ASK THE SHELTER: What is a “stray” dog, and what do I do if I find one?

This is an excellent question, and one that isn’t as simple to answer as you may think.

Whether a dog is a stray or not sometimes depends on the laws in your particular area.

In Ferry County, only the city of Republic has a leash law.

If you are within Republic city limits, and spot an unaccompanied dog off leash, that dog is a stray dog. If you find a stray dog in the city limits, you should:

1. Check the dog for a collar and ID or licensing tags; the city also has a dog licensing law, so all dogs that live within city limits should have a license tag on their collars.

2. If there is a collar with tags, but no identification that provides the owner’s contact info, you can find the owner’s info by calling City Hall with the dog license tag information, OR by calling the veterinarian listed on the dog’s rabies tag and providing the rabies tag number.

3. If there is no identification, you may want to try using social networking to find the dog’s owner. Facebook groups like Ferry County Exchange, 99166, or Lost/Stolen/Found Animals often have rapid success at returning the dog to its owner quickly. Even if the owner is not on Facebook, their friends, relatives, or neighbors may be, and can recognize the dog and contact the owner. If you are not on Facebook, you can send a picture of the dog to Forget Me Not (info at forgetmenotshelter dot org) and we will be happy to post on Facebook for you.

4. If all attempts to locate the owner fail, you can contact Republic Police Department to impound the stray; they will take it to Konz Veterinary, which has an impound contract with the city, where it will be held for 3 days to give the owner a chance to find it.

If you are outside Republic city limits, things are a little bit murkier due to the lack of leash or licensing laws.

If the dog seems to be moving with purpose along the road, and he is not creating an overly dangerous situation for drivers in the area, there is a good chance he is not a stray dog, but is simply a local country dog off on his daily explorations, possibly heading home. If you don’t see the dog in the same place a second time, he has probably gone home. It is not illegal for a dog in Ferry County to wander to his heart’s content, as long as he is not chasing livestock or causing accidents.

If the dog is wandering aimlessly in one set area along a road, looking nervous or appearing to be waiting for someone, then she may be lost – a “stray” dog – and in need of some assistance finding her way home.

If the dog is found on your property and doesn’t leave within a couple of hours, it is also safe to assume he is a stray dog.

When finding a stray dog within the county, and there is no collar with ID, the best procedure is:

1. Bring the dog to a safe place with you if you are able to do so. If you cannot bring the dog with you, make a note of exactly where the dog is (mile markers, cross streets, nearby houses or landmarks) so someone would be able to find the location. Take photos if you can.

2. Call the shelter 509-775-2308 or email info at forgetmenotshelter dot org to report the stray. Email reaches the volunteers faster than phone calls, but either method will work. If you email, please include a couple of photos of the dog if you are able. When the shelter receives photos by email, we can start searching for the dog’s owner immediately, and sometimes can connect you with the owner directly, which eliminates the need to have law enforcement impound the dog, or to have the dog brought to Forget Me Not.

3. If the owner can’t be found quickly, the Forget Me Not volunteers will arrange an appointment for you to bring the dog in to the shelter; we will also take care of notifying the Ferry County Sheriff so they can impound the stray, we will check the dog for a microchip, and we will do flyers and online ads to try to locate the dog’s owner.

Please only pick up the dog if you are able to hang onto her until arrangements can be made for her to come into the shelter. Forget Me Not is primarily staffed by volunteers, and has no set operating hours; we will need to find a volunteer who can make an appointment with you to go to the shelter and do intake on the dog, so it can sometimes take 24-48 hours from the time you pick up the dog to the time it comes to the shelter. If you cannot care for the dog for up to 48 hours, please just take photos, make a precise notation of the exact location of the dog, and call or email the shelter with the information so we can post the dog’s photo and location online and either find her owner, or find a volunteer in the community who can pick her up and bring her to the shelter by appointment.

NEVER pick up a stray dog and just decide to keep it. That is considered theft of property, which *is* illegal. Even if a stray dog is emaciated, injured, or appears to have been beaten or neglected, you don’t know the full story. It could be a child’s beloved pet that was lost 2 months ago on a stop for gas in Republic, and has been wandering all this time hoping to find its family again. Generally, if the dog is neglected or abused, the owner will not want to pick it up from the shelter and pay the impound fees/go on record as the owner. If the dog is a beloved pet that has been missing, the owner generally gets to the shelter as fast as humanly possible, and there is a joyful, tearful reunion.

If the owner is not located, or doesn’t pick up their dog, Forget Me Not will then place the stray up for adoption, after making sure it is spayed/neutered, microchipped, treated for any parasites, and up to date on its vaccinations. You can then apply to adopt the dog back and become the dog’s new (and forever) legal owner.

ASK THE SHELTER: Is Forget Me Not Animal Shelter a “No-Kill” shelter?

Yes, Forget Me Not Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter. After 10 years of operating “as if” we were no-kill, the Board of Directors voted this year to officially become part of the No-Kill Nation movement.

What that means is, no healthy, adoptable pet will ever be euthanized for lack of space or length of time at the shelter.

Pets with treatable medical conditions will receive appropriate treatment and be placed up for adoption, as long as they have a reasonable likelihood of good quality of life post-treatment. Recent examples of these pets would be Sammi (fka Cuckoo) and Dunlin, senior cats that received radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism, and Freckles, a dog who is in the process of receiving appropriate surgeries and physical therapy to heal from injuries received in his prior home.

Being a no-kill shelter does not mean we will leave a pet suffering. . . . → Read More: ASK THE SHELTER: Is Forget Me Not Animal Shelter a “No-Kill” shelter?

What is a “professional breeder” and why do I, Executive Director of an animal shelter, support them?


People are sometimes shocked to learn that I personally support and encourage professional, registered breeders.

The first thing to understand is the definition of a professional, registered breeder. This is not a “puppy or kitten mill,” nor is it someone who just couldn’t resist letting their wonderful, adorable dog or cat have just one litter before spaying, nor is it someone who makes their living by breeding random dogs and cats into cute combinations.

This is what I consider to be a professional, registered cat or dog breeder:

1. REGISTERED with a national breeder organization such as AKC or CFA

2. SPECIALIZING in a recognized purebreed (or two), and breeding for conformation and health

3. RAISING all the puppies and kittens in a safe and stimulating home environment, with healthy, vibrant, happy sire(s) and dam(s) on site, and available for potential buyers to meet

4. PLANNING for . . . → Read More: What is a “professional breeder” and why do I, Executive Director of an animal shelter, support them?

New adoptable puppy: PEPPERONI

Here is another pup in our “meaty pups” litter of Great Dane/Australian Cattle Dog/LeMutte pups!

Pepperoni (a girl whose nickname is “Gecko” because of the shape of the white on her chest) is one of the smaller pups. She is vocal, likes to be at the center of attention, and is playful with the other pups but also very human-oriented.

See her full listing, including video, on our DOGS page.

New adoptable pup: BRATWURST

Bratwurst and siblings arrived as a Stop the Cycle litter; Forget Me Not has spayed the mother dog (a Great Dane/Australian Cattle Dog mix) and returned her to her owner, and we will now find great homes for the pups. They were born on March 22, 2013. Father is unknown (may be more than one for this litter). Some of the pups look like they may have some Labrador Retriever or Pitbull in the mix, along with a healthy dose of “who knows what” – they are true “LeMutte” pups!

The entire litter is very well socialized, and the pups are currently together in a foster home where they are encountering adult dogs, cats, and chickens. They are all curious, outgoing, and very happy, and should do well in every type of home and family.

Bratwurst (a girl) is one of the bigger pups, and she . . . → Read More: New adoptable pup: BRATWURST

CAT-ch Spring Fever!

Ah, at last, spring is starting to peek around the corner, and with it, we are starting to hear the pitter-patter of little kitten feet.

Since all those kitten feet will need someplace to land, we are hoping you will CAT-ch Spring Fever and welcome home one of our many WONDERFUL adult cats, on a DONATION OPTIONAL basis!

That’s right, once you have submitted an application from and have been approved, you can bring home any of the currently listed adult cats for… however much you wish to donate (even nothing at all)!

We have all different cats – big cats, little cats, fluffy cats, sleek cats, pushy cats, shy cats, and every one of them is the PERFECT cat – for someone.

Check out all the available kitties and apply now for your new best friend!

. . . → Read More: CAT-ch Spring Fever!

New adoptable dog: MEEKO



Meeko is a gorgeous boy who looks like a husky/shepherd mix; he arrived as a stray and has gone unclaimed. We are guesstimating his date of birth at about 4/26/2012 – he has those gangly “teenager” legs and the playfulness of a pup!

He has lots of boisterous energy and loves to chase just about anything, so we wouldn’t recommend him for a home with kitties that run away… but he has a soft, cuddly side too, and will sit for long periods just snuggling with the volunteers.

He doesn’t seem to be an overly dominant dog, though will stand up to a challenge, so would fit best with an easygoing dog companion (probably a female would be best), or as the only dog.

He’d love to have a family that will give him lots of time to play . . . → Read More: New adoptable dog: MEEKO

New adoptable dog: SMOOTCH

Smootch 1/17/13

Smootch on 1/17/13 (top)Smootch on 2/5/13 (bottom)

How do you go from the top photo, on 1/17/13, to the bottom photo, on 2/5/13?


Step one: Fill food bowl

Step two: Wait

Step three: Fill food bowl again

Step four: Wait

Repeat steps one through four until dog realizes he will never go hungry again. Ideal weight will follow, along with thousands of face-licks and tail wags.

Meet Smootch, who is now up for adoption. This was Smootch when he arrived:

Smootch on 1/17/13

He is one of the most emaciated dogs we have rescued, and besides his weight, he came in with broken teeth, infected gums, sores on his elbows and buttocks, the tip of his tail had fallen off leaving an open wound (probably frostbite), and his snout was all scraped . . . → Read More: New adoptable dog: SMOOTCH

New adoptable cat: COQUETTE



Coquette is a beautiful torbie with white girl, about 2 years old, who arrived as a stray. She has a funny, kinked tail – it bends like it was caught in a door, but it may have been that way since she was born. She is a little bit timid in new situations and meeting new people and cats, but warms up quickly once she gets to know you. She is affectionate, but not pushy about it, and would make a good indoor or indoor/outdoor kitty. We think she would prefer a quiet, relaxed home, and she would be fine as an only cat or with another kitty or two, preferably kitties that won’t bully her but will accept her presence with a friendly attitude.

See her full listing here.


Formal Wear February – special on fancy dress kitties!

Formal Wear February cats

Formal Wear February Special!

Ah, February – a month to honor Love and Commitment!

Why not celebrate February by adopting a loving kitty that will always be Dressed to Impress?!

All black and black/white cats’ adoption fees through 2/28/13 are priced by the “pound of loving” they provide… from our $9, 9-pound petite beauties Calandra and CaraCara, all the way up to our $17, 17-pound stunning Bluebird, minimum adoption fees are LOW LOW LOW for these special cats.

Come collect your new lovebug kitty – before the month is over (or before they put on more weight, HA)

PS – OK, Bruno is still “No Fee” but he is special, too.

Thanks to Shelter Manager Tiffany for the February inspiration!

Photo shows only a handful of the eligible black and tuxedo kitties at the shelter right now – more will be added soon!

Today’s featured cat: ICICLE!



Icicle is one of the kitties that arrived in September 2012, when we took in 21 cats and kittens from one location. There are only 4 of those cats/kittens, like Icicle, still looking for forever homes!

Icicle was born about 9/7/12, is affectionate and playful, and should do well in pretty much any sort of home, from indoor-only with one human, to indoor-outdoor with a 15-member family. If you are hoping for a pair of kitties, her sister Irmagard is also still available – instant family!

See Icicle’s full listing here.

Our first 2013 adoptees!


TOP ROW: Yogi, Mr Pickles, ChickadeeMIDDLE ROW: Jabberwocky (now Dusty), Cowgirl, SassyBOTTOM ROW: Fancy, Evangeline (now Cassidy), Rocket

It’s been a pretty good month at Forget Me Not; Yogi has already gone home with our wonderful volunteer Janiece, who started off fostering him and saw him blossom into a lovely new family member – so now he will be staying forever! We have one dog – Fancy – being picked up this coming Saturday by her new family from Spokane, and are sending a nice, big (for January) transport of 5 cats and 2 dogs (Mr Pickles and Chickadee going together, Jabberwocky, Sassy, Evangeline, Cowgirl and Rocket) heading west to meet their families in the Seattle area!

So far, Jabberwocky’s new name is Dusty and Evangeline will now be Cassidy… some of the others will get new names, too, after . . . → Read More: Our first 2013 adoptees!

Today’s featured cat: CHACHALACA!


Chachalaca is a really pretty and unusual “dilute torbie” – a pastel tortoiseshell (cream, grey, white) with tabby pattern. She technically arrived as part of a feral colony on which we were doing trap-neuter-return, but she is just too darn friendly and affectionate to spend the rest of her life fending for herself in a colony, so she was promoted to the adoption program. We think Chachalaca is about 3 years old; she is pretty easy-going with the other cats in her room, and although she doesn’t like to be picked up, she LOVES to play and is a great combination of affection and independence. She’d be a great indoor-outdoor cat for just about any type of lifestyle.

You can see her full listing, with videos, here!

New adoptable cat: SHADOW


Shadow is a senior kitty who arrived at the shelter with his friend Sassy, when their owner died without a pet plan in place. It has taken us a while to list Shadow, because he came in weighing only 6 pounds, with severe hyperthyroidism that had apparently been undermedicated for at least a year. We got him on track with the right dosage and he is looking great after just 6 weeks! Hyperthyroidism is fairly common in senior cats (we know Shadow is at least 8, and could be more). The treatment that is working for Shadow is a small pill given morning and evening; the medication costs less than 70 cents per day, and we have no trouble getting him to eat his pill when tucked into a small ball of wet food, or into a pill pocket . . . → Read More: New adoptable cat: SHADOW

Today’s featured cat: CACIQUE!


Cacique came in as a stray with 5 kittens in tow back in July 2012; as so often happens, the kittens are all happily growing up in their adoptive homes, and Cacique is still waiting for someone to invite her into their family. We’ve given her a guesstimated birth date of March 2011. Cacique is friendly, happy, and playful. She is a medium haired tabby with just a touch of “torbie” (tortoiseshell/tabby) coloring. Unfortunately, during her very long stay at the shelter, Cacique has become quite overweight; we have her on a diet and exercise program, but she really needs a forever home to give her the attention she needs to fill that emptiness inside her… kitty kibble is a poor substitute for cuddles and love.

Cacique gets along well with other cats once she gets to know them . . . → Read More: Today’s featured cat: CACIQUE!

Long-Timer Dog – YOGI


Yogi has been with us for a very long time now; he is a difficult dog to place, but for the right person, he will make a funny, goofy, interesting companion. He will do best as an only pet, though does get along with some dogs – usually smallish female dogs. Honestly, his perfect home would be with a single person or childless couple, someone who is active (maybe a jogger) but something of a homebody. He will wait patiently for his person to come home from work – seems to be well housetrained and is not a destructive chewer – but would prefer that you come home and have some solid one-on-one (or two-on-one) time with him. He loves to chase a tennis ball; a bag of tennis balls, a “chuck-it” to throw them as far as possible, and a cozy home to curl up in . . . → Read More: Long-Timer Dog – YOGI

Featured cat: SASSY!



Sassy is a lovely, but very shy and frightened, Siamese mix girl who arrived at the shelter when her owner died without a pet plan in place. Sassy is a little over 4 years old. She will be someone’s wonderfully rewarding “special project cat” – the kind that really NEED to be rescued, and when she gives you that first purr or head-butt, you’ll know you’ve done something magical for her.

Sassy’s ideal home will be a calm, quiet haven. She doesn’t seem to mind other cats, so could fit in well with an existing zen-like kitty, but will probably do best without a frenetic kitten pouncing on her. She will be expected to hide – she likes to hide inside boxes, tents, bags, anywhere “cave-like” – but will venture out when she knows it is . . . → Read More: Featured cat: SASSY!

Featured cats: our leftover kittens!


We have four kittens, born 9/3 (Engelbert) and 9/7 (the three “I” sisters), who have watched pretty much all the other kittens head out to their new homes… these four are still waiting, but we know there are great homes out there for each of them!

Engelbert is a medium-haired boy; Icicle, Iliana, and Irmagard are shorthaired girls.

You can see their full listings on our Cats page – just click on their photos to bring up the listings.

Kittens love to go home in pairs, but can also go alone. Adoption fee is $58 for one kitten, $98 for a pair; these kittens have been spayed/neutered, vaccinated with their 3 kitten vaccines, microchipped and wormed. They will need rabies vaccination between 4-6 months of age.

Featured cat: CASSOWARY



Cassowary is a beautiful medium-haired bob-tailed tortoiseshell girl who came in as a stray. We waited quite a while to list her because we were SURE someone must be looking for her, but that does not appear to be the case, so it’s time to find Cassowary (Cassie for short) a new family. She seems to be a young but full-grown adult, possibly around 2-3 years old. See her full listing HERE.

Featured adoptable cat: CARDINAL



Cardinal is a handsome and affectionate young tabby boy, born we think in October 2011. He came in with a big rat trap stuck on his right front paw; thanks to funding from the Cats of Microsoft Calendar, we were able to go the extra mile and treat Cardinal’s paw; for a while we thought he might lose it, but he has slowly been healing and has regained most use (even “kneading” while he purrs during cuddle sessions!)

See his full listing here – he’ll make a great new family member!