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Intake of Healthy Animals

Community members hoping to remove healthy animals from their property should consider the following alternatives when shelters reach their capacity for care (C4C):

Avoid feeding the animal. Healthy cats will stay on and around any property if they are being fed. Community members are encouraged not to feed animals; they do not want to visit or live on their property.

Post the animal on social media with photos and the location and date found. Dogs are often reunited with their owners through social media within 48 hours. Area resources include: 

- TCAS Lost-or-Found Pet App
- Tri-Cities WA Animal Lost-n-Found
- Lost and Found Animals, Tri Cities, WA
- Missing Pets - Lost & Found Pets Pasco•Kennewick•Richland •Washington•
- Lost/Found/Rehome Pets In Tri-Cities, WA

Intake of Vulnerable and Unhealthy Animals

Although a municipal animal shelter, TCAS is first an animal control facility. Animals that are abused, emaciated, aggressive, and/or dangerous, and animals that are sick and vulnerable, are a priority for intake. This includes: - Animals too young to fend for themselves - Nursing kittens requiring bottle feeding - Puppies under 3 months - Sick and/or injured animals in our jurisdiction - Abandoned animals

Operating Authority

TCAS operates under the Animal Control Authority (ACA) and an interlocal agreement between the three cities it serves, with the City of Pasco having operational responsibility. The Shelter operates as a division of the City of Pasco's Parks & Recreation Department.

Service Area

Located in Pasco, Washington, the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter (TCAS) is a publicly funded stray/redemption facility that serves the residents and animals within the city limits of Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick. 

Stray Management

The Tri-Cities Animal Shelter (TCAS) is committed to thoughtfully and responsibly managing the significant population of stray animals within their service area. Balancing the use of public resources that fund the shelter, TCAS sometimes has limitations on the number of animals it can accept, ensuring quality care for each one.

Understanding Capacity for Care (C4C): TCAS operates within a set Capacity for Care (C4C), a limit determined by their available space and staffing. This capacity ensures that each animal in the shelter receives adequate care and attention.

Advantages of Adhering to C4C: By maintaining their C4C, TCAS ensures the health and welfare of animals during their stay and allows their staff and volunteers to focus on other important shelter activities, including community outreach. This efficient management helps animals move through the adoption process quickly and healthily, freeing resources to serve more animals and the community better.

Challenges Post-COVID Pandemic: Following the COVID pandemic, there was an increase in pet abandonments in the Tri-Cities region. This surge often led to regional shelters, including TCAS, reaching their care capacities simultaneously. TCAS believes that avoiding overcrowding in shelters is crucial, as exceeding capacity can lead to increased suffering for the animals, a situation contrary to the mission of shelters and the well-being of the community.

Strategies for Capacity Management: To manage their C4C, TCAS employs various strategies:

  • Collaborating with other organizations for animal transfers within and beyond the region and state.

  • Public education about responsible pet ownership, including spaying/neutering and microchipping.

  • Promoting pet fostering.

  • Limiting or pausing animal intake as necessary.

Commitment to Transparency: TCAS values transparency in its operations. Details about euthanasia and other relevant metrics are shared at bi-monthly Animal Control Authority meetings. Staff is actively working to include comprehensive reports on euthanasia and non-standard adoptions on the TCAS website, as well as annual and monthly metrics.

In their mission to serve both the animals and the community, TCAS strives for a balance in their responsibilities, ensuring every animal in their care is treated with compassion and dignity.

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