Frequently Asked Questions

How many animals enter animal shelters each year? And how many are euthanized?

The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) estimates that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of whom approximately 3-4 million are euthanized. NB PAWS is a "no kill" shelter.

Why are there so many animals in animal shelters?

Low adoption rates are one factor driving the high number of animals in shelters, but every year, millions of dogs and cats  are relinquished by their owners—or rescued from the streets by animal control officers and private citizens—and brought to animal shelters. These circumstances leave shelters and rescue groups with a large number of animals in need of homes.

How do I notify the correct authorities about animal abuse or neglect that I have witnessed?

If you witness animal abuse or neglect, please contact your local humane society, animal shelter, or animal control agency immediately. In most areas, those agencies have the jurisdiction and capability to investigate and resolve these situations. They rely on concerned citizens to be their eyes and ears in the community and to report animal suffering. If you are not sure where to call or if there is no animal welfare agency of that sort in your community, call your local police department or sheriff's office.

What do I do if I find an animal?

Please do not drop off animals at our shelter without calling first!

  • Please call us immediately - 360-289-4350. There is a good chance someone is already looking for the pet. It is helpful if you can keep it until the owner is found, or you can arrange to bring it to our shelter, or we will meet you to pick it up. 

  • Report the found animal to Grays Harbor County Animal Control - 360-249-6070

  • Report the found animal to Grays Harbor Sheriff - 360-533-8765

  • If you see anyone dump a cat or dog please get as much information as possible such as the license plate number and description of the vehicle, and a description of the people involved. Even if you are not sure something bad is happening, get the information first and then rescue the animal if it can be done safely. Animal abandonment is a violation of the State of Washington RCW codes and is considered animal cruelty. People that break this law can be fined and serve jail time.

How long are animals kept at the shelter?

We are a no-kill shelter and keep pets until we can find them a forever home. Shelter life is hard on animals, but we try to keep them comfortable, healthy and happy.  Some of our pets are fortunate to live in a Foster home until that happens. We are always excited to get a new Foster volunteer!

If I find a stray I like, can I keep it?

Yes. There is a specific legal process by which a stray animal becomes yours. You must list it as a found pet with a shelter and advertise it twice in the newspaper. If the owner does not come forward, the pet becomes yours after 90 days. This applies to pets only, not other domestic animals such as livestock.

What should I do if I lose a pet?

Call the same numbers listed above for found stray pets.Place a lost pet ad in the newspaper, and check the newspaper for found pet ads.Place lost pet information on many local internet sites.Check the neighborhood and with nearby convenience stores.Put flyers with the pet's photo in the neighborhood.Notify the Ocean Shores Animal Hospital at 360-289-2030.There is a fee for recovering an impounded animal at our shelter. The basic impound fee is $15.00 (goes up on subsequent impounds), and there is also an $8.00 per day (or partial day) board fee.

How to prevent a lost pet:

Eighty percent of all animals picked up do not have collars or tags! Most pets are lost from their owner's yard or car. It is extremely important that you do the following:

  • Regularly check your fence for loose boards, holes, and any other spaces that may allow your pet to get out.

  • If you are traveling in a vehicle with a pet, never open a door until you are sure the pet has been secured and can't get out.

  • Always make sure your pet is wearing a collar and tags. Dogs are often lost right after a bath. Be sure to get their collar with id tags back on them as soon as possible.

  • Never allow your pet to be outside without you unless in a securely fenced yard.

  • Ask your neighbors to call you immediately if they ever see your pet outside of your fenced yard without you.

  • Many pets are lost after a family move or when they are adopted and go to their new home. Be especially vigilant at this time.

  • If you have a new pet, take several photos right away. If the pet is young, take new photos regularly so you will have a current photo if needed.

  • Micro chipping greatly improves your chances of recovering a lost pet. If your pet is found by someone they can take it to any vet and have it scanned for a chip at no cost. If pets end up in a shelter, most scan for chips and you will be notified. Be sure to update your contact information if you move.

  • Other Contact Numbers:

    • PAWS of Grays Harbor 360-532-3127 or 360-533-1141

    • Animal Control Facility in Aberdeen 360-537-3382

    • Animal Control Facility in Hoquiam 360-532-0892

    • Carla at Coastal Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Aberdeen 360-532-8583