Letters to the Editor

Nice job on shelter contract | Letters

Oak Harbor’s new animal sheltering contract, due to go into effect in eight months, requires reporting per the Asilomar Accords and expects contractors to demonstrate how they will implement them. This is how Seattle Humane Society reports its Asilomar statistics on its website.

The Asilomar Accords creates data suitable for grant applications (in terms of needs assessments). It is an important step toward transparency, harmony and real accountability. As part of creating Asilomar standards, communities are encouraged to create a pet matrix to establish and clarify when animals will be euthanized. Whidbey Animal Guild would be happy to assist Oak Harbor in this community-based project.

WAG also recommends that any contractor provide a complete set of animal intake/disposition logs per Oak Harbor’s own city codes that would be available at the police department. It helps people find out what happened to their pets, it gives taxpayers a real sense of where their money is going and it makes raw data available that is vital for grant applications and research.

We also hope any contractor will provide documentation for public review when animals must be euthanized. In the case of a vicious or dangerous animal, this could be anything from police or medical reports, to bite reports maintained by animal control and/or the shelter. In the case of suffering animals, this could be veterinary reports. The state auditor definitely recommended having veterinary opinions on file any time an animal is killed during the mandatory six-day hold period.

These are no-kill innovations. The basic philosophy of no-kill sheltering isn’t that animals are never killed, but that animals are given every chance at life and a home before their existence is terminated. The more people know, the more they can help. There is an untapped population here of compassionate, engaged citizens who want to know what’s going on, why and if there are ways to make things better for animals in greatest need.

WAG wants to commend Oak Harbor for its excellent new contract proposal, and hopes Island County will follow suit.

Barbara Moran

Whidbey Animal Guild

 

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