It might have rained all day, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of staff members and volunteers from the Spokane Humane Society (www.spokanehumanesociety.org) as they took five shelter dogs -- Jackson, Meg, Tonka, Geronimo and Daisy -- out for a long walk on Saturday, March 12, 2016, during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Spokane.
The mid-day parade, organized by Spokane’s Friendly Sons of St. Patrick non-profit organization (www.friendlysonsofstpatrick.com), followed a route that took marchers and floats down Washington Street to Riverside Avenue, west to Stevens Street, north to Spokane Falls Boulevard, then west to the finish on Post Street.
Along the way the Spokane Humane Society marchers showed off five shelter dogs, giving many people the chance to see the dogs where most dogs would probably rather be: outside, on a walk, free from the confines of an animal shelter enclosure. At least one of the dogs, Jackson (pit-terrier mix), captured the hearts of everyone he met, joyously lapping up the attention and returning that joy to the spectators who met him. If you think pits are dangerous animals, you don't know Jackson.
As we walked, I could hear people -- adults and children alike -- cheer when they saw the Humane Society truck approach them. It’s not hard to understand why people enjoyed seeing the dogs. Dogs are wonderful creatures. Who can resist the trusting eyes, wagging tails and slobbery affection that only dogs can give?
Volunteers and staff, along with KXLY 4’s Mark Peterson (meteorologist, morning show host, and KXLY 4 Extreme Team host and organizer), passed out candy to children and visited with many parade spectators to let them see and pet the dogs, spread the word about the Humane Society, and to collect donations to help care for the animals at the shelter.
Because it’s a non-profit organization, the Spokane Humane Society relies a great deal on public donations to run the facility and provide top-quality care for animals at the shelter, which always includes dogs and cats, and sometimes other critters, like rabbits. Though the Humane Society charges an adoption fee, those fees are not enough to cover all the shelter’s expenses, and that’s why donations are so important.
The Humane Society always welcomes donations, and there are several ways you can give (www.spokanehumanesociety.org/donate). But if you can’t afford a financial donation, how about donating your time to help care for the animals? You can walk them, water them, do their laundry, clean up after them … and did I mention walk them (the dogs)? You can just come and sit with them, if you like, just so they won’t feel alone.
If you’re interested in any service the Humane Society provides, including veterinary services for low-income families, or to volunteer, please visit their web site at www.spokanehumanesociety.org, or visit the shelter at 6607 North Havana Street in North Spokane, just north of Bigelow Gulch at the east end of Francis Avenue. You can also call the shelter at (509) 467-5235.