Need Help?? This is where to find it!

I found a stray dog…

Stray dogs found north of Chewelah need to be reported to the Colville City Pound, at (509)684-3131. They can be reached Monday-Friday from 8am-1pm. They have an active adoption program and are NOT going to euthanize the dog for coming in.

Stevens county does not have an “active dog ordinance”, so it is possible that the dog is roaming within a reasonable distance of its home. First step is to check the collar for tags, and if they are present, call the number listed. Keep in mind that just because a dog is scared, injured or without identification does not mean that it has a “bad” home. (It may have lost its collar, been lost for a long time, or even been a newly adopted dog that got scared in his new surroundings.)

If you have brought the dog into your home and do not want to take it to the pound, then you need to post on local pages that you have the animal in your care. Facebook has multiple classified pages, including animal lost and found for specifically this purpose. Try posting paper flyers in the area where you found the dog as well. CVAS will do a courtesy listing of the animal with a provided photo and brief description of the area the dog was found, as well as the finders’ contact information, on its Facebook page. Information must be sent to cvasoffice@gmail.com.

By taking the dog to a local veterinarian’s office, and telling them it’s a stray, you can ask to have it scanned to see if a microchip is present. If it is, the vet will be able to see the owner’s information and contact them.


I see/found a stray cat…

Cats are notorious adventurers and have quite a large area that they can cover in their daily exploration. It is possible that it’s owners allow it to be an indoor/outdoor cat and it is simply getting its exercise. If it’s been hanging around night and day persistently and is of a friendly disposition, there are a number of reasons that it could be around. It’s possible that it’s an owned cat that has temporarily lost its way. In this case, you can photograph it and post it on local pages; Facebook has multiple classified pages, including animal lost and found for specifically this purpose. By bringing an owned stray cat into the shelter, it cuts the likelihood of it being reunited with its owner down to only 2%!

If you are concerned you can provide food and water outside for the cat, however you will be encouraging it to stay and could even be inviting other strays in the area over for dinner. You can also provide a temporary shelter by placing an old plastic tub on its side with a towel laid down inside of it, against an area of your house or an outer building (shed/garage).


Stray cats are fighting with mine, yowling and /or spraying…

These are typically displays of mating behaviors. Unfortunately, they will continue unless the cats are fixed. You can participate in our TNR program to trap the cats and take them to a scheduled spay/neuter clinic to have them fixed and vaccinated, and then return them to the area they came from. You can call Stevens County Cat Care at (509)935-6369 or Northeast Washington Spay Neuter Alliance at (253)242-3031 to schedule an appointment. After the appointment is made, you can call us back to borrow traps from CVAS about a week before the appointment. At the time the traps are picked up, we will show you how to set and use them, as well as providing tips on successful trapping.

To help with the smell involved in these rituals, spray the area liberally with white vinegar.


Stray cats are digging in my garden/lounging on my porch/getting in my garbage…

Cats are territorial creatures and stay close to where they have a food source. You can eliminate this by making sure your garbage can is securely closed, with no debris in your yard. If you are not providing food for these felines, check in with your neighbor to see if they are, to get to the source of the food. If they are feeding them, ask them to keep it routine so that they do not wander into your area looking for food. If you simply want the cats out of your garbage, you could set up a feeding station for them yourself on the opposite side of your house, away from the garbage can. CVAS has a pet food bank available to provide food assistance.

If you wish for the cats to take their activities elsewhere, you can use certain fragrances that naturally repel cats. Spray these onto the area where the cats are hanging out; porch furniture, fences, etc. You can also install a motion-activated water sprinkler, available at www.contech-inc.com

For the digging feline, try planting Rue in your garden or scattering dried Rue, or fresh orange and lemon peels in your garden. You can arrange branches in a lattice-type pattern, or placing lattice over the soil to deter digging. You can also use “Cat Scat” mats available on www.gardners.com, or try placing river rocks on exposed soil to deter cats as well as weeds from growing.


I have a colony of cats and need help.


Cat colonies are a common occurrence. And although their temperaments vary, they are just like pet cats in that the outdoors is their home, and they form strong bonds with their colony members. (Cats have been living in the wild for over 10,000 years.) CVAS can help provide food for colonies, as long as you participate in our TNR program to trap the cats and take them to a scheduled spay/neuter clinic to have them fixed and vaccinated, and then return them to the area they came from. You can call Stevens County Cat Care at (509)935-6369 to schedule an appointment. After the appointment is made, you can call us back to borrow traps from CVAS about a week before the appointment. At the time the traps are picked up, we will show you how to set and use them, as well as providing tips on successful trapping. 

TNR is a humane way of controlling the cat population in an area, as well as improving the health of the cats in the colony. By removing a colony from their natural environment, an event known as a vacuum effect occurs. This means that in their absence, other cats will naturally gravitate into the area to claim it as their own and utilize the resources and breed, creating a new colony.

Bringing animals into the shelter is a very stressful event, even for a healthy, well-adjustable indoor animal. For a colony cat, it is possible for it to become stressed, sick and ultimately need to be euthanized or for it to be so shocked by the change that it refuses to eat and will deteriorate until it passes away. The colony’s best chance at a happy life is returning them to their environment, fixed and vaccinated. 

Due to limited capacity, and resources, colony cats are usually on the waiting list for an extended period of time, averaging 6 to 8 weeks. Regardless of this, we encourage the TNR program and can assist you with re-homing fixed colony cats by advertising them on our Facebook page. We need a provided photo and brief description of the group, as well as your contact information and confirmation that they have been fixed. Information must be sent to cvasoffice@gmail.com.


Your pet is a part of your family, and deciding to give them up can be heartbreaking. Turning to an animal shelter is better than abandoning them, so thank you for calling CVAS. However, a shelter environment is very stressful on animals and we want to try to find a solution for you in which your pet can bypass our facility.

An animal’s reaction to the shelter, along with other factors such as their age can result in a longer stay and difficulty in getting adopted to a new home. After arrival, many animals become ill due to being stressed, which could develop into a serious condition and effect their quality of life.

Because of this, shelters should be a last resort for animals. You are your pet’s best advocate as you know them personally and YOU can make the transition of re-homing your pet the easiest one possible. 

CVAS can assist you with re-homing your pet if they are already fixed by doing a courtesy listing of the animal with a provided photo and a brief description as well as your contact information, on its Facebook page. Information must be sent to cvasoffice@gmail.com.

You can get creative and post an ad on the local pages; Facebook has multiple classified pages, including animal lost and found/rehoming for specifically this purpose. The more effort you put into the ad the better. Include photos and describe your pets most desirable qualities. (If your dog loves fetch, take a picture of him playing when he’s happy.) Print off flyers to post at local bulletin boards, and utilize online adoption sites such as www.petfinder.com

Don’t forget the power of word of mouth! Send out a group email and ask your friends and family to share it with their groups as well. Even try asking your local church or other groups to pass along the info. Take your pet on a walk around town or at the park, wearing an “Adopt Me” bandanna or shirt. You never know who will see it and fall in love. Throughout this process remember to be creative, positive and persistent! 

If you are unable to make the effort to re-home your pet yourself, we can add you to our waiting list but the waiting time is 4-6 weeks, so we do encourage you to take the steps suggested to re-home your pet while you are waiting. You could very well find it a loving home before we have the space available for it.

I need to surrender my pet.


I need to surrender my pet because I’m being relocated. (Military)

Check with your commander about housing arrangements in your new posting. There may be a base veterinarian to consult with in regards to accommodating your companion and preparing them for transport. There is a wealth of information available on this topic at PetTravel.com 

If you are unable to take your pet with you, consider the amount of time you will be gone and if it is possible to find a temporary foster home for your pet instead of a permanent home. If you decide a foster home would be ideal, check with friends and family to see if someone is willing and able to care for them in your absence. Use every means at your disposal; Facebook classifieds, base bulletin boards, church bulletins, etc. You can check with military focused foster groups Operation Noble Foster, Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet and Sugarland Ranch. There is a local boarding facility run by Cathy Bodner, who can be contacted at (509)592-4005.

If you choose to re-home your pet, CVAS can assist you with re-homing your pet if they are already fixed by doing a courtesy listing of the animal with a provided photo and a brief description as well as your contact information, on its Facebook page. Information must be sent to cvasoffice@gmail.com.

An animal’s reaction to the shelter, along with other factors such as their age can result in a longer stay and difficulty in getting adopted to a new home. After arrival, many animals become ill due to being stressed, which could develop into a serious condition and effect their quality of life.

Because of this, shelters should be a last resort for animals. You are your pet’s best advocate as you know them personally and YOU can make the transition of re-homing your pet the easiest one possible. 

Get creative and post an ad on the local pages; Facebook has multiple classified pages, including animal lost and found/rehoming for specifically this purpose. The more effort you put into the ad the better. Include photos and describe your pets most desirable qualities. (If your dog loves fetch, take a picture of him playing when he’s happy.) Print off flyers to post at local bulletin boards, and utilize online adoption sites such as www.petfinder.com

Don’t forget the power of word of mouth! Send out a group email and ask your friends and family to share it with their groups as well. Even try asking your local church or other groups to pass along the info too. Take your pet on a walk around town or at the park, wearing an “Adopt Me” bandanna or shirt. You never know who will see it and fall in love. Throughout this process remember to be creative, positive and persistent! 

If you are unable to make the effort to re-home your pet yourself, we can add you to our waiting list but the waiting time is 4-6 weeks, so we do encourage you to take the steps suggested to re-home your pet while you are waiting. You could very well find it a loving home before we have the space available for it.


Have you checked with your landlord to see if accommodations can be made for your specific situation? Perhaps a pet deposit can be paid with a lower monthly fee over a period of time versus a large deposit, for example. Maybe your rental has a separate barn or shop that the cat would be ok living inside of. Perhaps you can make a designated outdoor living area for your cat where they have a spacious pen, with adequate shelter to protect them from the elements, and keep their food and water clean. In some circumstances, if your pet is providing you with needed emotional support, your landlord will make an allowance with a doctor’s note confirming the animal’s help to your health.

I need to surrender my cat because I’m not allowed to have cats in my rental.


There are many reasons a cat will cease to use their litter box, so many that we have a special hand-out just for this issue. Because it can be a lot of new information to absorb, we can send you an electronic version to your email address, or a printed version in the mail.

My cat isn’t using the litterbox.


Take it to your veterinarian for a checkup. A painful injury or physical ailment can cause even the sweetest animal to become ill-tempered. Since animals can’t tell us themselves that they are hurting, their misbehaving may be their only way to communicate their pain to us.

Get it fixed. Spay/neuter helps to calm animals down and lessen aggressive behavior. For low cost spay/neuter services, you can call Stevens County Cat Care at (509)935-6369 to schedule an appointment.

Watch for signs of over-stimulation. Cats can become over-stimulated quite easily when being petted and will bite or swat at you as a warning that they’ve had enough. Watch for the warning signs of tail twitching, facial expression changes, tone change in the purr and readjusting their body away from you. If they do these things, withdraw yourself to give them a break. If they do bite or swat you, give them space. By trying to pet them right away again, you are actually condoning the behavior.

Some cats are just sensitive and do not like having their feet, stomach or other body parts touched, so pay attention when you are petting your cat and be sure to avoid trigger spots. 

Just like people, cats display body language and interpret body language in their own special way. Learning how to ready your cat’s body is important when it comes to aggressive behavior and can help with many issues. We can help you by emailing you a copy of our Cat Body Language Guide or sending you a printed version in the mail.

My cat is being aggressive to me/other people.


Take it to your veterinarian for a checkup. A painful injury or physical ailment can cause even the sweetest animal to become ill-tempered. Since animals can’t tell us themselves that they are hurting, their misbehaving may be their only way to communicate their pain to us.

Get it fixed. Spay/neuter helps to calm animals down and lessen aggressive behavior. Cats are territorial creatures and this is magnified when it comes into sexual maturity. If you are in need of low cost spay/neuter services, call Stevens County Cat Care at (509)935-6369.

While it may seem like one cat is bullying the others, there are often times more subtleties at play that we don’t pick up on. Even a cat’s physical size can intimidate smaller felines and result in a defensive body posture which is then interpreted by the larger cat as a threat, so it strikes out. There could be a personality conflict among the cats, or an accidentally learned association between the cat and something unpleasant (such as fireworks or thunder). Sometimes a playful feline jut gets too worked up and rough play turns into fight mode. If you have a mother cat, chances are she is being maternal and trying to protect her babies.

Redirection is the best method of correcting these behaviors. When the cats are displaying signs of an impending fight, break it up by placing a barrier in between their line of sight. (Hold a blanket up in between them or a newspaper, anything big enough to hide them from each other for a moment will do.) Then you can focus on getting one cat’s attention and directing them to a different spot in the house. You don’t want to just reach down and pick up a cat when it’s preparing for a fight because you will startle it and can be on the receiving end of several sharp claws. 

Try giving the cats personal items of their own (such as a bed or blanket) and keep them apart from each other so that they have their own personal space. Separate their food/water dishes and litter boxes in the same fashion and they will learn that they have their own designated areas. You may have to repeatedly direct the cat to their proper space until they have it established. When the cat goes to their specific area, reward them with pets and a treat so that their good behavior is acknowledged and encouraged.

My cat is being aggressive to my other cats.


Scratching is natural for a cat, so instead of trying to stop it, let’s redirect it. (We do not encourage declawing as it is a painful process that has been linked to both behavior problems and health issues.) To redirect scratching, you must have something for the cat to use. Provide your cat with a good scratching post that is sturdy enough to withstand the action. Some cats have different preferences so try pairing them with a new scratching post that is similar to the area that they have already been scratching on. Some like carpet, others prefer wood or cardboard.  Encourage the use of the new post by rubbing it with catnip (or spraying with cat nip spray), or hanging toys from it. And don’t forget to clip your cats nails routinely.

There are many things to try to get your cat to stop scratching your furniture. Put double-sided sticky tape on the spot where the cat’s been scratching, or tape aluminum foil over the surface. You can try covering the area with a loose fitting fabric or sheet that will move if the cat tries to scratch on it. You can spray perfume or citrus scented sprays onto the area as a deterrent, or buy indoor cat repellant sold at most pet stores. If these don’t work, you can always spray the cat gently with a plant mister or small squirt gun. You can even look into purchasing “Soft Claws” for your cat, which are plastic caps that are temporarily glued to your cats existing nails and prevent their scratching habits from causing any damage to items in your home.

My cat is scratching all my furniture.



Most times if a person is diagnosed (or assumed) as being allergic to pets, they are also allergic to other things in their home such as dust mites, cigarette smoke, molds and pollens. If you remove these other allergens your symptoms may decrease enough that you won’t have issues keeping your pet. (Also if you remove the pet and not the other allergens your symptoms will continue.)

Go to your doctor to discuss your allergies and have an allergy test performed to confirm what it is you’re allergic to. (You may not be allergic to your dog’s fur but to the specific tree pollen that got caught on his fur while he was outside for instance.)  

If you are indeed allergic to your pet, try the following tips before giving up on your companion. Create an allergen-free room (ideally your bedroom) and prevent your pet form entering it. Make sure you have a hypoallergenic pillow and bedding to use as well. Do a thorough cleaning of the room to make sure you don’t have any lingering allergens in your windowsill (such as mold) or in your carpet.

Limit the amount of fabrics used in your home. Excessive long drapes, upholstery and rugs collect and store allergens, making it difficult to keep clean. Make sure that your pillows and throw blankets and bedding are washed routinely as well. 

Vacuum frequently using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter or a disposable electrostatic bag. Other kinds of bags will actually allow the allergens to blow back out of the vacuum. 

Install an air purifier in your home. They also are available with a HEPA filter. You can also use an anti-allergen room spray, which will deactivate the allergens, making them harmless.

If you have a cat, switch your litter to a low dust perfume-free kind, or you can use clumping litter or even wood pellets. 

Make sure you routinely dust your home to reduce allergen build-up and wash your pets bedding and cages regularly as well.

Give your pet a weekly bath to reduce the amount of dander that they expel and make sure they are being routinely brushed outside.

Be sure to wash your hands after holding/playing with your pet before you touch your face so that you don’t irritate your sinuses, and even try having an outfit dedicated to certain activities with your pet, such as a bath time outfit.

It’s important to note that many pet allergies diminish over time, with exposure to the pet. Even to the point where they are no longer noticeable. So there is hope!

I’m allergic to my pet (OR) my spouse/kid is allergic to my pet.



Most aggression is caused by fear and generally the only real option to work out the problem is to do so within the home. Surrendering the dog to a shelter or a new home will not fix the issue, it just relocates it. As such, we are unable to accept dogs with a history of aggression towards people.

Take it to your veterinarian for a checkup. A painful injury or physical ailment can cause even the sweetest animal to become ill-tempered. Since animals can’t tell us themselves that they are hurting, their misbehaving may be their only way to communicate their pain to us.

Get it fixed. Spay/neuter helps to calm animals down and lessen aggressive behavior and a dog’s aggressive behaviors are magnified when it comes into sexual maturity. If you are in need of low cost spay/neuter services, call the NE WA Humane Society at (509)563-4040.

Consult an animal behaviorist. They are professionals in this area and are able to understand why your dog is behaving the way it is based on the dog’s history, temperament, environment, and many other factors. They will be able to give you a diagnosis and solutions for you to correct the behavior. Local specialists include Sunara Dog Training (509) 220-9598 and Northern Tails Dog Training (509)276-9118. 

If you are unable to take the steps necessary to correct the behavior, then you can call other local animal groups, but you need to be upfront about the aggressive behavior to make sure that they are properly equipped to accept your dog. Local groups include; the Colville City Pound (509)684-3131, Colville Pet Rescue (509) 684-9710, Becky’s Best Buddies (509) 935-6635 and the Spokane Humane Society (509)467-5235.

My dog is aggressive towards people.


Dogs can be aggressive towards each other for a variety of reasons and generally the only real option to work out the problem is to do so within the home. Surrendering the dog to a shelter will not fix the issue, as dogs are housed together in the same building. Having a dog aggressive dog onsite causes unnecessary stress and danger to all of the dogs, including the staff that handles them. We recommend trying different steps to resolve the behavior in your home before surrendering your dog.

Ask your veterinarian for help. Many vets have experience with behavioral issues such as this, and they can provide you with good information and suggestions on the issue.

Consult an animal behaviorist. They are professionals in this area and are able to understand why your dog is behaving the way it is based on the dog’s history, temperament, environment, and many other factors. They will be able to give you a diagnosis and solutions for you to correct the behavior. Local specialists include Sunara Dog Training (509) 220-9598 and Northern Tails Dog Training (509)276-9118.

Change the dog’s living situation. Maybe your yard can be separated with additional fencing or a dog run can be installed. Screen doors could be added to your existing outdoor ones, or baby gates could be installed to divide the house into separate areas for each dog.

If you are unable to take the steps necessary to correct the behavior, then you can call other local animal groups, but you need to be upfront about the aggressive behavior to make sure that they are properly equipped to accept your dog. Local groups include; the Colville City Pound (509)684-3131, Colville Pet Rescue (509) 684-9710, Becky’s Best Buddies (509) 935-6635 and the Spokane Humane Society (509)467-5235.

My dog is aggressive towards other dogs.



How old is the dog? Sometimes these issues are age-related. An older dog may need more frequent potty breaks outdoors than it did when it was younger. If it is young, it probably never had its house training completed. 

In the case of house-training, a good starting point is to crate train your young dog. It is a highly effective method of training and should begin as soon as possible. 

On average, a puppy will need to be let out about 6 times a day, for 20 minutes each for potty breaks. These times are; before going to bed, as soon as they wake up, after a nap, after eating, after exuberant play and after you return home from an outing. Make sure you have a designated potty area so that the pup learns this is where to do its business. Praise your pup after it pottties outside in its potty area. Positive reinforcement works wonders.

If your dog is older, you want to rule out any health issues contributing to the problem, so take them to your veterinarian for a checkup. There could be many different issues causing urination/defecation issues, some of which can be a cause for concern.

My dog is peeing/pooping inside my house.


 Dogs of all ages need to chew on things to exercise their jaws and satisfy their natural instincts. If your dog is chewing on things while you’re out, be sure to provide them with an assortment of appealing options of toys and chews before you leave. This will also teach them that when you leave, they get something positive, which helps alleviate separation anxiety. (Sometimes a factor in house destruction.)

Your dog may become bored while you’re out, and they take matters into their own paws. Be sure to exercise your dog a short while before you plan to leave the house. Let them burn off their energy, and return them inside for time to mellow down before you leave.  Give them stimulating toys when you leave the house, such as a Treat Maze or a Kong toy with a goodie inside. 

To help alleviate your dogs’ loneliness while you’re out, try leaving your t.v. turned on to a “Dog Program”, found on YouTube, these shows are designed specifically to help your dog relax and appeals to their particular visual parameters. 

If you leave your dog alone and then return to find that they’ve destroyed something, it is TOO LATE to punish them. Their brains don’t work like ours to move back in time to realize what they are being punished for. They will cower and look guilty but it is as a response to your unhappiness and your body language and so they anticipate being punished.

Sometimes a dog will need a slow introduction into being allowed to be left unattended in the house when you’re out, which is where crate training can come in handy. Lay down their favorite towel or blanket inside to give them comfort, and be sure to provide them with entertainment such as toys and chews. You can put their dry dog food into a treat maze, both to keep them stimulated and to avoid them spilling their bowl and be sure to provide them with a bowl of water. 

For more information on Crate Training, we can send you an email with tips and training techniques to help you throughout this process or a printed version in the mail.


My dog chews up my house when I’m gone.