Humane Society works to adopt out pets for the holiday season


The Humane Society for Southwest Washington (HSSW), located in Vancouver, is always looking for loving homes for pets. 

More people tend to adopt animals during the holidays, which frees up space at the HSSW’s shelter and allows the organization to take in more pets from other shelters across the country to give them a second chance to find a happy home. 

“There’s never a shortage of great dogs, cats and rabbits looking for a new family,” HSSW Director of Communications and Marketing Sam Ellingson said. “The holidays aren’t necessarily a time when our kennel spaces are full, but kitten season is a bit longer this year than it has been in previous years, so we find we have more kittens looking for a home for the holidays this year than we would otherwise.”

Ellingson said anyone who is thinking about adopting a pet as a gift this year should understand the responsibility that entails.

“Adoptable pets as gifts can be great for the holidays, but with one important qualifier: the person receiving the pet should be ready and willing to have a new pet,” Ellingson said. “We know there’s a lot of work that goes into caring for a family pet and it’s important that the family receiving the pet is ready for that.”

The amount of adoptions as a whole are now lower than they were in pre-pandemic times across the nation. Ellingson added the Clark County area is a very caring community when it comes to pets.

“While adoption rates are lower, we are still able to find loving homes for pets right here in the Portland metro area,” Ellingson said. 

The Humane Society of Southwest Washington can have more than 200 to 300 animals in its daily care. That includes strays, lost pets, those seeking temporary shelter, adoptable pets and those receiving medical care.

“The holiday season is a critical time for nonprofits and HSSW relies on the donations of our community,” Ellingson said. “Gifts to support the animals truly do save lives and donations this season will help more pets find a happy home for the holidays.” 

Individuals interested in supporting the humane society’s work can learn more at