Humane adjusts hours for ‘quiet time’ for the animals

WENATCHEE — Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) changed its weekday hours of operation this week to implement a new ‘quiet time’ for the animals at the shelter. The shelter is now closing for an hour on weekdays, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The new program launched Jan. 7.

The new ‘quiet time’ will give animals at the shelter a much needed midday break, according to a news release from WVHS. Currently, shelter animals begin their day at 6 a.m. and live in a constant state of stimulation, with approximately 12 hours of disruption that includes kennel cleaning, feeding time, medical checks, dog walking, behavior modification, socialization with volunteers, and potential adopters visiting.

During ‘quiet time’ adoption halls will be closed to any activity with lights out and music off. Recent research presented at the ASPCA Learning Lab shows that pets in shelter and kennel environments benefit tremendously when they are allowed at least one hour of downtime during the day. The break helps calm the animal, reduces illnesses and helps overall demeanor.

“The goal is to provide shelter animals a healthy balance of enrichment and socialization while reducing over-stimulation, which can have a negative impact on their behavior and health,” said WVHS Executive Director Dawn Davies.

Shelter staff will also benefit from this change, utilizing the allocated time to take uninterrupted breaks, participate in meetings, trainings, and update animal records. Davies says she also sees this time as a way to reduce the overall staff stress of handling constant, emergent situations.

Animal Care and Control (ACC) can be reached during this ‘quiet time’ by calling 662-9577, option 1, however the lobby will be closed for licensing and other ACC-related business during this hour.

Shelter hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.) Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shelter is located at 1474 Wenatchee Ave.