The West Columbia Gorge Humane Society had to relocate their cat population after water damage from a leaky roof caused more than $ 30,000 in damage to their Washougal cat house.

“The building was donated to us in the early 2000s to house our cats and we kept it going for as long as possible,” said Micki Simeone, WCGHS General Manager.

The shelter’s staff discovered something was wrong earlier this year when they noticed water leaking through a paint job in the cat house – a modular building next to the main WCGHS on Index Street in Washougal.

“When we saw the water oozing through our fresh paint, contractors came out and they said we had a roof that is structurally compromised and needs to be replaced,” said Simeone.

WCGHS hopes to replace the damaged cat house with a larger modular structure that will meet the demands of local humane society on cat houses.

“We found another ‘soft-use’ building that is 600 square feet larger and looks more like a commercial building so we can build admission rooms, adoption rooms and hospital rooms that we can quarantine,” Simeone said.

An agreement with WellHaven Pet Health on 164th Avenue and Mill Plain Boulevard in East Vancouver enabled WCGHS to shut down the structurally vulnerable cat house on March 19. About 20 volunteers spent four hours on Sunday, March 21, bringing the humane society cats to the Vancouver clinic.

The new location will host WCGHS cats that can be adopted for the foreseeable future.

The Vancouver cat house is only open by appointment. Interested adoptive families looking for cats are encouraged to visit the WCGHS website at wcghs.org to see if cats are available for adoption or to call Humane Society at 360-835-3464 for staff to help in bringing families together with an appropriate cat or kitten.

WCGHS still houses its dogs in its main building in Washougal, 2675 Index St., but this shelter is only operational by appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simeone said the humane society is working with Washougal City and Camas-Washougal Port, which owns the land the shelter is located in, to expedite an approval process for the new cat house that could take up to nine months.

“We were told it could take six to nine months, which seems excessive,” said Simeone. “We have reached the city and asked them to speed this up. The longer we are evicted, the more it hurts us financially … and the more trouble the community causes. “