Community Education

Visiting Educators


If you are interested in having HSSV employees/volunteers educate a classroom or other group about important topics such as animal care, affordable spay and neuter options for their pets, dog bite prevention, and obedience training techniques, please contact us by phone or email. In some cases, a trustworthy and highly social HSSV animal may be available to attend the event!  

School Groups

 We can usually welcome classes and groups to the shelter, by prearrangement, to learn more about pet care and animal welfare issues. Parent permission is required. If you would like to find out about bringing your students to the shelter for a guided tour, please call or email the office well in advance of your visit.   

Pet Care Information


The Humane Society of Skagit Valley believes that pet care education is extremely important. If you need advice on a pet care issue or if you need support in improving your relationship with your family pet, please call the shelter for tips or resources. 

Staff and volunteers from the Humane Society are often involved in events around the area to inform people of all ages about animal care, spay and neuter services for their pets, dog bite prevention, and obedience training techniques.  If you know of an organization that could use our education services, give us a call!  

Obedience Classes

 At this time, we do not have obedience classes scheduled. If you know of a covered facility in the Skagit Valley that is available at low or no cost for regular class sessions, please let us know! We would love to provide this community education service.  

Report Animal Abuse and Neglect


How to report animal abuse and neglect

We encourage all citizens to recognize and report animal abuse. According to the Washington State anti-cruelty laws, all animals should have food, water, and shelter and be protected from abuse. You should call your local police department or (if you live in an unincorporated area of your county) call your County Animal Control to report animal abuse. If an emergency is in progress, call 911. If not, call the non-emergency number for your area.

Skagit County Animal Control: Emily Diaz- (360) 428-3211 or 911

City of Mount Vernon: Emily Den Hartog- (360) 336-6271 or 911

Town of Anacortes: Zabrina Nybo- (360) 293-4684 or 911

City of Burlington: Burlington Police Department- (360) 755-0921 or 911

City of Sedro Woolley: Laura Carr (360) 855-0111 or 911

Town of LaConner: LaConner Police Department- (360) 466-3134 or 911

City of Arlington: Officer Chamberlin, Officer Copland- (360) 403-3400 or 911

Snohomish County Animal Services- (425) 388-3440

Tribal Communities:

Swinomish: Joe Bailey- (360) 466-7237

Upper Skagit:(360) 856-5501

Sauk Suittle: (360) 436-1438

Reporting cruelty concerns about cruelty to wild animals or poaching (illegal trapping, fishing or hunting), visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website:

Puppy Mills and Pet Population


Pet population

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that there are 6 to 8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Up to 3 million of these pets are euthanized due to a shortage of appropriate homes. Many of the dogs that are put to sleep each year are healthy, purebred animals with the potential to be cherished pets. There are no better ways to prevent homelessness in pets than to spay, neuter, and adopt.

The puppy mill problem

Many of the cute, adorable puppies that you see for sale in pet stores, on the internet, or by breeders advertising in magazines or newspapers are actually born in filthy, abusive, and cramped conditions. A breeder can market puppies with a few photos of happy animals romping on the lawn, when in reality their breeding stock is stacked in a dark shed in layers of feces-caked wire cages. Some commercial breeders use inbred, genetically-weak parents to obtain smaller or specially-marked puppies, and the darling puppies that result can exhibit debilitating signs of congenital disease later in life.
There are many heart wrenching stories of rescue operations in which hundreds of malnourished, terrified, and damaged mother and father dogs are extricated from deplorable conditions. By adopting your next pet from a reputable humane society or rescue group, you can refuse to support abusive puppy mill owners.
Purebred dogs are also often available through our shelter and others like it. Seattle Purebred Dog rescue ( and are good resources for finding an adoptable dog of your preferred breed.

Spay and Neuter Services

HSSV Low-income spay and neuter

HSSV Low-income spay and neuter clinics take place on the first Tuesday of every month. You must visit the shelter in advance to preregister and put a 50% deposit down. Balance is due on the day of the surgery. Call or email our shelter for more information.Cats: $20Dogs: $45

Call Today to Schedule a Day at: 360-757-0445

N.O.A.H. Center free spay or neuter for feral cats

To learn more about N.O.A.H.s program to alter feral cats at no cost to you, visit or call (360) 629-7055. Cat traps are available to borrow at no cost (security deposit required). 

Cedardale Neuter and Vaccination Clinic

Cedardale Neuter and Vaccination Clinic in Mount Vernon offers low cost spay and neuter services. or call (360) 424-5676 to learn more.  

Emergency Preparedness

The Humane Society of Skagit Valley is Skagit County's designated small animal relief center.

 We are responsible for housing displaced small companion animals in the event of a disaster. We accept donations of tarps, emergency pet food supplies, first aid supplies, and other necessities. We also encourage families to prepare for a natural disaster or other emergency. In addition to planning for your human family's safety, have the following items on hand for each pet:

  • Dry and/or wet food, of the brand and type that your pet usually eats, to last two weeks, along with dishes and a can opener if needed.
  • Potable water in plastic gallon jugs, to last two weeks, along with a dish or bowl. 
  • Cat litter, to last two weeks, plus litter box and cleaning supplies.
  • Paperwork, including vaccine and veterinary records, microchip information, veterinarian contact information, and a printed photograph of your pet in case of loss.
  • List of emergency contacts, both in and out of the area.
  • Medication to last two weeks, in original prescription bottles with labels, including dosage instructions. 
  • Collar, leash, and harness, in addition to a collar that is always on your pet with ID attached. 
  • A pet bed or blanket.
  • A secure crate of the appropriate size for each pet. 
  • Proof of ownership such as adoption or registration papers.
  • First aid supplies.  

We recommend rotating stored food, water, and medical/veterinary supplies to ensure freshness.

In the event of an emergency evacuation, pet owners need to allow additional time to arrange care for pets. Many emergency shelters cannot accomodate families with pets, and delays resulting from pet care conflicts can endanger human and animal lives. If you would like help establishing an emergency plan for your two- and four-legged family, please call the Humane Society of Skagit Valley or read more at Washington State's Emergency Management Division website. It is an excellent resource with additional tips for owners of horses, reptiles, and other animals. 

Helping Wildlife


Our Wild Neighbors

 The Wild Neighbors tool from HSUS provides advice to help people deal with conflicts with wild animals (everything from mice and birds to bears) in or around their homes in a humane yet effective manner.

Advice for people who find animals that appear to be abandoned is available on this HSUS page.  But, before you intervene to help a baby animal, please observe from a distance to see if the mother is nearby. For example, many does will hide their fawn(s) during foraging outings, and these infants are often safe to wait for their mother's return.

If you have found orphaned or injured wildlife in need of care, please contact our shelter at (360) 757-0445. If it is an after-hours emergency, you may call Wolf Hollow at (360) 378-5000. They will be able to give you further instructions. 

Wolf Hollow is a rescue and wildlife rehabilitation center located on San Juan Island.  They are committed to the rescue of injured and orphaned wildlife. Wolf Hollow offers specific guidelines on helping certain wild species here:

The center was founded in 1983. Staff and volunteers have cared for a wide range of injured and orphaned wild animals and returned them to their natural habitat. Most of the animals in their care come from the San Juan Islands and Skagit County. We appreciate all they do for the injured or stray wildlife that come into our shelter!


A Special Species: Opossums

Opossums are North America's only native marsupial. They carry their babies in a pouch on their abdomen. Mother opossums that are struck and killed by cars can have living infants inside their pouch! Good instructions on how to respond when you find infants with a dead mother opossum are available here:


Reporting cruelty to wild animals/ poaching

For concerns about cruelty to wild animals or poaching (illegal trapping, fishing or hunting), visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website: