HOQUIAM, Wash. — A Hoquiam animal shelter recently received the donation of a lifetime.
David Minkler, an animal lover, left his estate worth $125,000 to North Beach Paws, a no-kill, volunteer-run animal shelter that serves much of Grays Harbor County.
Carol Jamoz, vice president and project manager for the organization’s new dog shelter, said the donation is life-changing for many animals.
“It allows us to dream big about saving animals’ lives,” Jamoz said. “Especially now that the need for intake is so high, when we have hundreds of animals literally waiting to come into the shelter, and it allows us to think, ‘Well, we could build a larger shelter, and we could bring in more animals and save lives,’ so when I say it’s life-changing, it is absolutely a life-changing gift.”
North Beach Paws, like many other shelters in Washington, has seen the need for animal intakes increase since the COVID-19 pandemic began. These days the need is greater than their available space. The building that houses the dogs on their property only has eight kennels. Still, North Beach Paws managed to find loving homes for 180 dogs in 2022. However, they also had to turn over 400 dogs and puppies away.
“Our mission is lifesaving, and to not be able to provide a safe landing for those animals is devastating,” Jamoz said. "This is not only stressful on dogs, but if you're a dog owner looking for a safe place for dogs and puppies to land, it's stressful on the community.”
In an effort to bridge the gap between what the shelter can provide and the community’s needs, North Beach Paws announced a $2.5 million project to build a new dog shelter that will have 20 available kennels. The project will be funded by grants and donations, meaning gifts like David Minkler’s bring the shelter that much closer to saving more lives.
“Mr. Minkler was a huge animal lover, so I know this will be special for him,” Jamoz said.
The shelter was not familiar with Minkler before he passed, but Jamoz said they were able to find his cat a loving home following his death.
“We were happy to be of help in that way,” she said.