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