In 2002, the Lopez Animal Protection Society officially became a nonprofit. This year they celebrate 10 years of enhancing and protecting the lives of domestic animals on Lopez Island.
“It’s hard to believe it has been this long,” said Jane Albrecht, LAPS president. “Every year there have been new challenges, but it has worked so well because of community support. It has been great to see the attitudes about pets and the importance of spay and neutering. Lopez has evolved into a healthier safer place for animals.”
The nonprofit status has been important because it allows LAPS to accept tax deductible donations and apply for grants. They also offer testing equipment for the feline leukemia virus and the feline immunodeficiency virus, spay and neuter procedures and microchips for identifying pets – all at reduced cost.
But even before officially becoming a nonprofit, from 1986 to 2002, volunteers served as advocates in a less formal capacity as part of an umbrella group with Orcas Island colleagues and the Friday Harbor Animal Protection Society. When the Orcas Island Protection Society was formed and constructed their own shelter, Lopez animal advocates were inspired to move forward with their own society. A valuable cooperative relationship continues with the animal protection societies on Orcas and San Juan, say LAPS staff.
During all these years of caring for animals, community contributions have been the main source of funding, according to Joyce Myhr, LAPS secretary. Their biggest expense also remains constant: animal care costs. LAPS is an all volunteer organization operating from their homes to reduce administrative costs.
“LAPS looks forward to serving the Lopez community for many years to come and invites you to stop by their booth at the Aug. 4 canine promenade (read more on page 1) to help celebrate their anniversary and learn more about their programs – and volunteer opportunities,” said Myhr.
For more info, visit www.lopezanimals.org.