As you may have noticed, Swansons is enthusiastically pet-friendly. We so enjoy meeting the dogs, cats, and even birds that visit us regularly. Since many of us are animal lovers, we are always looking for ways to contribute to an animal-friendly community, whether it’s keeping treats at our customer service desk, posting photos of furry visitors on our Facebook page or donating the proceeds from our reindeer buttons to the Seattle Humane each holiday season.
This year, I was able to visit Seattle Humane headquarters and learn more about what they do. It’s an amazing facility and everyone I met was incredibly dedicated to the animals at the shelter. I saw so many sweet, friendly cats and dogs (and even a rat and a rabbit) that are being so well taken care of as they wait to be adopted.
Did you know Seattle Humane has been a part of the Seattle community for more than 100 years? They run a no-kill, open-door shelter with no time limits, which means they accept every animal in need of help – regardless of age, breed, or health – and they care for these animals for as long as it takes to find them a loving home. I asked how long a pet is usually at the shelter and, of course, it depends on a number of factors. But I was happy to learn that most pets are adopted within a week or two.
Through their Life-Saver Transfer program, Seattle Humane takes in thousands of cats and dogs from overcrowded shelters in Washington and beyond. Buzz, the Miniature Poodle below, came to Seattle Humane from Phoenix, Arizona. He found his forever home with a local family and now has two canine “siblings”! It looks like he also received a nice haircut.
I knew Seattle Humane was a premier shelter. What I didn’t know was how much more they do to keep pets healthy and in their homes with their owners whenever possible. They run a pet food bank that delivers food to low-income senior housing, senior centers, and food banks, and feeds 2,000 pets every month! Volunteers also bring certified pets to visit seniors, people with disabilities, and healthcare facilities throughout King County. The Visiting Pet Friends program can also help preschool and school-aged children learn about safety with animals.
We started the tour in the lobby, where I noticed a small Mud Bay store selling pet supplies and food (it’s called a Mudlet!) I found out that all the proceeds from this store go to Seattle Humane. Good job Mud Bay! Then it was on to visit the animals. One of the most active areas of the shelter is the dog play area. All of the dogs get lots of exercise and play with volunteers each day. Prospective families are able to interact and play with adoptable dogs in this area as well. There’s also a photo studio, where adoptable pets get their portrait taken, often with fun props!
As we toured one of the cat areas I noticed that there were several kittens listed but not in their beds. I found out that these new kittens were in the on-site veterinary facilities being spayed. Seattle Humane has an amazing veterinary staff, many from Washington State University’s Veterinary School. They also offer low-cost veterinary services, such as spaying, neutering, and micro-chipping to low-income pet owners. We visited the area, where I watched volunteers snuggle with the post-surgery kittens, wrapped in cozy blankets, so they would see a friendly face when they awoke from the anesthesia.
During my tour, we brainstormed some ways Swansons and Seattle Humane could partner this holiday season. We are excited to be able to welcome their MaxMobile mobile adoption bus at Swansons on four consecutive Tuesday afternoons during the holiday season (11/26, 12/3, 12/10 and 12/17). On each visit, the MaxMobile will bring adoptable cats to Swansons and on 12/3 and 12/17 they will bring both cats and dogs. You can meet the pets and learn about them and even adopt them immediately!
We’ve welcomed the MaxMobile a few times in the past and it’s always been a wonderful experience for customers and staff alike. A few years ago, a family shopping at Swansons during the MaxMobile visit met this gorgeous dog, fell in love, and adopted him!
On another visit, this sweet black cat was adopted by another family – the best pre-Christmas present ever!
And one of my coworkers, Gavin, found his kitty soul mate, who he promptly adopted and named Chairman Meow.
Gavin and Chairman Meow continue to be the best of friends. Can you tell they like each other?
In fact, several of our employees have adopted pets from the Seattle Humane Society. This is Doodle. Jackie, my coworker, adopted Doodle from the Seattle Humane shelter last Thanksgiving. Happy anniversary Jackie and Doodle!
Doodle is even (mostly) respectful of Jackie’s houseplants.
We hope you can visit the MaxMobile when they are at Swansons this year. Whether or not you are looking to adopt a pet, come by and say hello and learn more about the services Seattle Humane offers.
And remember to purchase one of our reindeer buttons. Each year our talented graphic designer, Dan, creates a new button to commemorate Swansons’ Reindeer Festival. All proceeds from the sale of buttons go to Seattle Humane.
Thank you, Seattle Humane, for an informative and moving tour. Seeing the dedication of your staff and volunteers was amazing. Here’s to future partnerships!