Parcel of puppies ready to be adopted at Orcas Animal Shelter

It was puppy fever last Friday night at the Orcas Animal Protection Society.

Five black and brindle puppies with white chests and toes were flown by private jet to the Orcas Airport on Jan. 21. Whisked back to the shelter, they were quickly weighed, inspected and sent off to their foster homes, where they will stay until forever families are secured. The puppies’ lineage is Catahoula Leopard Dog and McNab Collie and they are estimated to grow to 35-40 pounds.

When Orcas shelter director Kristina Snyder received a call from the Friday Harbor shelter to see if she would be interested in splitting a litter of 11 from Okandogs of Cashmere, Washington, she jumped at the opportunity to help. One of her goals is to assist rescues across the state in the hope of seeing a “no-kill Washington.”

“Through this support, Orcas APS is able to provide necessary space to overpopulated animal welfare organizations so that animals needing help are not turned away due to lack of space,” she said. “Jan and Tom Short of Okandogs are one of the only animal resources supporting the Okanogan region of Washington state. They have rescued, cared for, and helped find loving homes for over 6,400 dogs since 2014.”

Supporters Cindy and Hans Koch of San Juan Island and Jill and Scott Servais (General Manager of the Seattle Mariners), facilitated flying the pups. Six members of the litter were flown to the Friday Harbor shelter following their siblings’ arrival to Orcas. The volunteers also dropped off dogs at The N.O.A.H. Center in Arlington.

Deciding to adopt a dog — particularly a puppy — requires time, money and a significant commitment (upwards of 15 years depending on the animal’s life span). Nationally, the average age of dogs given to shelters is between five months and two years old. According to USA Today, adopting puppies was “all the rage” when the pandemic first began and shelters couldn’t keep up with the demand. But as many people began returning to work in mid-2021, the dogs have been dropped off at shelters in record numbers.

To submit an application for adoption, visit or call 360-376-6777. In addition to the litter of puppies, APS has a plethora of cats and Rani, a one-year-old bull terrier who has been longingly waiting to find a home.

Colleen Smith/staff photo
One of the litter mates.