Pet project: donations help organizations, animals in need

MOSES LAKE – There are likely many lost and stray dogs and cats in Grant and Adams counties. And there are probably unlucky pets with some owners, who threw them out or left them behind. Cats and female dogs get pregnant, which increases the number of kittens and puppies, and some think something needs to be done with them.

Fortunately, these animals have a network of people ready to help. Organizations and their volunteers have a network of people who give time and goods.

Annette Hernandez, of social media group Lost and Found Pets of Grant County, posted some examples of generosity, local and national. She asked a friend to post an appeal for dog food.

“A typical day of collecting our mail at the post office turned into a truckload of packages from caring people who want to help animals, Hernandez wrote.

In January, she wrote that her son had ordered toys for his new dog and asked if the company donated toys for animals in need. The company does and sent a box of toys for their organization, she wrote.

Grant and Adams counties have a number of organizations dedicated to helping animals in need, and they are all accepting donations.

Carmen Derting operates Hands ‘n Paws Animal Assistance, a non-profit organization based in Moses Lake.

“First and foremost, there is always a great need for foster homes. None of us can have enough foster homes,” Derting said.

Grant County Animal Outreach Director Darrin Hein agreed.

“It’s something we really need,” he said.

Hein cited one of GCAO’s recent dogs, a very scared and very reserved Chihuahua. The dog went to a foster home and loses that fear. Foster families help acclimate dogs and cats to new situations and new people, Hein said.

But it takes a certain type of person, he said, to be able to care for the animals and then abandon them.

“The host families we have are amazing people,” Hein said.

OkanDogs is based in Cashmere and takes animals from all of Grant, Okanogan, Douglas and Chelan counties. Owner Tom Short said he also needed foster homes for his animals. Kyya Grant, director of Adams County Pet Rescue in Othello, said she does not send animals to foster homes.

Derting said Hands ‘n Paws provides all the supplies for its foster families, including food, water and food bowls, leash, bed or blanket, toys, litter for cat or anything else. Donations of these supplies are accepted at Hands ‘n Paws, Derting said.

Short said the OkanDogs can still use potty stamps. GCAO’s Shay Lutz said potty dabs are helpful there too.

Hein said the GCAO has received many donations of dog blankets and animal leashes. Food donations are necessary, but there are things people should know before donating dog and cat food.

As all pet owners know, dogs and cats can have stomach upsets, and changing foods regularly makes stomach upsets more likely, Hein said. Certain brands are preferred and people can get a list by contacting GCAO at 509-762-9616. If people don’t want to bother choosing specific foods, the organization accepts cash donations, he said.

Grant said Adams County Pet Rescue also needed pet food.

“Canned puppy food is very important right now,” Grant said.

Many of the puppies that come into the ACPR are in poor health, so staff mix the formula with the puppy food to give them a boost, she said.

Many dogs and cats that arrive at local animal shelters are sick or have been injured. A dog turned over to the GCAO late on a recent Friday evening appeared to have a broken leg or hip. Veterinarians at the Pioneer Veterinary Clinic in Moses Lake determined that the dog did in fact have a fractured pelvis. It is treated, but the treatment is not cheap.

Derting said Hands ‘n Paws takes most of its animals to the Moses Lake Veterinary Clinic, Broadway Veterinary Hospital in Moses Lake and Sagehills Veterinary Services in Othello. She urged people who want to help to consider donating to veterinary clinics that provide emergency care for shelter and rescue animals.

“Donations to veterinary clinics are always awesome,” Derting said.

“It’s money well given,” Hein said.

Most organizations also accept monetary donations for their operations. Information about donating to animal rescue organizations is available on each organization’s websites and social media pages.