Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that DogHouse pays adoption fees for pets 6 months and older.
The big white Mastiff Diesel sniffed his way through boxes full of toys, grabbing the perfect toy: a gray and blue plush elephant from Kong.
On Monday, cannabis company DogHouse brought the plethora of homemade toys and cakes to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington in honor of Dogust Day, the national birthday of shelter dogs on Aug. 1. North Shore Animal League America, the largest notorious animal adoption organization, established the day in 2008 for dogs whose exact birthdays are unknown.
In addition to the birthday party, DogHouse is hosting a free adoption weekend at the shelter Saturday and Sunday. All pets 6 months and older will have their adoption fees paid by DogHouse. Usually, rabbits cost $45 each to adopt; dogs range from $50 to $500, depending on age; and cats range from $25 to $180, depending on age.
“It’s really about getting a lot of dogs, cats and rabbits into adoption,” said Chris Bell, chief executive of DogHouse.
Bell and his wife, Anna, hosted Dogust Day and Adoption Weekend after reading an article in The Columbian last month about high populations at local animal shelters. Animal lovers, Bell said they jumped at the chance to support the community and animals in need of homes.
“We can’t deduct taxes because we’re still not a federally legal corporation,” Bell said. “But there’s no way we’re doing business in this community without giving something back.”
Campbell Pet Company, All Natural Pet Supply and Beastie Boutique of Vancouver all donated toys for the event. Pennsylvania-based PuppyCake provided natural ingredients for use in dog birthday cakes.
Those who adopt blue-pod dogs will receive a DogHouse “Gotcha” gift bag filled with toys from sponsors and DogHouse pet products.
Diesel is a blue dog and one of the oldest residents of the shelter, having been there for almost six months. Blue-pod dogs require extra care because they’re too shy or nervous and don’t get along well with people who walk past their kennels, said Sam Ellingson, communications director for the Humane Society for the Southwest. from Washington.
“He’s a good, sweet boy,” Ellingson said of the nearly 95-pound dog. “Having a dog that size just isn’t something every family is ready for.”
Ellingson said he looks forward to Saturday and Sunday, as promotion weekends have historically seen good attendance at the shelter.
The Humane Society for Southwest Washington, 1100 NE 192nd Ave., is open for adoptions from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.