Emerald City Kitty Harbor Is Ready!

adopt-meEmerald City Pet Rescue is SO excited to announce that we are gearing up to open Emerald City Kitty Harbor!

“But don’t you already adopt cats out?” Yes we do, but soon, our ECPR cats will have their very own location! How cool is that?!?

Emerald City Kitty Harbor is just across the bridge in West Seattle at 4322 Harbor Ave SW. Just like our location on 1st Ave in Sodo, Emerald City Kitty Harbor will be open seven days a week! Monday through Friday, our hours are 10AM until 7PM. Saturdays from 10AM until 6PM, and Sundays from 12PM until 5PM.

PLEASE STAY TUNED for upcoming news about our official opening date!

So many sweet adult cats, adolescent cats and lively little kittens can’t wait to find their new forever homes! Are you one of those homes? Give us a call at 206 557 4661!


#GivingTuesday : Featuring Tyson The Brave Little Dog

Tyson is a brave little dog. Once, Tyson and I were enjoying a leisurely walk when our peace was interrupted by the bellowing bark of a dog on a porch. The dog reared up from his comfortable position and lunged toward us. His bark was loud and angry as it echoed around us like the mighty cry of a wild beast. Luckily, the dog was prevented from his rapid approach toward us by the tug of the leash and the disapproval of his person. In a chiding tone, the dog’s person said “Oh, that’s enough. That is the smallest little dog I’ve ever seen!” This person obviously hasn’t seen some of the true itty-bitties we have at Emerald City Pet Rescue, but at around 8 pounds, Tyson certainly is diminutive, but in size only.


It wasn’t immediately after the large dog’s imposing barks that Tyson’s bravery shone through. He was startled and frightened by the dog’s angry reaction toward his passing. Tyson did a frantic (and a bit silly) jump to get away. We rushed past the house, and onward on our walk. But on our way back past the house, Tyson didn’t cower. He didn’t nervously shy away or slink past the dog, who was still lounging on the porch, now eyeing us suspiciously. Tyson bravely marched past the house and the dog with his head held high and proud. This is Tyson’s bravery. He gets scared and shy and anxious, but he steels himself and tries to bravely overcome whatever may ail his nerves.


I’ve been fostering Tyson for five months. Yes, it is truly unbelievable that a dog with a face this adorable still hasn’t found his forever home!


But all five months have been a true pleasure because Tyson is one amazing little dog. He is sweet, gentle, mellow, curious, quirky and endearingly stubborn. But his bravery is his trait I admire the most.

When Tyson first arrived at my house, he was shy and tentative about everything. When we went on walks, his tail was low, not quite between his legs but almost. He was afraid and intimidated by the world around him. I still remember the excitement I felt when I noticed one day on our walk that his tail was high in the air like a proud little flag. When I first met Tyson, he was easily overwhelmed by the chaotic stimuli of city living: Rumbling cars zooming by, People shuffling down the sidewalk, not quite paying attention to their surroundings, other dogs with alert ears and wide eyes tugging at their leashes to meet him. But now, he has conquered much of his unease about these situations. Just the other day, we were walking past a parked car when the person opened up the door to get out. Tyson stopped, firmly planted his paws (in that stubborn way he does!), stretched his face and wiggling nose toward the person and watched them. He was curious. He wanted to investigate this stranger. The stranger said sweetly, “Why aren’t you a brave little dog!” He certainly is. Somewhere along the way, his curiosity over powered his shyness. This is not to say Tyson isn’t still a shy dog. But he is shy and brave and curious all at the same time.


It isn’t just with shyness where Tyson has triumphed in bravery. Tyson overcame medical issues that would frighten the strongest and mightiest of dog or human. When Tyson first became an Emerald City Pet Rescue dog, he went to the vet to get a dental. Halfway through his dental, his heart stopped. He had a bad reaction to the anesthesia! Luckily the doctors worked expertly to resuscitate him and Tyson survived this harrowing ordeal. But because of the negative reaction to the anesthesia, Tyson’s dental was not completed. After this incident, the vets decided Tyson should avoid getting anesthesia. Some dogs don’t react well to anesthesia and we didn’t want Tyson to be put at risk for another bad reaction. But this meant Tyosn’s dental could not be completed. Dentals mean different things for different dogs. Some dogs just need their teeth cleaned and the plaque removed. Others have actual dental disease and require tooth extractions. Tyson unfortunately had dental disease. So for a while, Tyson lived with his dental disease. This means that Tyson had to live with the pain of tooth aches, but this was a better alternative then Tyson’s heart stopping again. That is, until his dental disease worsened.

It happened on a lazy evening Tyson and I were spending together. Tyson was taking the laziness part of the evening even more seriously than our normal lazy time spent together. But he didn’t seem relaxed, he seemed not himself and lethargic. After looking over, I noticed that under his jaw was swollen. A swollen jaw is not a good sign. We rushed off to the emergency vet since it was after hours of the normal vet. In the proceeding days, Tyson’s life became a whirlwind of vet visits, medicines and x rays, all of which confirmed that something needed to be done about his dental disease. Untreated dental disease can cause to serious outcomes such as an abscessed tooth or infected blood stream. Tyson was scheduled to go to a dental specialist to get the tooth extractions he needed. It was an extremely scary day for the rescue as we waited on pins and needles during Tyson’s procedure. There was a surge of relief everywhere when we got the call that his surgery was a success! Hooray for Tyson!


That was three weeks ago today and he has been doing an amazing since then. Tyson may not have understood the implications of his first dental where his heart stopped. He may not have known the risks of surgery and the even bigger risks of not getting surgery. But he knew what it meant to feel pain. He knew what it was to be scared at the vet’s office surrounded frightening smells and imposing figures. Tyson handled all of this with the bravery of a little knight.


The thing about dental disease is it isn’t just about teeth. It is about how the pain of the teeth effects his day to day life. It is about the bacteria coursing through his blood, causing his body to constantly fight against infection. Good dental hygiene means overall good health. The doctor told me Tyson’s personality might change after he heals from his dental work. I’ve already noticed slight changes. He has more of a playful spark to his personality. He’s got a frolic to his steps when he goes on walks. Best of all, Mr. Finicky Eater is actually perking up at the prospect of food (Before he would only perk up at the prospect of chicken, his favorite!) He use to never be interested in the human food I would be eating, but just the other day I was eating jelly beans of all things, and he was absolutely focused on the jelly beans. He came and sat next to me on the couch and put his right paw on my leg. He looked up at me with big imploring eyes and watched as I grabbed the candy from the bag and ate one after the other. Who knew this little guy had a sweet tooth? Or rather, three sweet teeth. After his surgery, he only has three teeth left. Two bottom canines and one upper caning. Tyson has always had a bit of a snaggle tooth that likes to peak out the side of his mouth, but since the removal of the tooth above his snaggle tooth, the snaggle has become more pronounced. This little snaggle a rather lot of cute charm to an already adorable face.

Tyson has shown other slight personality changes. His stubbornness has increased. He is more confident in demanding we linger longer at an interesting smell during his walks. He is stauncher in his refusal to walk on rainy days. I love this stubbornness. To me it is a sign of his increased confidence. He has confidence in asking for what he wants, holding his ground and being persistent.


One personality trait that has stayed consistent is his bravery. He overcame something grand and scary- a brush with death. He overcame pain. He overcame fear of his surroundings and shyness as his main mode of interacting with the world. The next challenge his bravery will propel him to overcome is finding his forever home. He is such a sweet and loving dog. A dog so ready to add joy to someone’s life. A dog ready to find his best person friend. There has been so much Tyson has gone through and not just his dental or his shyness, but finding himself at a rescue up for adoption at all. He has his own mysterious past that has led him here. There is a lot to Tyson’s story we will never know, but the most important part of Tyson’s story is ahead of him. The part where he finds his forever home! And now, after his successful battle against dental disease, after his confidence navigating the chaos of the world, he is ready!


If you want to learn more about Tyson, read his profile here: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35059006

Tyson’s pre-adoption adventures are also being recorded in his instagram @tyson_the_little_dog. Whoever adopts Tyson will also be given his instagram so they can continue recording his journey post adoption if they want to.

Gidget : Very Special Dog Seeks Compassionate, Loving Family!

There are many important factors to consider when you make the decision to adopt a pet and bring them into your family. What kind of lifestyle do you have? Do you have children? Other pets? Do you travel a lot and would you want to take your pet with you if you do? Have you had dogs before, or cats, or critters? How comfortable are you with training? Are you and willing to adopt an animal with separation anxiety, fear-based aggression, food aggression? Are you willing to adopt a very shy pet who takes a while to warm up to new people?

At Emerald City Pet Rescue, we work individually with every potential adopter to try and make sure that the pet they end up adopting is a good fit for their family and lifestyle.

Sometimes, we rescue very special pets whose difficult pasts have left them with emotional scarring. These pets often take longer to place because we have to find the best fit that we can for them so that they can thrive, their new family can thrive, and everyone can remain safe and happy. If a pet is at ECPR for only a few days before they find their forever homes that’s wonderful, but if it takes weeks, months or even years, we will never give up because we know that every single pet has a perfect family out there just waiting for the stars to align so they can meet. Our pets spend their days out in playrooms with staff, trainers and other dogs so that we are able to give them lots of socialization and positive reinforcement on a daily basis.

Some of our long-term residents have unique personalities, but no matter what their challenges are, all of us here see so much potential in their sweet, hopeful eyes. Recently, two girls that we had in our system for quite some time, Fiona and Darla, found their forever homes and to say that the staff here at ECPR was happy for them is a gross understatement. There is nothing quite like the moment when someone looks at a pet and says, “I will love you unconditionally for everything that you are, and I will help you find all of the confidence and happiness that you deserve and more.”

gidget2Here is one of our long-term residents, Gidget. She has been in our system almost since we began (nearly three years) and we know in our hopeful hearts that it’s her turn to find her happy ending! This little brussels griffon mix has big, expressive ears, and the cutest little underbite that I’ve ever seen. Gidget can be wary and fearful of strangers, but she is making great strides at finding her confidence with people. Once she trusts you, she follows you around like a little shadow and wants nothing more than to be in your arms. Gidget is especially fearful of men, and we are working on helping her realize that ALL people have the potential to be her best friend.

Gidget recently went into a foster home with an amazing foster parent who has limitless compassion and patience. She has helped many of our other fearful dogs find their confidence and eventually their forever homes! We already miss Gidget here at our facility, but we know she is in great hands. We know every single day that passes brings Gidget one day closer to finding that forever home she deserves, and we will do anything we can to help her along the way. What Gidget needs most is someone with a compassionate heart who understands that this little girl’s behavior says, “You have to work to earn my trust and affection because I am so amazing that I can’t give it away to just ANYONE!” She wants a forever family just as amazing as she is, and we don’t blame her!

It’s easy to find a pet who will run to your arms within the first moment of meeting them, but to earn an amimal’s trust is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced. The love and appreciation they show you is unconditional and pure; it will always put a smile on your face even on days when life is a little bit gray.

Who knows, maybe someone reading this right now has been looking for that perfectly unique little baby to love and cherish. If Gidget’s cute little face, silly tongue, big ears and sweet, expressive eyes are pulling at your heartstrings, please give us a call at 206 557 4661.

DailyECPR : Gidget Still Awaits Her Happily Ever After

Adopt Me1.jpg Little Gidget is becoming a veteran here at ECPR, she has been with us a while! Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE having her around but it does pain us a little bit because although she has so many fans in our staff, we know that what she deserves most is a forever home and a mommy all her own.

Gidget is a bit shy when you first meet her, but that just makes earning her trust all the sweeter because once you have it little Gidget’s unique and boisterous personality comes out to play! She is a skilled acrobat, dancing in circles for a treat and tapping your leg with her paw when she wants “up” into your arms!

adopt-meGidget would do best with children sixteen and up only,  as she is not a huge fan of sudden movements all around her. She does wonderfully with cats, though, and other dogs as well. Gidget is fearful of men so she would truly love to be the apple of her new mama’s eye. With her adorable underbite, often sticking-out tongue and big expressive eyes, who can resist this little pumpkin? As much as we adore her here, we would most love to see how excited she will get when she realizes it’s finally her turn to get a forever home! If you think Gidget might the perfect little Princess for you, give us a call at 206 557 4661 to set up a time to come and meet this little darling.

DailyECPR : Beautiful Bettina

Adopt Me1.jpg Do you love huskies? Do you love boxers? You can have the best of both worlds – a husky / boxer mix! Beautiful Bettina has amazing eyes, a licky tongue, and a very exciting personality! Like a lot of huskies, Bettina is highly intelligent so she is hoping to find an adopter who can really work to keep her stimulated both physically and intellectually. One of our employees loves to call her “smart but naughty!” Bettina is currently being boarded in a wonderful place where she has lots of room to run around – but she does like to rile up the other dogs! (Naughty, naughty!)

adopt-meOnce this gorgeous gal gets a chance to run around and exhaust some of that high energy, Bettina is all about getting loved on! She loves being pet, and a nice brushing is always greeted with a wagging tail as well because she definitely has that husky coat!

Bettina’s main challenge is that she’s not too fond of other dogs but proper and consistent training will go a long way in helping her with her reactivity. Her ideal family would consider her their one and only (she wants to be spoiled!), have a very secure yard, older children only, and the willingness to further her training and help her be the best possible dog she can be! We may be a little bit bias, but we are convinced that her potential is infinite!

If you think your home might be the perfect match for Beautiful Bettina, give us a call at 206 557 4661!



The Chainsmokers Visit ECPR!


CS_6Last Friday, December 4th, here at Emerald City Pet Rescue, we were bustling with activity! We were so excited to receive some very awesome visitors. DJ Duo “The Chainsmokers” (You KNOW you’ve heard of the song #Selfie!) stopped by our facility with some of their loyal fans in tow to play with our precious pups!

ECPR quickly became very festive as The Chainsmokers and their crew prepared to love on our doggies. With a crowd of new people in the building, even before they had the chance to meet the new strangers, the pooches were so excited! As everyone began to file into the meet and greet room, they were practically jumping at the window for an opportunity to see what all of the fuss was about.

ECPR MollyPop quickly became the center of attention. Now here’s a dog who REALLY knows how to work a crowd with her huge size but very gentle demeanor, her perfectly polite nudge for a head-pat, and amazingly chill attitude! MollyPop made her way from person to person mesmerizing them with her St Bernard charm and of course the cameras couldn’t stop flashing with this dynamic dog as the perfect subject. MollyPop should work crowds for a living, she’s perfect at it!

CS_20Our amazing founder Vivian personally introduced Piggles and Humphrey to The Chainsmokers, and of course it was love at first sight. These two elderly pooches might not be as energetic as some of our precarious pups, but they live to be cuddled and they thoroughly enjoyed being passed from arm to arm while people instantly fell in love with them. These two senior malteses are a bonded pair and available for adoption!


CS_13This was a fantastic experience for ECPR Turbo as well, he was a bit shy when he first came to us but he has really been coming out of his shell and did excellent with all of the snuggles! He can be a bit of a jumper, but he minded his manners quite well and his sweet little face was perfect for some great camera shots! Who wouldn’t want to take Turbo home??


We feel honored that while in Seattle, The Chainsmokers chose to pay us and our pooches a visit. A good time was had by all!

Be sure to check these guys out on Spotify! Maybe the next time this awesome duo comes through Seattle, they will stop by again and meet a whole new batch of puppies! (Because let’s face it, there’s no better way to pump yourself up AND wind yourself down from playing shows than to cuddle some dog!)

DailyECPR : ECPR Meets Jackson Galaxy

Last night, ECPR was fortunate enough to have a booth at Jackson Galaxy’s book signing in Seattle. For those who may be unfamiliar, Jackson is a cat behaviorist who hosts a show on Animal Planet called My Cat From Hell. He is also an author of two books, Catification and his most recent, Catify to Satisfy.

imageedit_1_2105596140Having attended the Grumpy Cat event a month prior to spread the word about ECPR, I was eager to attend this event along with kennel attendant Bethany and ECPR volunteer Susan.

What we didn’t know beforehand was that Jackson was slated to talk for an hour prior to the signing. He was funny, personable, and educational! He talked about his show and some of the cat “problems” he has encountered, but he made an excellent point that our on-site trainer has often made. Jackson doesn’t view his job as training the pet, but as training the pet-parent.

That was a very important distinction to make! There is a quote I heard a while back that, while humorous, has actually proven to be quite true in my experience and it’s been very helpful to keep in mind when I interact with my own fur-children. “You feed a dog, play with a dog, love a dog, pet a dog, cuddle a dog – and he thinks you are God. You feed a cat, play with a cat, love a cat, pet a cat, cuddle a cat – and he thinks he is God!”

IMG_5314Cats and dogs are distinctly different, as anyone who has been a pet-parent to both can surely attest to! Cats are much more recently “domesticated” than dogs. They are true carnivores that are driven by their instinct and need to hunt. As responsible pet-parents, we can fill that need by PLAY. When we get busy, when we skip daily “playtime,” when we are not fulfilling our cats’ natural instincts and needs, cats get bored. Jackson compared it to being locked inside a house day in and day out with literally nothing to do but watch QVC. We would get bored! We would get restless! That’s when we start to get into trouble. Just ask any parent who has ever raised a teenager! J

Working with a cat to minimize certain behaviors that are undesirable to humans is so much more successful than working against them; i.e. punishing them for behaviors that we might not like because chances are a cat does not and will not understand why he is or she is being “punished.” A cat does not spray in order to drive you crazy. If a cat is spraying, they feel their territory is being threatened and/or compromised. He is not feeling comfortable, he is not feeling confident. What is the best way to deter this behavior? Boost his confidence! Give him attention, but keep in mind that it should be attention on his terms. Play is vital! Stimulate that hunt-kill instinct they have with toys. Let them “catch” the toys. Make him work to capture his “pray.” Give him access to “high” places to scope out his territory, to feel he has a safe place to observe what is happening around him. Cat trees. Shelves. Tables he is allowed (even encouraged) to climb on. Jackson’s rule of thumb with this is that a cat should be able to travel around a room without having to touch his paws to the floor. This mimics a cats instincts to move around from tree to tree in his territory, which makes him feel he has ownership of it. Once he feels safe, and that he has ownership of his territory, a lot of those undesirable behaviors will cease.imageedit_6_4092381715

If a cat is scratching your furniture, provide him with scratching posts. Encourage his use of them by a few spritzes of catnip spray. Deter his usage of your furniture by lining his favorite “scratching” places with double-sided tape. That way, while you are saying “no” to one scratching place, you are immediately saying “yes” to another. Always follow a “no” with a “yes”!

“No, I would prefer it if you didn’t do that – BUT you can definitely do THIS!”

As a pet-parent of both a dog and two cats as well as a foster mom to motherless litters of kittens, I have personally found Jackson’s advice and insight to be invaluable. In order to live in harmony with cats (especially when you have a small apartment!) I’ve learned that if you pre-emptively provide them with plenty of “yes” situations, you minimize the occurrences of having to say “no.” A month ago, I had my two young cats plus five foster cats, plus my dog, all in one small apartment and the only causality that my décor suffered was one curtain. I followed Jackson’s advice from My Cat from Hell and provided the cats with plenty of “high” places, scratching posts with catnip spray to attract them, and plenty of playtime every night to stimulate their natural instincts and behaviors. Even my hands suffered minimal “kitten attacks” by the simple act of withdrawing my hand immediately upon their attempts to play with it (playing by nipping and grasping, etc) but immediately grabbing a toy that they could interact with in that way, providing them with a quick “yes” directly after a “no.”

At the end of Jackson’s talk, he took a small handful of questions from the audience. I approached the microphone and began by telling him I loved the examples of shelves and things built in houses specifically for cats in his books, but as I rent my apartment and try to avoid making my landlord upset or completely losing my security deposit, what was some advice he had for mimicking those home improvements in my rented place? I was very pleased that his suggestions matched what I had already been doing, providing high places, cat trees, small tables with a cat bed on them etc, again, so they can navigate the room without touching the ground if they please. He explained further how, for a cat, being able to observe his territory makes him feel he has control over it and ownership of it, he feels safe and confident. I definitely plan to keep my apartment “catified” for my two permanent cats as well as more fosters that will inevitably be coming through my doors.

I was especially proud of my latest kittens when they had meet and greets with their future owners. They were confident, curious, playful and cuddly, just like the ideal kitten should be. I am by no means whatsoever a purr-fect pet parent (see what I did there? Wink) but I am very grateful to people like Jackson for helping me understand the needs of cats so that I can provide my own two cats with a loving, stimulating forever home as well as providing my fosters with the best start in life that I can give them. I felt honored that I was able to tell Jackson “thank you” in person last night.

If you have a cat who is displaying a behavior you are struggling with I highly suggest checking out Jackson’s show and his books. I can attest firsthand that his research on cat behavior and his creativity when it comes to catering to the needs of felines goes a long way in providing you with the tools you need to live in harmony with your whiskery companion for the rest of your lives J.