Modern problems, modern solutions: animal shelter seeks to update dog lodgings

The shelter is looking to purpose-build a new, much larger shelter for dogs

As numbers of animals in shelters nationwide rises, North Beach PAWS is embarking on a campaign to build a new, purpose-built shelter to house its canine clientele healthily and humanely.

Calling the campaign “Build a Better Place,” the no-kill shelter is seeking $2.5 million to expand its capability with a purpose-built shelter to replace the current dog shelter, a converted dog grooming facility, according to a news release, stating the shelter can no longer handle the current community demand for dog-related services.

“The sheer number of dogs and puppies that we are not able to shelter in time is heartbreaking,” said the shelter’s vice president and director of the dog shelter project Carol Jamroz in a news release. “Dogs should not have to suffer or die just because there is no place for them to go.”

North Beach PAWS has been able to provide services for about 180 dogs per year for the last seven years, according to the news release.

“It was a record-setting year for the shelter last year,” said Jerry Knaak, public relations and marketing director for the shelter, in a previous interview. “The sheer number of animals the shelter was able to affect, place, help — the numbers were astronomical last year.”

As the pace of animal surrenders continues to rise to record levels, North Beach PAWS is now being forced to turn away even puppies, according to the news release. North Beach PAWS was forced to turn away more than 400 owner-surrendered dogs last year.

“The increased capacity of the new facility will save hundreds of doggy lives,” Jamroz said. “Those saved lives will reduce stress on their people, city and county law enforcement, and the broader community. It is a winning solution for all.”

More space to host dogs will ease the bottleneck between taking in new dogs and finding them homes. The shelter has also grown out of its capability for hosting cats, which have much lower space and infrastructure requirements.

The proposed facility, which the group’s board is seeking to fund through grants, donations and corporate giving, will have 20 purpose-built kennels built to modern standards of animal care — the current dog shelter only has eight kennels with outdated designs, according to the news release. There’s also currently no designed space for medical exams or for quarantining sick animals, according to the news release.

The new 3,700-square-foot facility would be build to modern standards of ventilation, exercise and quarantine space, and to ease stress and noise for guest dogs, according to the news release. The shelter would be located on the current campus, located just outside Ocean Shores.

The new shelter would aim to ease the strain imposed on the community by unhoused animals, which is currently a major issue in many Grays Harbor communities. Those interested in helping can do so at

Contact Senior Reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or