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animal rights | government

County Shelters Closed on 4th

If there is any day of the year for county animal shelters to make it a priority to be open, it is the Fourth of July.
On the Ch. 2 news tonight Diane Hallmark at Clackamas County Animal Control stated that the shelter was closed on the 4th due to lack of money and staff. Tired, weak excuses do not help the animals. What are county shelters funded for if not to provide shelter and care for animals who have lost their people? Is there any day of the year when more animals are displaced than the Fourth of July? I would like to suggest some solutions to Clackamas County and all county shelters that close their doors on this most important day:
1) Look at your annual statistics. Pick the slowest day of the year for lost animal intakes. Close that day instead.

2) Work with local animal rescue groups to arrange for volunteers to come in that day/night and run the shelter. There is an entire year to prepare.

3) If there are more animals than space, set up a temporary shelter the same way animal rescue groups do during disasters. Again, there is an entire year to prepare.

4) Stop making excuses and start creating solutions.
Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire? 05.Jul.2006 20:30

Doesn't Really Matter

dana,appreciate your post and the information/suggestions you included. Mimi can work on the homeless people crisis, a very neglected and overwhelming problem no doubt and I will work with you on the animal issues, also an equally neglected and overwhelming area.
Just last Thursday a story appeared in the Oregonian, "Nonprofit prepares to run shelter" by Steve Mayes. The article stated that by July 2007 the county hopes to turn over the management of Clackamas County Dog Control to a nonprofit group, FIDO, Friends Involved In Dog Outreach. What the article failed to point out is Mike Moises, board president of FIDO, is currently Clackamas County's Transportation and Developement Deputy Director and directly oversees Dog Control. From what I have observed he fails miserably at supervising both the staff and the day to day operation of the shelter. He refuses to become involved and does not even attempt to enforce their own laws governing animals. Clackamas County Dog Control is not a progressive agency and the animals have suffered for years due to their lack of compassion, commitment, understanding and respect for companion animals. I too have witnessed a lack of concern by many residents of Clackamas County to bring the shelter and its employess into the 21 century. Until people, counties, states and the country begin to recognize that animals have rights then the problems, such as those within our tax supported shelters, will continue to exist.

adoption hours and policy 05.Jul.2006 20:56

anonymous

Not only are they not open on the 4th of July and New Years, their adoption days and hours are NOT welcoming to potential adopters. They are only open Tuesday through Saturday with hours of 12:30 to 4:30 for adoptions. If there is a holiday, they always close one day that week to adoptions. There is a 24 hour hold required on adoptions. This means that, if you can only go to the shelter to adopt on a Saturday (weekend), you can not take the dog you adopted on Saturday home until 12:30 on Tuesday! They must check to see if you have properly licensed your previous pets. Do not let the lack of funding fool you! They have voluneers and someone has to go there daily to feed the dogs. The doors seem to be wide open for taking dogs in BUT not for adopting them out.

What are you doing to help? 05.Jul.2006 21:55

animal lover

Do you volunteer your time there? Have you tried recruiting foster homes? Do you donate supplies, toys, anything? Do you encourage people to spay/neuter their pets? Do you realize that in Clackamas County the animal shelter is at the bottom of the Commissioners' priority list? Have you lobbied them for more funding for animals? I get so tired of people bashing county shelters - if the public doesn't clamor for the county to fund these shelters, then they don't get adequate funding to operate.

On the 4th of July, shelters traditionally spend all their time taking in animals that owners were often too irresponsible to keep inside while fireworks were blasting everywhere. Not to mention take care of the animals that are already there. Do you know how time consuming that is?

Not to mention, it's a lot harder to get volunteers for a county shelter than for a place like Oregon Humane Society. The counties don't get a $100,000+ budget to advertise on billboards, buses, and even on tv.

So please quit pointing fingers and do something to help if you feel so strongly. I have volunteered my time for many local animal groups - both government, non-profit and grass roots and each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Reply To Armchair Animal Lover 06.Jul.2006 12:53

Anon

Animal Lover - My aren't we feeling smug. Your holier than thou attitude is really quite pretentious and irritating.
To answer some of your questions: Yes - I have volunteered at animal shelters - recruited and have also been a foster home - have donated both time and money to shelters and private rescue groups - have done many rescues/liberations on my own - not only encouraged others to S/N their companion animals but also take my own advise on the matter - all the animals who share my home have either been rescued or adopted from a shelter and I advocate for the rights of ALL animals not just domesticated ones. Could I do more to help alleviate the pain-suffering-abuse-cruelty and exploitation of animals? You bet I could!
But the issue at hand is not about you or me - it is about animals in Clackamas County. Clackamas County Dog Control along with the Sheriff's Department as well as the county commisioners tend to put the welfare and rights of animals on the back burner and then point the finger towards "budget cuts." If they truly care for the well-being of the animals they are paid to protect and provide for they would find the necessary money.
What happened when ex-Blazer Quyntel Woods was charged with animal cruelty-abuse and dog fighting? The county rolled over and played dead - turning the case over to the Oregon Humane Society who did nothing more than accept a ten thousand dollar check from Woods and then proceeded to look the other way.
I have presented Clackamas County Dog Control-the sheriffs' office-the county commissioners-the DA- as well as Mike Moises with evidence of animal abuse and cruelty within their county on numerous occasions. What were the results? Absolute lack of interest or follow through on their part. They closed their eyes and walked away from animal cruelty.
You stated that animal issues were on the bottom of the commisioners list of priorities - I must agree with you on that. So why do the residents of Clackamas County continue to put these inept individuals back in office year after year. Larry Sowa should have been gone from office years ago.
Clackamas County lives in the dark ages when it comes to animals and apparently they have no desire to move forward into the light.
Animal Lover - just for your information - I also use to work for Clackamas County Dog Control.