Opal and Wallace: A New Year Without Pain

Dear Friend,

Let me introduce you to two of our most beloved dogs: Opal and Wallace.

Opal and Wallace are alike in a lot of ways. Both are German Shepherd mixes. Both appreciate social time with volunteers, not least because of the treats brought with them. Both are sweet dogs, magnetic even from far away.

Both have been with us for months—far exceeding our average canine’s stay of ten days—healing, resting, and recovering from the same severe injury.

When Opal and Wallace arrived at our veterinary clinic for their intake exams, just a couple weeks apart, it was clear something was wrong. During the team’s routine examination of the dogs, we discovered a few more things Wallace and Opal had in common: They favored their back legs, Wallace his left, Opal her right. Their gaits weren’t quite right. Each step seemed to pain them.

Drs. Tina and Jenny couldn’t confirm their diagnosis without special equipment. Both pups were sent to a veterinary orthopedist, who confirmed our initial suspicions: Opal and Wallace were suffering from a torn cranial cruciate ligament (CCL)—the equivalent injury of a human ACL tear. Based in part on the severity of the tears, the dogs had been living with their injuries for some time—years, most likely. Wallace’s hind muscles were greatly atrophied; Opal had arthritis in both hips, likely exacerbated by the torn ligament.

From the orthopedist we also learned another important fact: the surgery to replace the dogs’ ligaments would cost several thousand dollars. Each.

Though we’re no stranger to animals with special needs, the duplicate expenses were extraordinary. But there was no doubt in our minds. Of course we would help them—how could we let them continue to live in pain?

Generous supporters stepped in, going above and beyond in their love for our animals. Steve and Andy Kloetsch, cofounders of RSVP Real Estate, both expressed a similar goal that motivated their gifts: the desire to help Opal and Wallace lead pain-free lives.

Their dedication to Homeward Pet extends beyond the cause of these two deserving animals, however. When asked what inspired their gifts, Andy spoke about lessons learned from animal companions: “The love and compassion pouring from our pets is endless but also inspiring. In learning from them, we all needed help and we need to help those who can’t help themselves.”

Similarly, Steve was pleased to see the transformation wrought by his gifts: “We wanted to give them the love and help to heal. We had the opportunity to meet Opal and Wallace before and following the surgery; seeing them not in pain and happy is the best gift we could have received.”

The good from their gifts didn’t stop there. After learning of RSVP’s generosity, an anonymous donor came forward to match it—fully covering the cost of both surgeries.

Opal and Wallace’s road to recovery is still ongoing. Wallace has relocated to foster care, and Opal walks with specially trained volunteers. Both have one shaved back leg; both spent time taking hesitant steps in leg slings and making pity eyes from cones. Both receive physical therapy to strengthen their weakened muscles.

Both are beginning to feel what it’s like to walk without pain—thanks to animal lovers like you.

We believe that each animal should have an equal opportunity when they arrive at our shelter, receiving the help they need to thrive in the home that’s waiting for them. As Homeward Pet grows, so does the number of stories like Opal and Wallace’s—animals who need more than shelter care, but who are affectionate, loyal dogs with some bad luck.

In 2017, Opal and Wallace took their first steps without pain. In 2018, help us reach other animals like them. Give a gift today to make more animals’ dreams of a better new year come true.

Thank you,

Gary Rubin
Homeward Pet Executive Director


A Year of Firsts for Our Alumni

2017 has been a year filled with firsts for our animals, past and present. To help ring in the New Year we’ve pulled together just a few of our favorite memories from this year to help us reminisce. Join us while we celebrate the big accomplishments as well as the simple joys that makes adopting a companion animal truly special.

Every few days, we will update this space, compiling a list of our animals’ completed 2017 resolutions. We’ve resolved to set even more ambitious goals for 2018, working toward finding each of the animals in our care their perfect match. Come celebrate this past year with us and see what your gifts this year allowed our animals to achieve.

Want to be part of helping realize our animals’ 2018 resolutions? Give here.

In 2017, you helped many of our adopted animals complete their New Year’s resolutions. Pina finally got to experience all the Pacific Northwest has to offer on her first-ever vacation.


Fuzzy Rudy never thought he’d make new friends…until a sweet senior pug came along. Then they became inseparable. Your support allowed these two to meet and form a lifetime bond.


In 2017, smiley pit bull Opie resolved to celebrate more milestones. After Opie’s adoption, his family went all out for his first-ever birthday party—fulfilling his wish and making 2017 his happiest year yet. 


Shy pup Rhubarb resolved to put himself out there to find love in 2017. Thanks to your support, Rhubarb’s family made his dream of a loving home come true.

Wanted: New Home for Panda, Tuxedo Cat

Panda is a two-year-old cat looking to make the jump from foster care to her forever home. She’s a patient house-hunter, and not one to make a hasty decision. Though she’s found success in the quiet life with her foster family, Panda’s been thinking a lot, and she’s decided she’s ready to make the commitment to something more permanent.

The shelter environment was “very stressful” for Panda, she says. “You never felt like you had any privacy. I felt like I was back in college. I’ve done so much better in my foster home, with some space to call my own—now I just want to settle down.”

What’s she looking for in a home? A few must-haves on her list: “Big windows to watch the birds outside. Soft chairs I can really curl up in. Most important, though, is that I’d really prefer a more relaxing environment. I never enjoyed gym class, so the active life isn’t what I’m looking for (although I do like to bat a ping pong ball around every once in a while). Give me a nap in the sun over laps on the treadmill any day.”

But the most important part of her house-hunting decision, Panda says, is who she’ll be sharing her new home with. Though she’s easygoing once you get to know her, sometimes first impressions are a little hard for her. She explains, “I really like to get used to someone before I cuddle up to them. Transitions—along with thunderstorms and other loud noises!—are a bit stressful for me, so I’m looking for a roommate who’s willing to give me some space to warm up. I’m not trying to be unfriendly, but I’m cautious around new people.”

Letting Panda set the pace of your friendship is the last item on her wish list. “I could really live with any number of roommates—including other feline friends—but sometimes kids are a little too touchy for me. Until I get comfortable, I like to have my privacy respected. For that reason, I want to do a trial period in a new home, where I stay with you for a while and then we decide how we’re doing together.”

Panda’s current roommate is more than happy to help with her new transition and provide tips for Panda’s success. If she sounds like the cat for you, meet them both today! To schedule a home visit with Panda, contact Homeward Pet’s Shelter Manager, Katie, at

They’ve Got Customization in the Bag

The cat’s out of the bag: Pacific Bag’s design and packaging services are polished to meet your needs. It isn’t all business, though; the company also has a strong philanthropic spirit. We’re fortunate to have a number of local and longtime supporters like them. Just a few minutes down the road from Homeward Pet, Pacific Bag is our neighbor specializing in bulk and custom packaging.

Catch up with Pacific Bag’s very own Marketing Supervisor, Whitney Smyth, and see what she has to say about the busy industry.

“Located on the Woodinville-Redmond Road, Pacific Bag, Inc. got its start over 30 years ago selling stock packaging. It has remained the core of what we do, because the need for unprinted, unlabeled ‘stock’ bags, sold in small case quantities, is stronger than ever.

We service more than 4,500 customers in 50+ countries with a wide selection of stock products ranging from side gusset bags, stand-up pouches, paper tin-tie bags, flat pouches, bulk packaging, java boxes, rollstock, accessories, tins, bag sealers, weigh and fill machines, and more. We specialize in markets varying from coffee, specialty food and pet food, to agricultural products.

PBi takes pride in supporting our local community. Regardless of how you choose to define community, we believe that we have a shared responsibility for it. PBi, while proud of our commitment to all the communities we travel within, we continue to seek ways to help local causes, encourage employee involvement and join with our partners in giving back to this world we all call home. As part of who we are, we believe strongly in giving back into the industries we service and our local community. By helping Homeward Pet Adoption Center, we get to do both and see some wonderful animals find their forever homes. We thoroughly enjoy supporting Homeward Pet!”

Visit the PBi website to learn more.

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.