County residents need to stop assuming that unwanted puppies and kittens from their unneutered and unspayed pets simply can be dropped off at the animal shelter, Sue Miles told the county commissioners at their March 1 work session.
The county commissioners supported her position on March 2 by approving a new one-year $99,674 animal shelter contract with the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society that allows the shelter to turn away animals due to health risks or lack of room.
It also allows the Humane Society to keep all revenue from animal licenses and kennel and cattery licenses, as well as late fees, to offset a 3-percent reduction in the contract amount.
The county takes over the licensing of dangerous dogs and potentially dangerous dogs.
The contract was changed from two years to one year to allow for an annual review.
Miles said the community doesn't think twice about giving up animals for adoption, so they need to change that thinking. People need to know if they bring in six puppies, they will be dead within two weeks unless they are given away or placed in foster care, she said.
Miles said she will begin rebuilding relationships with other shelters where excess animals can be transferred and also rebuilding animal foster home relationships to be able to refuse some animals.
Still, people should know that the animal could be euthanized, she said.
"They have no choice. If they take them all, then they must euthanize."
Miles said the Humane Society has a "Spay to Save" program and partners with Peninsula Friends of Animals to educate about spaying and neutering.
"That's where we are focusing, and you should be, too," she said.
"It's critical because spay and neuter is the single most effective method for helping the Humane Society," she said.
Reach Brian Gawley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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