Jacquelene (pictured) and Brooks Peterson retrieve dogs and cats from Start Rescue’s drop-off area in Portland, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Olympic Peninsula Humane Society)

Jacquelene (pictured) and Brooks Peterson retrieve dogs and cats from Start Rescue’s drop-off area in Portland, Ore. (Photo courtesy of Olympic Peninsula Humane Society)

OPHS provides aid to animals from wildfire-ravaged areas

Rescue group brings animals from California to Northwest

PORT ANGELES — Olympic Peninsula Humane Society has rescued dogs and cats from fire-ravaged California through a new partnership with Start Rescue, which provides monthly transport of at-risk animals to the Pacific Northwest from California.

“We were delighted to be vetted and accepted by Start Rescue, where we can save animals that are at risk of euthanasia for space in overcrowded shelters,” said Jacquelene Petersen, development manager of Olympic Peninsula Humane Society (OPHS), which initiated the partnership.

While OPHS has other rescue partners, the timing of the new relationship enabled the Port Angeles-based shelter to help while the fire-ravaged shelters were full or where others could not get to the transport area to pick up at-risk animals, Petersen said in a press release.

Petersen and her husband twice have met the transport van outside of Portland, Ore., to caravan the animals to Port Angeles.

Some of the seven dogs and two kittens rescued in the first batch were adopted immediately, said Executive Director Luanne Hinkle on Wednesday.

Since then, several more have been brought back to the shelter on Old Olympic Highway east of Port Angeles.

“It’s truly rewarding to save an animal’s life and, at the same time, help other shelters,” Hinkle said.

“Additionally, this partnership allows us to bring in-demand animals to the area. Many adopters want small dogs or a specific breed of cat or dog. If we can serve the community’s wishes while saving a life, that is truly a win-win situation.”

The trips to Start Rescue are expected to be made monthly, she said, unless the no-kill shelter is full.

The shelter can be visited by appointment only. Prospective adopters are asked to view the animals online at ophumanesociety.org and fill out an application before making an appointment to see the animal. Questions are welcome at 360-457-8206, Hinkle said.

Fees for dogs typically range from $50 to $275, depending upon the age of the animal and length of stay at the shelter.

Fees for cats range from $20 to $150. Rabbits are $40 for one, or two for $30. Guinea pigs are $15 each.

The shelter does not have the facilities for large animals such as horses.

OPHS provides vaccinations, spaying/neutering and a health check for each animal at no additional cost.

Other shelters on the North Olympic Peninsula are not now working with Start Rescue but do have animals available for adoption. Animals can be seen by appointment only, so call before visiting them and check their websites for more information.

Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene is prepared to take and treat wildlife that has been burned in fires but has not been asked to do so this season.

Peninsula Friends of Animals in Sequim is aligned with Best Friends Animals Society to take animals during disasters when it has space available and also is looking into becoming partners with Start Rescue.

Another shelter on the Peninsula is the Jefferson County Humane Society in Port Townsend.

For more on Start Rescue, see startrescue.org.

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