EVERETT — A dire dog food dearth was avoided thanks to a flood of donations over the past week at the Everett Animal Shelter.
Last week, the shelter posted a plea for adult dog food after being “dangerously low.” The city-run shelter, which normally has 12 employees but recently had staffing turnovers and shortages, ran out because an order slipped through the cracks, development manager Lindsay Roe said.
“We were actually out of dog food,” she said Monday.
The social media plea was met with a stunning response.
Within days, people had ordered dozens of bags of dog food through the shelter’s Amazon wishlist.
“We have this great problem where if we ask for something on Facebook we get overwhelmed,” Roe said.
Some donors, such as Scott Watkins, of Arlington, cut out the delivery service and dropped off their donations in person.
Watkins, a 62-year-old real estate broker with Dog-Gone Good Real Estate at Professional Realty Services, saw the post and drove to a Costco during lunch. He bought 10 Kirkland Signature 40-pound bags for around $400 and drove them to the shelter.
When he closes a real estate deal with clients, Watkins said he donates to animal support organizations Everett Animal Shelter, Dalmatian Rescue of Puget Sound, Old Dog Haven, or Beck’s Place.
“It’s important to me because basically animals really don’t have a choice — they get surrendered to a shelter,” Watkins said. “It just breaks my heart to see overpopulation of animals, unnecessary euthanasia of animals.”
He’s partial to dogs and has adopted cats at his Arlington-area Sammeke Ranch named after one of his former dogs, a golden labrador.
His most recently deceased dog, Andy Barker was originally surrendered to the Everett Animal Shelter before being taken by The NOAH (Northwest Organization for Animal Help) Center near Stanwood, until Watkins adopted the pet.
These days he’s down to one dog, Bruno Aloha, which Watkins adopted about a year ago from The NOAH Center.
Plenty of other people donated, too. The local post office had over 100 boxes — so many the Everett Animal Shelter had to send someone to pick them up instead of postal workers delivering them.
The Everett Animal Shelter relies on donations for its pet food and uses money from its Fund for the Animals toward medical expenses or specialty food, Roe said.
As of Monday, the shelter had 75 dogs in its care. Some were with foster homes.
One dog, Trista, has been there since Jan. 10 when it was found abandoned outside of a veterinary clinic with a broken leg and under weight. A veterinarian amputated the injured leg, but she still gets around fine, Roe said. She’ll need to be an only pet and have a secure yard.
As part of the Best Friends Animal Society national adoption weekend, the shelter is hosting a cat adoption tour Saturday — a rarity since the pandemic started. Staff availability has limited in-person visits, but shelters across the country have found pets are less stressed with fewer people passing by, tapping on their enclosures or trying to meet them, Roe said.
“People really miss coming in and walking through at their leisure,” she said.
Other ways to support animals at the Everett shelter include fostering “bottle baby” kittens and volunteering as dog walkers at least once a week. Dog walkers must be at least 18, or 13 years old with an adult, and feel comfortable handling large dogs.
Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @Benwatanabe.