North Beach PAWS celebrates 15th banquet, auction

North Beach PAWS celebrated its 15th annual Dinner & Auction Saturday night at the Ocean Shores Convention Center by raising thousands of dollars to continue projects at the popular North Beach animal welfare facility on State Route 109.

The highest valued items, two Zulu Nyala South Africa photo safaris for two, each went for $3,000.

Featured were many of the volunteers who make up the organization that continues to grow under the long-term guidance of president and founder Lorna Valdez.

Valdez highlighted a number of the services now offered at North Beach PAWS, including partnering with Ocean Shores Animal Hospital to offer free spay/neuter vouchers to low-income families, funded in part by the animal hospital, an Albohn Foundation grant and private gifts.

“We have over 100 volunteers helping us in various capacities, and I am proud to say we are the largest animal shelter in Grays Harbor County,” Valdez said in her opening message to the several hundred people in attendance.

The roof of the cat house was restored this past year, and a quarantine intake room for cats and auction storage room were created over the past year at the facility near Hogan’s Corner. The laundry room was expanded with new floor, and an administrative office was created above the garage with outside stairs for access.

“Currently underway are a beautiful wrought iron gate for the driveway that will have remote control access made by John Sean, and a large capacity commercial washing machine for the doghouse that was made possible by a grant from the Seabrook Foundation and other donations,” Valdez said.

Some of the donations from Saturday will be used for a variety of improvements to the dog house and outdoors area. Planned are an oval gazebo, picnic tables and benched seating inside the gazebo, which would be located at the northeast end of the “Freedom Fence” dog play area. It would provide a safe, dry area to help get the shelter dogs more exercise and an area to better showcase the animals. Total cost of those improvements is expected to be about $10,000, with the gazebo estimated to cost $3,938. All the animals are now featured online on Petfinder and are linked to the PAWS website at


John Dahlbeck entertained diners on the harmonica with music by Charlie Baer.

John Dahlbeck entertained diners on the harmonica with music by Charlie Baer.