Protect your pets on Independence Day

For many people, Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated days of the year, a time to enjoy backyard barbecues and fireworks lighting up the sky. While fun for people, these holiday festivities create potential hazards for pets. The Seattle Animal Shelter encourages you to make July Fourth activities safe for the furry members of your family by offering a handful of holiday tips.

General Tips:

  • Keep your pet indoors. The noise from fireworks can be frightening to animals and may cause them to seek safety.
  • Don’t bring your pet to a fireworks display. Crowded, unfamiliar and loud places can cause undue stress on animals. If you are going to a fireworks display or an event where fireworks will be used, the best action is to leave your pet at home.
  • Consult your veterinarian beforehand if you think your pet may need to be sedated.
  • Protect your pet from the heat. Holiday weekend weather is forecasted in the mid-to-upper 80s. Do not leave your pet in a car, even in the shade, and make sure your pet has access to cool water. Be careful not to overexert your pet.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing proper identification, such as a current pet license. If a lost pet wearing its license is brought to the Seattle Animal Shelter, the owner is notified immediately via telephone. If an officer finds a licensed pet in the field, it will be returned to the owner, instead of taken to the shelter.
  • Don’t feed your pet scraps from the grill. While it can be very tempting to share your holiday treats with your pet, it’s best to keep your pet on its normal diet. A change in diet can upset your pet’s digestion, and some human foods are toxic for some animals.

The Seattle Animal Shelter will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. If you find a stray animal, please care for the animal until the shelter reopens on Wednesday, July 5. As humane law enforcement officers will not be available during the closure, for any life-threatening situations call the Seattle Police Department at 911.

If you need emergency care for an injured animal, the following veterinary hospitals will be open on the holiday:

  • BluePearl (formerly Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services)
    11536 Lake City Way NE
    Seattle, WA 98125
  • Emerald City Emergency Clinic
    4102 Stone Way N.
    Seattle, WA 98103

The Seattle Animal Shelter, located at 2061 15th Ave. W., is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. for adoptions and licensing. For more information, call 206-386-PETS (7387), or view animals available for adoption online at

Seattle Animal Shelter’s Furry 5K supports vet care, helps save lives

The Furry 5K is so much more than just a fun run/walk.

Hero with his forever human, So.

The Furry 5K supports vet care for animals at the Seattle Animal Shelter that face severe health conditions or have been subject to neglect or abuse. Take Hero, for example. Our humane law enforcement officers picked up Hero, a thin but happy stray dog found near Beacon Hill, and during an examination our vet noticed he had a heart murmur. Hero was going to require multiple vet appointments moving forward, but rather than keep him in the shelter environment for the duration, the SAS foster program connected him with volunteer Christy Avery. With Christy’s help, Hero had a comfortable home to return to after his vet appointments – a home where he could relax and thrive. Hero has since found a permanent home with So, who had this to say about his best friend:

He’s absolutely fantastic – the best dog I’ve ever met. Hero’s the therapy dog at the office, with people from other floors coming to meet him (and he greets right back with a smile!). He’s even won over several folks who were apprehensive about pit bulls.

We checked in with Hero’s former foster mom and asked Christy about her experience fostering Hero and what the Furry 5K means to her.

  1. Why did you want to foster Hero?
    SAS wanted to follow up on his heart murmur and put Hero on the foster list so that a volunteer would be able to take him to vet appointments. He would have a comfortable place to stay while SAS awaited test results and decided on further treatment, if that were necessary. Our 14-year-old Chow Chow mix, Kobe, who had been our first foster dog from SAS and also a “foster failure” when we adopted him, had died, but we weren’t ready to get another dog of our own. So, fostering was a good fit for us at that time.
  1. How was your time fostering Hero?
    Hero was an exceptional dog. He was the kind of dog everybody wants, sweet, snuggly and friendly to all people and dogs. He was also what we call “bomb proof.” Nothing made him nervous or scared. Everything and everybody made him happy. So he was a very easy foster dog. It was a pleasure to take him to his vet appointments because he charmed the pants off every vet and vet tech he met.
  1. Have you fostered from the SAS before?
    Yes, five dogs. Our Chow Chow mix, Kobe, was our first foster. We fostered another very happy Pittie named Manny, and very sweet and neglected Chow Chow called Jazzy, who had been seized in a cruelty case. Then Hero, then a little puppy SAS received in a transfer through Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue called Ueli. We have also sat for a number of foster dogs when their foster parents went out of town.
  1. Master snuggler at work!

    What was your favorite moment with Hero?
    Sleeping in and snuggling with him. We both enjoy sleeping in, and he was a champion snuggler.

  1. How can the Seattle community help dogs like Hero?
    Walk or run the Furry 5K, or donate online to the Help the Animals Fund, which pays for vet care. Hero may not have been adopted so quickly if SAS hadn’t been able to pay for the echocardiogram that let us know that his heart murmur was very low grade and should not give him trouble.
  1. What does the Furry 5K mean to you?
    It’s about the animal-loving community in Seattle coming together to help our city’s orphaned animals. I volunteer at the event every year, and it’s always a blast! If you can’t walk or run the course or donate to the HTAF, consider volunteering.

The Furry 5K is coming up on Sunday, June 11, at Seward Park in Seattle. Visit to register or donate or for more information. Race-day registration begins at 10 a.m., and the run/walk begins at 11:30 a.m. We look forward to seeing you there!

Story by Erin Berge, SAS volunteer

Seattle Animal Shelter reminds pet owners of hot car dangers

SAS says protect your pets, especially on 70-degree, sunny days

Even if you park your car in the shade, the sun’s movement can quickly put your car in your direct sunlight.

Spring weather has finally appeared for Seattle, which means open windows and more time outdoors. As people start to enjoy time outside with their pets, the Seattle Animal Shelter is reminding pet owners that, even on 70-degree days, it is not safe to leave their furry loved ones in vehicles.

Even if the ambient temperature is cool, studies have shown it’s a sunny day that can cause a car’s interior temperature to rise by an average of 40 degrees within an hour, said Ann Graves, Seattle Animal Shelter acting director.

“When the day starts out overcast and cool, pet owners sometimes have a false sense of safety,” Graves said. “But an overcast day can turn to a sunny day in the blink of an eye, and cars will get hot, very fast – and cracking the windows doesn’t help. It’s not worth the risk to leave your pet in a vehicle, on overcast days and especially sunny ones.”

A 2015 Washington state law makes it a violation just to leave an animal unattended in a vehicle or enclosed space, if the animal could be harmed or killed by exposure to excessive heat or cold, lack of ventilation or lack of water. Penalties under this law are in addition to potential animal cruelty charges. Graves reminded the public that the shelter’s humane law enforcement officers responding to calls about animals left in hot cars will utilize all means necessary to access vehicles to remove the animals if they believe the animals are in distress.

The Seattle Animal Shelter offers the following tips for protecting pets on sunny days and during hot weather:

  • If you must travel with your pet, carry water. If a trip requires you leave your pet in the car at any point, think about saving that for another day. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked vehicle. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting. Vinyl, leather and even cloth seats in vehicles get hot under animals’ feet and prevent them from perspiring through their paws.
  • Never leave your animal tethered or kenneled in direct sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide access to cool water.
  • If you leave animals indoors, open screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water and, if possible, leave them in a cool location.
  • Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.
  • For birds, take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

If you see an animal that may be in need of assistance, or if you have questions, contact the Seattle Animal Shelter at 206-386-PETS (7387). Information is also available online at

New date/time for the licensing and rabies vaccination clinic

The Seattle Animal Shelter “Protect Your Pet” licensing and vaccination clinic is on a new schedule. Beginning this month, the clinic will be open every third Saturday, from 10-11:30 a.m.

These monthly clinic events are hosted in partnership with Good Neighbor Vet, which provides the vaccinations in its mobile unit.  This month’s clinic takes place on Saturday, March 18 in the shelter parking lot at 2061 15th Ave. W.

Cats and dogs are required to be licensed and vaccinated against rabies under Seattle Municipal Code 9.25.050 and Washington Administrative Code 246-100-197. One- to two-year pet license fees range from $24 to $70 for spayed and neutered pets and $75 to $200 for unaltered pets.

The Protect Your Pet events offer services on a first-come, first-served basis. All dogs must be leashed, and all cats must be in carriers. Previous vaccination records are not required, but you are encouraged to bring them, if available. Additional vaccinations and microchips will be available for an added fee.

For more information and updates, please see and