Skip to Content

Turning Homeward: Fostering a New Direction

Kathy Bare, an Account Manager in our Commercial Department, started volunteering with PAWS as a high school student and she has continued to work closely with numerous groups, including PAWS and the Seattle Humane Society, ever since. For the past eight years, she has devoted most of her time and energy to the Homeward Pet Adoption Center, volunteering as an animal rescuer, foster care provider, shelter volunteer, and fundraiser. Homeward Center, located in Woodinville, is one of the largest no-kill shelters in Washington. Its mission is to serve as an advocate for homeless animals and to give them a second chance through rescue, shelter, and adoption programs. Kathy works with Homeward Center because their mission mirrors her own strong commitment to caring for animals and because the non-profit organization offers a comprehensive, well-run program. In addition to providing shelter services for 1300 animals a year, Homeward facilitates the best possible adoption for each animal in their care.

Animals come from other shelters that euthanize, statewide rescue groups, and owners who can no longer care for pets. Every animal receives full medical care from Homeward Center’s on-site veterinary team, including spay or neuter, vaccination, and microchip prior to adoption. Many animals must be nursed back to health or socialized before they are ready for a forever home, usually through a network of foster care volunteers. Homeward Center is a good neighbor within the community, too, offering programs beyond their own shelter and adoption services. These include low-cost spay and neuter services for reduced income pet owners and a food bank for pets. Homeward Center’s ultimate goal is the best possible adoption for each pet and they will do whatever is necessary to make that happen. Potential owners are screened and interviewed, and Homeward Center recommends matches based on the needs and personalities of the animal as well as the adopting family. Staff will work with families post-adoption to help with transition issues. They also work with other agencies in the area when animals are better suited to a non-family adoption; Homeward has evaluated and placed dogs in-service programs and K-9 units.

Kathy’s volunteer work with Homeward Center is as varied as the center’s work itself. You can find her behind the camera every year at their ‘Photos with Santa’ fundraiser sponsored by Petsmart. Each spring, she organizes and runs the popular egg hunt for dogs (and their people) at Camp Charlie’s off-leash park in Duvall. Her shelter work has run the gamut—walking dogs, socializing kittens, cleaning cages, feeding the animals, and doing the daily laundry. She has also conducted rescue transports throughout western Washington and, at one time, ran the Washington state standard poodle rescue group.

Kathy’s most important—and satisfying—work has been in the foster care program. She has cared for over 100 animals in her home (not all at the same time!), specializing in pregnant dogs from pre-delivery through mom’s recovery and weaning of the litter. Her favorite foster dog is the pit bull because she has found them to be the sweetest—and most misunderstood—dog. Kathy says that poor breeding creates the aggressive, unpredictable pit bulls that everyone knows about and that, unfortunately, the entire breed suffers from the prejudice and fear engendered by the behavior of a small number of the breed. Kathy’s most memorable foster experience is Nina, a pit bull that she rescued from a bad situation and then fostered for socialization. Nina is a success story, happily placed with a family, but Kathy still thinks about her—and wishes that she had adopted Nina herself.

Kathy is one of over 200 trained volunteers whose dedication and compassion make the Homeward Center possible. The center is a privately funded organization and receives no funds from local, state, or federal agencies. To learn more, get involved, or adopt a new pet, visit

The center’s main fundraiser, the annual Fur Ball Auction and Dinner (sounds yummy!) is May 19th. Check it out and, if you decide to attend, you’ll find Kathy in the middle of it all, helping to make another great year happen for the Homeward Pet Adoption Center.

Return to Blog index