A philosophy to help "Build a Bond for Life"
Forward thinking and research on how to help "Build a Bond for Life" between pets and their families led the N.O.A.H. Animal Adoption Center's Board of Directors to our overall philosophy.
Rather than duplicating the traditional shelter philosophy of accepting every surrendered animal only to become overcrowded and forced to euthanize - we are taking a new approach. We assist animals in the most desperate need of help - the animals that have run out of time at other shelters and are facing death. By working cooperatively with area animal shelters and only accepting pets directly from their facilities, we give animals another chance at life at our no-kill adoption center.
Main Features of the N.O.A.H. Center
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- Customer-friendly and guilt-free adoption environment where all adopters are treated as guests and the animals are guaranteed a new home.
- An intensely researched and skillfully designed facility provides a pleasant and inviting atmosphere- complete with abundant natural lighting, bar-less dog suites and cat colonies, and gentle, calming music.
- State-of-the-art veterinary clinic and spay/neuter surgical suite that focuses on controlling pet overpopulation. We offer free or low-cost sterilization surgery to pet owners with a limited income and free feral cat spay/neuter surgeries. Our programs are designed to help reduce unwanted litters and promote good pet health and responsible ownership.
- Wilderness trails throughout 17 acres of beautiful forests offers a safe walking environment for the N.O.A.H. Center animals and the community.
In the Beginning
Historical information - before the new N.O.A.H. programs.
In 1988, the non-profit Northwest Organization for Animal Help (N.O.A.H.) opened its doors at the original animal shelter location. Over the next 10 years, N.O.A.H. staff and volunteers worked diligently to help animals in the community. At the height of the program in 1998, adoptions reached 452 (326 dogs and 126 cats) for the year. Adopted animals over the age of six months, were spayed or neutered by a local veterinarian. There were no in-house spay/neuter facilities, limiting the overall impact on pet overpopulation.
In late 1998, when the septic system failed the decision was made to close N.O.A.H. and begin fundraising for a new facility that N.O.A.H. would own. The Board of Directors purchased 17 acres on Interstate-5 for $120,000.
The efforts of N.O.A.H. caught the attention of local philanthropists who cared deeply about animals and wanted to help a worthy group in advancing their efforts. The couple joined the N.O.A.H. Board, pledged to fund the construction, and began researching best shelter practices around the country and Canada. They toured facilities and met with numerous Executive Directors. Lists of Do's and Don'ts emerged and ideas on how to best help the animals materialized. From those experiences the new N.O.A.H. was formed.
A new approach would be sought rather than duplicating the "owner surrender/adoption" services of the other six shelters in Snohomish County. The Board of Directors decided to take an innovative approach by responding to the prevailing question, "What about the animals at the shelters that have run out of time?". In response to this question, a decision was made to restrict our intake to shelter transfers, giving the healthy and adoptable animals from other shelters the time they needed.
Over the next year while the new facility was under construction, partnerships and working relationships were established with the local shelters. The shelters that euthanized the most animals were the ones we would focus on helping the most. We put no geographic boundaries on our services other than targeting our own county and our three neighboring counties of Skagit, Whatcom, and Island. Our goal: Stop the euthanasia of healthy adoptable animals in Northwestern Washington by "Building a Bond for Life" between pets and their families.
We would strive to meet this goal with the following plan:
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- Our motto of "Building a Bond for Life" would guide all of our programs. Promoting positive pet-human relationships would be the cornerstone of how every program would be measured for success.
- Our facility would be built in a prominent visible location demonstrating our pride for helping animals and providing a valuable community service.
- Partnerships and good working relationships would be formed with local shelters, and N.O.A.H. would only take the healthy and adoptable animals from their facilities when overcrowding forced them to euthanize for lack of space.
- We would target the source of pet overpopulation by offering in-house, low-cost and consistent spay and neuter services to the low-income community.
- A well-structured and professional volunteer program would be designed creating a valuable community resource for learning, uniting, and service.
- Dedication to superior customer service and friendly adoption procedures would be embraced furthering the positive nature of our business of saving animals.
- A commitment to "sharing our story" would move us towards helping other groups and organizations to further their efforts of helping animals.
A New Approach
Introduction of the new N.O.A.H. programs
The new facility of the Northwest Organization for Animal Help (N.O.A.H.) opened in May of 2003. Quickly, we have become known for our innovative programs and approach to helping animals in Northwestern Washington. Today the unique, appealing, and highly visible facility is seen by an average of 52,000 vehicles passing everyday on Interstate-5. In 2006, an electronic readerboard was installed allowing us to "communicate" with passersby. Since installation, our foot traffic, volunteer numbers, and spay/neuter appointments have soared.
There have been numerous benefits that have emerged from our innovative and unique program design far surpassing the outcomes of the past:
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- ADOPTION PROGRAM: Since opening in May 2003, over 19,000 dogs and cats have entered our program and been given a new opportunity for a loving home through our no-kill adoption program.
- SPAY / NEUTER PROGRAM: Since opening, over 54,000 dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered - forever more impacting and reducing the number of homeless pets in our community.
- VOLUNTEER PROGRAM: The community has embraced our positive approach and we have attracted over 400 gifted people, groups, and businesses inspiring a spirit of giving and helping.
- FACILITY: Great care was taken with facility design and decor to overcome the traditional impressions of animal welfare organizations.
- COMMUNITY: We strive to promote our programs and encourage a community spirit of positive pet/human relationships.
We strive to promote our programs and encourage a community spirit of positive pet/human relationships.
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- Two fenced, open to the public off-leash dog play areas and half mile wilderness walking trails have introduced dog guardians to new avenues of entertainment, exercise, and meeting likeminded people.
- Our resource library has provided information through books, videos, and magazines promoting a successful relationship with pets.
- Our phone lines are open daily, without the use of voicemail, manned by volunteer receptionists offering referral information and pet resources in the area.
- Our well stocked Gift Shop provides immediate access to pet supplies while raising funds for our programs.
- In-house and off-site informational presentations are given throughout the year to Rotary and Chamber of Commerce members, workplace giving venues, and other community service clubs.
- Our staff provides detailed tours for other groups seeking advice about opening or improving their existing animal welfare facilities and programs. Our building blue prints are made available for a mere copying fee.
- Our pets are promoted weekly in two local newspapers, a local cable access channel, and PetFinder. Additionally, we have four off-site cat adoption locations further increasing awareness of our programs and adoptions.
- We produce four newsletters per year with a mailing list of over 4,000 community members and a weekly volunteer e-news is sent to all volunteers and staff.
N.O.A.H. depends upon public donations to continue its work. You can help! Making a donation through our secure server is fast and easy, and when we receive your donation, we will send you an acknowledgement in the mail for tax purposes. Click the "GiveDirect" button below to make a donation. Thank you for your support.
You can MAKE A DONATION ONLINE to N.O.A.H. by clicking the orange "GiveDirect" button.
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