Tips for a Pet-Safe Halloween

Keeping your pets safe on Halloween doesn’t have to be tricky. Here are some common sense tips for keeping your pet safe and stress-free on Halloween:


  • Candy is dangerous to pets. Keep it out of reach. Chocolate in all forms can be dangerous, even lethal, for cats and dogs. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous.
  • Cats love to play with candy wrappers, but eating aluminum foil or cellophane can cause intestinal blockage and induce vomiting.
  • Sticks on caramel apples can be swallowed and cause damage to internal organs or block airways.
  • If your dog or cat accidentally ingests any potentially harmful products, consult your veterinarian, or contact the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 (a fee applies) or online at


  • Popular Halloween plants, like pumpkins and decorative corn, are considered to be relatively non-toxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset or intestinal blockage if swallowed.
  • A carved pumpkin is festive, but use caution if you add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and start a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by a candle flame.
  • Keep wires and cords for electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets.


  • Keep pet costumes safe and comfortable. Make sure the costume does not limit your pet’s movement, hearing, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Make sure the costume doesn’t have any small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could become a choking hazard.
  • A simple, decorative collar or bandana is a great alternative to a full-body costume!


  • Keep pets inside and in a safe room away from the front door when trick-or-treaters are visiting. Too many strangers, especially those bizarre-looking Halloween visitors, can be scary and stressful for pets.
  • When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take extra care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside!


  • Make sure you pet is wearing up-to-date identification and that the microchip company has current contact information. If, for any reason, your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar, tag and microchip increases the chance that your pet will be returned to you.

Information provided by

#GivingTuesday Is November 28

Last year on #GivingTuesday, you helped Homeward Pet raise $25,000 to support our animals! All your generosity dazzled us, from your likes on social media to time spent volunteering to your big-hearted gifts. This year, we’re hoping to continue to increase our programs’ outreach and assist even more homeless animals by finding them forever homes. To this end, we’re reaching for even more this year to provide our animals with chances to grow and love in a new family.

We believe that every act of generosity counts, and each means even more when we give together. By donating just what you’d spend once on a cup of coffee, you can feed a kitten for a day. This #GivingTuesday is a time for giving back.

We have two days for getting deals: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On #GivingTuesday, we have a day for giving back. It’s a global giving movement built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses, and communities in all 50 states and countries around the world.

How can you give to Homeward Pet this #GivingTuesday? There are many ways. You can give time as a dog walker or expertise as a behavior team volunteer or photographer. Monetary donations large and small help us feed and provide expert medical care for as many pets-to-be as possible. Don’t forget that raising awareness about our organization is also a simple act of kindness toward your community’s animals. Join us!

If this is your first #GivingTuesday, learn more about what it means on the movement’s official site.

Back to the Old Drawing Board

One of the best words to describe Karen Holt, volunteer for eleven years, is animated. She tells stories about Homeward Pet’s early years with evocative expressions, her smile knowing as she remembers when the shelter was only a few rooms and a couple of sinks for all the baths and food bowl scrubbing.

As Homeward Pet grew, taking in more animals and expanding its number of sinks, so did its cohort of regular staff and volunteers. Though many faces came through, few have remained as dedicated and consistent as Karen, who has been a Tuesday morning dog volunteer for the entirety of her time with us. She’s a jack of all trades, having had experience with all facets of shelter care from her previous experience with animal welfare groups, but now she mostly sticks to feeding, cleaning, and preparing the dog area for our weekly transport of cats and dogs from Yakima.

“When I hear, ‘Yakima’s here!’ I know I’ll be working even harder very shortly, giving the dogs water, bedding, and toys just as they’re arriving,” she says. Though the hours can be hectic, her consistency has never wavered. Her enthusiasm for animals, she reveals, comes from a young age, when her father instilled in her a love for four-legged friends. She and her family have offered shelter to many dogs throughout their lives.

Only recently, however, has Karen revealed a secret talent beyond that of diligent loyalty: brilliant, timely cartoons on the dog room whiteboard. Originally, she says, it was suggested that the board be removed because no one used it for anything.

Then Karen and her markers stepped in.

Each week, armed with an arsenal of colors, she puts her drawing talents—discovered after winning a citywide contest when she was four—to work. Her drawings range from current events (August’s eclipse inspired a line of glasses-wearing pups) to classic movie scenes (Singin’ in the Rain’s Gene Kelly transformed into a warbling pooch) to holidays (Memorial Day saw a solemn dog overlooking a field of poppies). Homeward Pet is not the only organization generously bestowed her time: her artistic talents and penchant for pantomiming serve her well while she teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) classes.

Though one word for Karen is animated, another—maybe even more appropriate—is animating. While talking with Karen, you get the sense that she truly loves what she does, and the spirit is delightfully contagious. When asked why she volunteers, she says, “You know all these dogs are getting second homes. Even when they’re barking their little heads off, you feel so good when they look at you and you can just feel the hearts floating up at you.” Some days are harder than others, but her network of Homeward Pet friends keeps her energy up on the taxing days.

As a veteran volunteer, what does she want potential and current volunteers to know? “Dogs are easier to draw than pretzels,” she jokes, sketching in an embellishment to her “Dach”-tokberfest dachshund. “And I can’t imagine Tuesdays without Homeward Pet.”

Learn more about volunteering with us and get a chance to see some of Karen’s drawings in person by visiting our shelter!

2016: Year in Review

Hear from our Executive Director how last year’s gifts helped Homeward Pet to our most successful year yet! 

Dear Friend,

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of supporters like you and the role you played in making 2016 a life-changing year for the cats and dogs of Homeward Pet. Your support of our essential programs was paramount in allowing us to expand on our mission and provide every animal a second chance through rescue, shelter and adoption.

I officially started my tenure as Executive Director in March of 2017 so I thank previous Executive Director, Terri Inglis, for her decade-long dedication to our cats and dogs. Thanks to Terri’s passion and the support of her amazing team, we saw significant growth in nearly all of our programs.

Adoption rates rose by 15 percent, which resulted in a record-breaking 1,887 cats and dogs finding homes. Clinic hours were increased and our behavior programs significantly expanded—allowing us to provide our animals with the best possible medical aid, training and care, from the time of arrival until the time of adoption.

We also served more community pets and families in need than ever before. By the end of 2016, our Pet Food Bank distributed 111,573 pounds of pet food and supplies to 14 local food bank partners, helping feed and care for more than 1,000 family pets each week.

Though I am new to my role at Homeward Pet, my association with this organization began in the mid-nineties when my oldest daughter volunteered at the original Hooterville Pet Safehaus location. Knowing how far the shelter has come in our 27-year history, I can tell you how genuinely enthusiastic and excited I am about the future of this organization. In the next few pages, I am proud to share all of the 2016 accomplishments and highlights that generous supporters like you made possible. Thank you for being part of this exciting chapter for Homeward Pet.

Gratefully yours,

Gary Rubin, Executive Director


To learn more about last year’s efforts for our animals, read the rest of 2016’s annual report.

Free Rabies Vaccinations

Homeward Pet Adoption Center is offering free rabies vaccines! 

Recently a bat that tested positive for rabies was found on the grounds of a local elementary school. In order to ensure the safety of our community pets, Homeward Pet will be offering free rabies vaccines for cats and dogs on Tuesday, October 17th, 1-6pm. No appointment necessary but pets must be at least 12 weeks old. Please check with your vet first, and bring your pet’s vaccine records. Vaccines will be offered while supplies last.

Welcome, Come On In!

Don’t miss the chance to join friends and neighbors at Homeward Pet this Saturday, October 7th as we partner with Pawsitive Alliance on their 6th Annual Statewide Shelter Open House Event. Visit us between 12pm – 6pm and enjoy snacks, raffles, behind the scenes shelter tours and more!

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month and we are kicking off one of our favorite months of the year with a ’12th Man’s Best Friend’ adoption celebration. If you’re looking for a new furry teammate or best friend for football watching and couch cuddling, visit us to see if there is a ’12th Man’s Best Friend’ waiting for you!

View our available dogs and find your new best friend!

Contact Information
Adoption Hours:
Our Address:
Wed - Sun, 12 - 6pm
P.O. Box 2293
13132 NE 177th Place
Woodinville, WA 98072
Homeward Pet Adoption Center is a non‑profit, no‑kill animal shelter. Our mission is to give homeless animals a second chance through rescue, shelter, and adoption.