Ladies and gentlemen, Labradors and German Shepherds, the Whatcom Humane Society has some big changes on the horizon.
On August 26, its 15th annual Dog Days of Summer festival is going to be moved from Lake Padden Park to the nine-acre field behind the Humane Society building off Hannegan Road in Bellingham. Eventually, a portion of this field will be used to build a new Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, replacing the current center off Mount Baker Highway in Everson. These changes will allow the services from the humane society to be both bigger and better.
Laura Clark, Whatcom Humane Society director, says some of the most exciting additions to the Dog Days event come from the increased space. This makes possible more vendors and attendees, expanded parking for guests, and a beer garden put on by Paws For A Beer, the dog bar in Fairhaven.
Dog Days had more than 50 vendors last year, and an overflow crowd, “which is why we had to move
it from Lake Padden,” Dana Browne, Whatcom Humane Society special events manager, says. “We simply outgrew it.”
The event is free for families and dogs alike. There are canine contests such as Best Costume, Best Kisser (judged by animal control officers who volunteer to have their faces licked), a peanut butter eating contest, and more.
In the case of the Rehabilitation Center, Clark said the expansion is necessary, as the current operating conditions are not meeting needs. “We’re the only full-service wildlife rehab center in Whatcom County,” she says. “The new facility will allow us to do more, better. And have happier and healthier animals.”
The center rehabilitates injured or orphaned wildlife to reintroduce them into the wild, including deer, eagles, owls, and opossums. The humane society is still in the permitting phase but hopes to begin construction of the new center within the year.
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