MCAS needs to make some important changes from its current policies
- MANAGEMENT - regardless of level of management, needs to get in there and help with the animals when needed. You see a dog (any animal really, but others have different needs) struggling in the shelter - take it into an office, take it for a walk, crate train, provide enrichment, promote it, search for a rescue group, figure out what it needs to feel better - figure out how the animal can be helped and follow through. And when staff/volunteers speak up with concern for a particular animal - Listen to them, don't just blow them off they probably have a real concern; and act according, to effect a positive result for the animal. You are employed by the county to take care of the animals, after all!
Also Management, ensure that the shelter employees are doing the best they can for the animals, let them know when they are doing a good job, and remind them if they aren't stepping up enough. Give them incentive to work hard, and provide them with the tools to do a good job! If you see a real need and can't fill it - ask volunteers to try to fill in the gaps.
- No more"first come, first serve" policy. Allow adoption counselors to decline an adopter.
This misguided policy is creating a revolving door of adoption returns, and stresses out the staff, volunteers, volunteer foster homes and especially the animals that are subjected to the problems inherent with the policy. MCAS needs to allow shelter staff to decline an applicant that is unsuitable for the needs of a particular dog. Screening is NOT discrimination - it's seeking to fill the needs of a particular dog. For example: an active dog should not go to a home with an inactive person(s), or to someone not capable of walking the dog (unless they are ready to pay for daycare, a dog walker etc)
UPDATE Fortunately, Regular adoption fees resume on February 12. YAY! (except....they are back again for a special)
STOP giving animals away for free! If someone can't afford to spend money to get an animal, they can't afford to care for the animal. And who's to say they won't just turn around and SELL/FLIP IT?
- NO MORE intact dogs (females especially!!) sent home to adopters (esp to anyone who wants to have them AND gets them for free )This current policy sets back our rescue community efforts by decades! (Note: OHS medical could be helping out!)
UPDATE Mar 16, 2023 - a contract was recently signed and OHS will soon be doing spay/neuter for MCAS animals one day a week. good! Finally
- Dog test dogs (or do dog meet/greets) at the shelter to try to minimize the chance of another dog getting hurt after adoption.
- Use the money which is donated to"Dolly's Fund" towards its intended use - the special medical needs for the animals.
The shelter should be a place where animals get "fixed up"before going to a home that might not provide the care they need. Unfortunately, the shelter could be the animals' last chance to get this care.
-LISTEN to YOUR STAFF and VOLUNTEERS. Proactively
make changes from within. Make positive changes NOW! Don't wait months/years of county bureaucratic indecision and going through past records. NOT what is needed! MOVE Forward and
work to solicit a positive community response!
and Portland community - Help, support and change!
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