Letter: Donation of feminine products helping women

Editor, In the 10 short months since “I Support The Girls-Whidbey Island”… Continue reading

Letter: Congress must act to prevent war

Editor, The United States and Iran are poised at the edge of… Continue reading

Letter: We need a centrist candidate

Editor, I’d like to float the idea of purposefully voting for a… Continue reading

Letter: Members of Congress must abide by oath to uphold law

Editor, I was mystified by Timothy Hazelo’s letter to the editor in… Continue reading

Letter: Navy should clean up its mess for the next generation

Editor, There has been a lot of news about the PFAS in… Continue reading

Letter: Influence of the NRA is dominating U.S. politics

Editor, I begin this response by asserting that I agree with most… Continue reading

Letter: So many suffer from Trump Derangment Syndrome

Editor, The “pro-impeachment rally draws crowds,” piece in the Dec. 21 Whidbey… Continue reading

Letter: Article falls short of representing hospital

The Whidbey News-Times article of Dec. 17, titled “Hospital ponders adding new… Continue reading