DuganFoundation_logo#3888A6Introducing our new feature: Smokey’s Corner, Helper Profiles.

If you have any organizations you would like us to profile, please let us know! Send us their website, contact information, etc., and we would be happy to interview them to help spread the word.

This week we interview Julie Dugan of the The Dugan Foundation. Let us know if there is a shelter, rescue operation or other organization or people doing good work for cats in your community.



Hi, Julie. First, thank you for letting us interview you and find out more about the Dugan Foundation.

Question 1:
So, what is the Dugan Foundation?

We are here to connect people to care, with animals that need their help.

Think of us as the United Way of Animal Welfare for Washington State. We award funds to shelters, rescues and clinics that are working to end the killing of adoptable pets. We also run some events, most prominently Woofstock, our animal adoption & music festival, every year.


Question 2:
How long have you been in operation?

Ten years. We started with our first Fur Ball fundraiser to raise money for the Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County. With the $60K raised, we then partnered with a contractor, architects and suppliers to increase that value to $90K in services and materials. With that power, we not only doubled the size of their bathing facility, but we increased the accessibility to allow for large dogs get bathed. (A large dirty dog, is very hard to adopt out.)

Within the first month, they increased adoptions of all animals by 10%. Not only did more big dogs get adopted, but more animals in general were adopted. People visiting the shelter got to watch animals being playful and natural while being bathed. Since we knew animals would be more appealing in this setting, we doubled the size and quantity of the windows. This ‘display’ provides a positive picture as you enter the dog area (window is in next to you as you open the door to the dog area). This helped to balance the kennels and cages when you enter the adoption area, that looked very much like a prison.

Since then, we’ve helped over 50 organizations with the distribution of over $200,000 in cash, 150,000 pounds of food, 4,000+ spay neuter surgeries, and adopted out 708 animals in foundation events and related programs.

Dugan Foundation: Dogssmd016-203

Question 3:
How wide of an area to do your work? Regionally? Statewide? Nationwide?

Statewide. We began working in the county, but as our local humane society transitioned into a progressive phase, (with the help of other organizations working aggressively to increase spay neuter services in Western Washington) we began to expand our vision. Through our ‘Woofstock’ adoption event, we were exposed to huge needs in other parts of Washington, most especially Eastern Washington. Consequently, we’ve expanded our mission to create no kill communities, throughout Washington State.


Question 4:
Can you tell me what you do to help cats specifically?

Over the years we’ve funded some incredible cat organizations, including South County Cats, Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project, Kindred Souls Foundation as well as cat specific projects through other rescues and shelters. We also partnered with Pasado’s Safe Haven to run their mobile Spay Station in Pierce County for two years, with the help of The Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County. Finally, we’ve provided thousands of pounds of cat food distributed between all of these organizations, and others serving cats in Washington State.


Question 5:
What should we do if we have a stray cat that is need of help?

So remember, I’m not the expert in handling animals. I am the business person that helps connect folks with animals that need them. However, this is what I would do.

First, assess the situation –

  • Is the cat in distress or injured?
  • If you can’t even get close to the cat, at least provide it water, and give it time to get comfortable with you being near. Do not give milk, that is an old wives tale, and it isn’t good for them. If you have cat food, provide a little in a bowl. Then leave it alone for a while to de-stress
  • If you are able to get close enough to check for injuries, do so. If not, see if you can convince the cat to enter a carrier of any sort. Fill it with a warm blanket or towels. If the cat is tired and hungry it might take you up on it. You may need to leave it behind, with access open. Check on the cat in a few minutes and see if things have improved. If the cat has injuries, and you have the resources, take it to the emergency veterinary clinic in your community. Tell them your story. Likely, they will give you a reduced rate on anything they have to do.
  • If you are able to get the cat in the carrier, and you are sure it doesn’t belong to your neighbor, call your local shelter and ask to have it posted on their found cat resources. Provide a picture and description.
  • If you are able to care for the cat while you look for its owners, do so, keep it fed, warm and loved, if you can get close to it. Post for the owners on facebook, posters if you can, look for posters around your neighborhood, and wait.
  • If you are not able to hold on to the cat, (and your shelter is not in crisis with too many cats and it isn’t a high kill shelter), give the cat to your local humane society or non-profit shelter. They are most likely going to have more people look to adopt the cat, than you could know.
  • If your shelter is high kill, or you aren’t sure, call some local cat rescues. They can be found by running a search on your search engine on your computer. Ask their advice of what to do. Each community has different resources and different issues.
  • With all that said, if the cat is not spayed or neutered, and you have the resources, find a local spay neuter clinic and have it altered. The clinic will be much less expensive than your vet, and they may be willing to give you an even better break if you share your story. Likely, being unaltered is the reason the cat strayed far from its home, if it ever had one. Regardless, by ‘fixing’ this cat you are preventing another unwanted litter of kittens, that will face a scary and likely short life.
  • Bottom line, use your instincts and do what is right for the cat. Remember, it is scared, and distrustful. It probably has had a more horrible journey than you can imagine. No matter what happens, thank you for caring enough to help.


Question 6:
What can we do to find no-kill shelters in our area?

First, find out what is going on in your community. Ask about your large county shelter, ASPCA or humane society. Ask for their statistics, in person or electronically. You might be able to find them online without asking. Most shelters are required to provide stats annually to the animal care and control federation of your state. If they are a public agency, the records should be public.

County shelters are usually the worst off. Progressive county run shelters are more rare, but there are things you can do to help. Good news is, there are more and more shelters in the United States with extremely high save rates! It is really getting better all the time.

SAM AND BULLDOG WoofStock2012_099

Question 7:
What can we do to help?


  • If your local shelters are doing great work to get to a no-kill future in your community, see what you can do to help, or spread the word about their programs and get more support. You can volunteer, donate, help them with their social media by just sharing their facebook info. Get your friends to adopt and spay and neuter.
  • If your shelter isn’t progressively working towards no kill – educate yourself of what is possible. The No-Kill Advocacy Center (www.nokilladvocacy.org) is an incredible resource for information on the movement, nationally. They have publications that are easy to understand and don’t require an education in public policy or veterinary care to comprehend. You will also find great information on ASPCA.org, and the Pet Smart Charities and Petco websites. There are stats, information on programs and great things going on. You’ll be inspired by the work that is being done for the animals.
  • After you’ve equipped yourself with all the knowledge, be the spark. Get great things going, in your shelter, your community, and your schools.

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Question 8:
How can someone contact you?

First check out our website at www.duganfoundation.org and find out more about what we are doing. Secondly, you may reach me at info@duganfoundation.org For more regular reports of what we are working, see our facebook page at Dugan Foundation. There are also great photos! You’ll see things we’re doing, and some things others are doing.

If need to speak to me, email me first and we’ll set up a time to talk.



Question 9:
Do you have any upcoming events where we can help?


Happy Howlidays
HAPPY HOWLIDAYS – November through December – Pet food drive for animals in transition, serving shelters and rescues.

If you work for a company that sells or distributes pet food in Western Washington, we’re looking for donations to our Happy Howlidays food drive. Due to our limited resources, we are just looking for the larger volume donations and not one or two bags or cans.
If you are with a company in Eastern Washington, we can connect you directly to a shelter that needs food.

As an individual, we are accepting monetary donations to contribute to Happy Howlidays food drive.
This food and these funds will be given to two organizations in Washington, yet to be named. Distribution occurs in January.




WOOFSTOCK – August 2, 2014

Our pet adoption & music festival returns!
Individuals: Volunteers are needed to help set up/take down the event. Event occurs in North Tacoma, at University of Puget Sound, Todd Field. Set up usually begins at 7 am.

Businesses: We will also be looking for sponsors and donors that want to contribute to the Woofstock grant fund. These funds will then be disbursed through our grant program to a non profit working to a no kill future in Washington. Contact me at info@duganfoundation.org for more information.

Thanks again for your time. Our Dicke Katze audience will love the work you do, and can hopefully help out in any way they can. Good luck with all the good work you do!

You bet, it is truly my pleasure to spread the word. Happy Thanksgiving.


Hey everyone! If you have another shelter, rescue organization or other group helping us cats, please let us know. Send us website or contact information so we can interview them and help get the word out!