The Whatcom Humane Society is an open-admission animal shelter providing care and services to domestic, farm and wild animals in Whatcom County including Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Sumas & Everson.


This is what we do


Animal Control and Rescue Services

We provide for all domestic & wild animals throughout Whatcom County.

Pet Licensing

Get your pet a new license or renew an existing one. Use our quick online form or download a form.

Low-Cost Microchip

We offer this lifesaving service for just $20 at our shelter facility. No appointment is necessary!

Surrender an Animal

As an open admission shelter we provide care for all animals in need, regardless of their age, breed or condition.

Pet Adoption

We have lots of great pets looking for permanent, loving, responsible homes. View them here!

Spay & Neuter

We offer a low-cost spay and neuter assistance program (SNAP) for eligible applicants.

Volunteer Programs

Become one of the dedicated volunteers who help us provide care for thousands of animals each year.

Humane Education

K-12 classroom presentations, fun service projects, summer camp, workshops & more!

We provide animal services for Whatcom County which includes Bellingham, Blaine & Ferndale.

Animal Control & Rescue

The Whatcom Humane Society Animal Control / Field Services Department is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Services include:

  • Picking up stray, injured, aggressive, dangerous and dead animals.
  • Transportation and impoundment of stray animals to the shelter for impound, or in cases of emergency, to a veterinarian for medical treatment (if WHS staff veterinarian is not available).
  • Administration and enforcement of all animal related laws and ordinances for the Cities of Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Sumas, Everson and unincorporated Whatcom County.
  • Investigation of cruelty and neglect complaints as authorized by State, City and County ordinances.
  • Acting as a liaison for WHS at community events, pet licensing clinics and neighborhood meetings to educate and inform residents about animal welfare issues.

If you are aware of an animal being abused or neglected, please call our Animal Control Office at (360) 733-2080, ext #3017.

If you need assistance after our regular business hours and you have an animal related emergency, such as an animal running in traffic, an injured animal, an animal acting aggressively or you need to report an animal being harmed, please call 911. The 911 dispatcher on duty will contact a WHS animal control officer for further assistance.

Animal Control Emergency?

Online Licensing Form

Choose the number of pets you would like to license today.

Licensing Your Pet in Whatcom County

If you need a kennel license or have questions about licensing, please email or call (360) 733-2080 x3010.

Dogs in Bellingham, Blaine & Ferndale

Dogs over 7 months of age living in Whatcom County are required to have a license. Before a license is issued for any dog, the owner must certify under penalty of perjury that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies. A certification of vaccination signed by an accredited veterinarian, and showing that the vaccination does not expire prior to the expiration date of the license, must be provided upon request.

Cats in Ferndale

Cat licensing is only required in the City Limits of Ferndale. A microchip may be used in place of a license tag for Ferndale cats. The microchip number must be provided at the time of licensing.

PLEASE NOTE:  Effective January 1, 2012 the State of Washington requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated for rabies. The vaccination must be kept current. (WAC 246-100-197 (3))

How Much Does it Cost?

The annual license fee for sterilized cats or dogs is $11.

The annual license fee for each unsterilized male or female is $41.


Low-Cost Microchip

We offer this lifesaving service for just $20 at our shelter facility. No appointment is necessary!

The gate was left open...

Low Cost Microchip Clinic

1 in 3 pets will get lost in their lifetime.  Although no bigger than a grain of rice, this permanent form of identification could be your pet’s ticket home if this ever happens to them.

We offer this lifesaving service for just $20.00 every day at our shelter facility.  No appointment necessary!

Spay & Neuter

Whatcom Humane Society offers a low-cost spay and neuter program called SNAP for eligible applicants.

We need to get her fixed!

Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP)

Thank you for your interest in the Whatcom Humane Society’s low-cost spay/neuter program (S.N.A.P.).  If you are interested in having your companion animal spayed or neutered, please fill out the S.N.A.P. application below and return to the shelter.  Upon receipt of your completed application a WHS staff member or volunteer will contact you to review your application, discuss payment options and schedule an appointment for your animal.

Click here to download an application form for our spay/neuter program.

Click Here to download Spay/Neuter Assistance Program Application For Lummi & Nooksack Tribal Members.

Click here for information on WeSnip, Whatcom Educational Spay Neuter Impact Program.

Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet

There are many compelling reasons to spay or neuter your pet. Find out why spaying and neutering is good for you, your pet, and your community.

Click here for more information.

Myths and Facts About Spaying and Neutering

Click here for more information.

End of Life Services

Our trained staff can provide a humane, dignified end to your pet’s life.

He is suffering...

End of Life Pet Euthanasia Services

We understand how difficult it can be to say goodbye to a beloved family companion. We encourage you to discuss this decision with your veterinarian and, if possible, have your veterinarian perform end of life services for your pet.

If you do not have a veterinarian, are low-income or otherwise find your pet in need of end of life services, our compassionate, caring and trained staff can help.

The Whatcom Humane Society offers humane euthanasia services for ill or suffering companion animals by appointment only. You may choose to stay and be present with your animal if you like.

Our euthanasia service fee is $50.00. If this is a financial hardship for you, please discuss with our customer service department at the time you call to schedule an appointment. WHS customer service may be reached at (360)733-2080, ext # 3001.

We offer the option of private or non-private cremation services for your pets remains. Private cremation services are offered at an additional cost depending on the animals weight and size.

For additional information or to make an appointment, contact our Customer Service Department at (360)733-2080, ext # 3004.

Monthly WHS Pet Loss Support Group

When your beloved companion animal dies, it’s natural to feel grief and sadness, even depression. Our free monthly pet loss support group offers support and help to anyone grieving the death, loss or terminal illness of a beloved companion animal.  Visit our Pet Loss Support Group page for more information.

Surrender an Animal

We realize how difficult it may have been for you to come to us to surrender your animal. Because of the significance of your decision, we want to ensure that you thoroughly understand our policies on surrendered animals.

It is important to know that the Whatcom Humane Society is an “open admission” humane society. This means that we promise to accept into our care ANY animal that comes to us. Because of this, last year we received well over 4,000 animals. Sadly, there are not enough homes for all of these animals. At WHS our goal is to find a loving family for every animal, but unfortunately there are simply more animals than there are people who want to adopt them.

Eligibility Criteria

The following is a list of conditions under which an animal may not be placed for adoption:

  • If they are under 8 weeks of age.
  • If their advanced age is causing extreme medical or physical problems.
  • If they are in poor general health or physical condition.
  • If their temperament or behavior is such that they would not adapt well to a new home.
  • If they are showing signs of extreme stress due to being placed in a kennel environment.
  • If they show signs of communicable disease that could infect other animals.
  • If there is no space available in the adoption kennels.

Depending on the specifics of the animal’s condition and availability of space, some animals with these conditions may be placed in foster care, held for treatment, or observation until they are old enough to be made available for adoption.

Adoption Duration

At WHS every effort is made to find loving homes for animals in our adoption program. Once an animal is placed into our adoption program there is no set holding period.  Animals may remain available for adoption for a day, week, month, or longer.  Animals available for adoptions may be euthanized if there is a decline in their health, temperament, or physical condition.  They may also be euthanized if our adoption areas become overcrowded and room needs to be made for new incoming animals. Any animal who is euthanized (humanely put to death) will be administered a painless injection of sodium pentobarbital.

If you wish to inquire about this animal, you may do so by calling the shelter at (360) 733-2080.  Please save your surrender paperwork to assist us in providing you with information.

Pet Personality Profiles

If you decide to surrender your pet to the Whatcom Humane Society, please complete the personality profile below and bring it with you to the shelter.  Please leave your animal(s) in the car when you arrive.  Once paperwork is complete, staff will ask you to bring them in.  Our surrender fee is $50. If this fee is a hardship for you, please call customer service at (360) 733-2080 ext 3001.

Dog Personality Profile

Cat Personality Profile

Small Animal Personality Profile

Our country as a whole, is suffering a tragic pet overpopulation problem, with 10 million animals being euthanized nationwide each year because new homes are not available.

Thank you for your interest in Volunteering!

Whatcom Humane Society cares for thousands of animals each year, and we couldn’t do it without the help of our dedicated volunteers.

Click here to SIGN-UP!

Upcoming volunteer info session:

Sessions are full. Please check back for an open date.

How to Get Started

If you are ready to commit to helping animals in our community complete the steps below to get involved:

  • Read through the Volunteer Handbook.
  • Review the dates of the next available Information Sessions below.
  • RSVP and attend the Information Session that fits your schedule.
  • Complete a WHS Volunteer Application.
  • Complete the required hands-on training session(s) for the position that interests you.
  • Become a valued member of our volunteer team!

Due to the number of inquiries we receive, there is no wait list for adult volunteers (16+).


Potential Volunteers MUST:

  • Be 16+ years old or 12-15 years old and accompanied by an adult at all times
  • Make a 6 month commitment
  • Be available to volunteer at least 2 hours per week
  • Be able to squat, bend, twist, lift and stand for long periods of time
  • Be committed to treating animals and people with compassion and respect

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate volunteers looking to fulfill community service hours or students completing culminating projects.

Junior Volunteers

This program is for kids ages 12-15 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Teams can volunteer with cats or small animals as well as participate in outreach & special events.

Note:  Junior Partner Up teams are currently being put on a waiting list due to the demand on the program.  Please email for more information or to be put on the list.

Whether you are interested in caring for animals, providing administrative support or helping with fundraising events, there are opportunities for anyone who wants to make a difference.

Volunteer Opportunities
  • Dog TLC (must be 18 years old)
  • Cat TLC
  • Bunny Brigade & Rat Pack
  • Farm Animal Friend
  • Junior Partner-Up Team (for volunteers ages 12-15)
  • Maintenance Assistant
  • Vet Clinic Assistant (full!)
  • Special Events/Fundraising
  • Humane Education & Outreach
  • Foster Care Provider – click here for more information!
  • Wildlife Care Assistant (must be 18 years old)