In 1908, Teddy Roosevelt served his last year as President of the United States; Albert Edward Mead was Governor of Washington State; Kitsap County had been established for 50 years and Henry Ford introduced the Model T for the amazing price of $850. Americans were reading Sinclair Lewis�™ The Jungle and Arthur Conan Doyle�™s Hound of the Baskervilles, and a group of far-sighted individuals formed the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which would evolve into the Kitsap Humane Society.
What happened to this initial attempt is unknown. According to Almeda (Harris) Wilson, the woman responsible for the re-establishment of the Society, the early effort �œwent into oblivion” until World War II. Then, the population of the area, particularly of Bremerton, increased dramatically due to the war industries located here; the pet population increased proportionally. Often the pets were abandoned when the owners relocated.
While volunteers rescued some homeless animals, too many unfortunate pets were merely exterminated by law officials.Mrs. Wilson recalls that by the 1950�™s, the problem with stray animals became �œcritical.” After several non-productive efforts to reactivate the Society, in 1961, Mrs. Wilson succeeded. A group of concerned individuals convened and, after research and planning, presented a proposal to various county and city officials.
Ordinances were written and accepted. While the building from which it operated was neither adequate or suitable, the Humane Society was back in operation.Later in the 1960�™s, land for the construction of a new shelter near Charleston Beach became available. The Shelter was built and then was enlarged in 1971. By the mid-1980�™s, the needs of the animals surpassed the capacity and capabilities of the Charleston site.
In 1988, construction was underway at the current Kitsap Humane Society on Dickey Road. The move to the new building was complete by June of 1989.Today, the Kitsap Humane Society serves the entire county and cares for all domestic animals including livestock and exotic pets. The Society continues to maintain the Animal Control Division and the Humane Shelter as separate, yet dependent, entities.One achieved goal of KHS is the requirement that all cats and dogs be altered before leaving the Shelter in order to help control pet overpopulation.
The Society is proud of its foster care program which places very young animals or those with special needs in homes where they can mature or adapt to family situations.The Kitsap Humane Society is a non-profit organization that depends upon the kindness and generosity of the community it serves in order to continue its operations. On behalf of the more than 9,000 homeless animals who come to our shelter every year, we would just like to say, �œWoof!” (Thank you! We couldn�™t do it without you.
)See Also: Haven Animal Care Shelter
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