Difficult Animals (In the Eugene Weekly 6/14/12)

It’s official. Greenhill Humane Society is taking over Lane County Animal Services’ vacancy. This gives GH a total of 25 days to train their employees to do something they’ve never done before … help sick animals. In the past GH has held such “impressive” live release rates because they had the ability to discriminate the animals that were accepted into their facilities. Now they will have to deal with problem dogs, spring litters, and every flea-ridden alley cat that is picked up.

We can only hope that GH will open their animal care committee to outside members and allow advocates from fellow animal welfare agencies with experience in more difficult cases to aide in their decisions with strays with medical and behavioral problems. A simple read over their Facebook page will show that even recently their idea of a problem animal is far too loose, having euthanized two cats for skin and dental issues and three dogs for, in many people’s opinions, fixable behavioral issues, within the last month.

As a concerned citizen I can only hope that the city of Eugene has made an informed decision, not one only of haste. If any others are concerned I encourage you to not only write to local news agencies but to GH, Eugene City Council and Lane County Commission to express your worries on this matter.

Drew Allen, Eugene


Service takeover raises questions (In the Register Guard 6/19/12)

Now that its proposal to step in for Lane County Animal Services has been approved, Greenhill Humane Society has less than a month to fill some very large shoes. Taking over the soon-to-be-vacant building is the smallest part of the transition.

LCAS, with the help of an advisory committee, worked very hard to become a progressive animal shelter that explores every option before resorting to euthanasia.

I can’t say the same about Greenhill. In the last month Greenhill has killed animals for very treatable skin and teeth issues. If animals are being euthanized now while Greenhill can turn away less-than-perfect pets, what will it do with all the sick and stray animals that LCAS usually deals with? How will Greenhill maintain LCAS’s no-kill status, and will it really save as much money as everyone thinks?

To ensure that Greenhill maintains ethical standards, an oversight committee needs to be created. The committee should be made up of members of the community and should meet regularly or before an animal is euthanized.

It was announced recently that the Eugene Police Commission will assume that role. While that’s a move in the right direction, will the new committee be as informed about animal welfare as LCAS’s current committee? Will the overlap of two very different fields become conflicted? Will adding more responsibilities to the police department lead to cutting corners later?

Those are some of the concerns that I and members of the animal welfare community have.

Kelly Coulter