SAS X-ray suite dedicated to retired K-9 Ziva

Dr. Jennifer Bennett, SAS medical director, discusses the positive impacts the X-ray equipment will make on animal care.
Photo: Flore Yuan

Each year, the Seattle Animal Shelter cares for thousands of animals who come to us in need for everything from spay and neuter surgery to prevent unplanned litters to those who are most in need of help, compassion, hope and a new forever family. Thanks to the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation and its generous donors, we have a new tool in our belt to more quickly diagnose and treat animals that come under our care.

Retired K-9 Ziva with her partner, Officer Mark Wong, and SPD Chief Carmen Best.
Photo: Flore Yuan

In 2017, through generous donations at its annual fundraising gala, SASF granted over $76,000 for new X-ray equipment to be installed and used at SAS. For the first time in our 46-year history, we are able to X-ray animals that are sick, injured and victims of animal cruelty – on-site and with less stress on them. As a result, we can more quickly diagnose issues and provide treatment.

On July 16, 2018, SASF hosted an event to unveil the new equipment, which is dedicated to retired Seattle Police Department K-9 Ziva for her outstanding service to SAS, SASF and our community. In addition to her years of service to our community, Ziva and her partner officer Mark Wong have raised tens of thousands of dollars in support of SASF and our work at SAS. It is with sincere gratitude that this equipment that will help so many animals is dedicated to Seattle’s own amazing K-9 Ziva. Among our honored guests at the unveiling event were many of our generous donors, volunteers, staff from SPD and its K-9 unit and, to our delight, SPD Chief Carmen Best.

K-9 Ziva
Photo: Flore Yuan

In 2011, the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation was formed to further support the mission and work of SAS. Since then, SASF has been raising money and providing grants for everything from building improvements to equipment and supplies for animals in our shelter and in our community and so much more.

The Seattle Animal Shelter has a history of being a progressive municipal agency thanks to the dedication of our staff, volunteers and the support of our community. With the additional support of and in partnership with SASF, we are able to continue to strive for the very best of care for our animals.

For more information about the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation, visit

For more information about the SPD K-9 unit and Ziva, visit

For more information about Seattle retired K-9s, visit

And always remember your purchase of a Seattle pet license is how you can protect your pet while supporting SAS’ lifesaving work. Learn more at

Shelter helpers are some of SAS’ behind-the-scenes heroes

Nan Wonderly does her volunteer chores at SAS with a smile.

Story by Erin Berge

The Shelter Helper Team at the Seattle Animal Shelter washes dirty blankets, towels and water and food bowls during its weekly shifts. Although these chores are not exciting, the Shelter Helper Team is critical to SAS, according to interim volunteer supervisor Laura Mundy.

“Shelter helpers bring order to the ‘back of the house’ and set the stage for a productive work day,” said Mundy.

Currently, there are 15 shelter helper volunteers who allow SAS staff to focus on tasks like setting up adoption papers for new pet owners, reuniting animals with their owners or counseling potential adopters, Mundy said.

Shelter helper volunteer Nan Wonderly said whether directly or indirectly, she knows she is helping SAS’ animals.

“That makes me smile,” said Wonderly.

Starting as an SAS dog walker volunteer, Wonderly ended one of her shifts by filling Kongs and chew toys. As she also folded laundry and prepped dirty bowls for the dishwasher, Wonderly realized how important the shelter helper role was. Shortly after, SAS started recruiting for shelter helper volunteers.

“I worked in the position organically. It was from seeing a need and filling it,” said Wonderly.

In a two-hour shift, Wonderly sometimes generates seven or eight loads of clean laundry, washes all the food and water bowls and litter boxes sterilizes critter habitats. Some tasks are worse than others, and, to Wonderly, cleaning litter boxes is called “doing the nasty.”

“But when I’m done with them, they are C-L-E-A-N,” said Wonderly.

SAS has only a small space available for laundry and storage, but, despite the space constraints, the Shelter Helper Team uses the back room efficiently. Wonderly looks forward to volunteering with the Shelter Helper and other SAS teams every shift.

“What you find out quite quickly is that it’s a great group of people. The staff and the volunteers all interact smoothly, and it’s a friendly place,” said Wonderly.

According to Mundy, the shelter helpers are the “right arms” of SAS.

To be a part of the growing Shelter Helper Team and help keep the SAS running smoothly, fill out this online application.