Multnomah County will be spending $30,000 of taxpayer money in 2013 to hire a consultant to study, assess and make recommendations to improve MCAS’ overall performance.
Multnomah County has a record of awarding consulting contracts either to “generalists”, with no experience or expertise in publicly funded animal agencies or “traditionalists”, whose only experience is within the boundaries of the outdated “animal control” model, not in increasing save rates.
This is a pivotal moment for MCAS – the investment of $30,000 has the potential to yield huge pay-offs, not only in animal lives saved but increased citizen support – but only if the consulting firm chosen has the insight and expertise required to improve save rates to 90%+.
On August 20, 2013, GSP sent the following letter County Commissioners assuring them that Humane Network is the only choice for the job:
Dear Commissioner ________________:
With the adoption of the FY2014 Budget, you approved a request from Multnomah County Animal Services for Program #91009. This program provides $30,000 for consultant services to “look at the structure of the organization with special attention to fiscal support operations to ensure it is designed for maximum efficiency and effectiveness” and to make recommendations concerning personnel, staffing levels, work schedules, workflow and physical layout to improve MCAS’ ability to serve the needs of the county citizens.
Multnomah County has a long history of spending many thousands of taxpayer dollars on task forces, focus groups, and consultants in an attempt to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of MCAS. Because the consulting organizations and individuals lacked experience in progressive, publicly funded animal services agencies, these attempts have yielded little in the way of results. Nowhere is this more evident than in the recommendation written in the 2012 Metropolitan Group study, that MCAS should educate the public on the value and necessity of euthanizing pets.
Gimme Shelter Portland testified in favor of Program #91009 on the condition that the consulting firm chosen has direct experience in all phases of fiscal, administrative and managerial public agency operations, with a proven record of increasing overall save rates to 90+%. The impressive, newly formed Humane Network is just such a firm. We are enclosing information on the organization and its principals as its final website is not yet launched.
As County officials, you have the unique opportunity and responsibility to insure that by FY2015, MCAS will perform up to the same standards of the 169 U.S. cities, counties and municipalities (http://outthefrontdoor.com/about-the-blog/) now achieving 90+% save rates. On behalf of the majority of Multnomah County citizens who care about animals, we expect you to insure that the Humane Network be included in the request for proposal process and that this process be public and transparent. Most importantly, we expect the Humane Network to be recognized as the only choice for this project.
In 2012, 311 adoptable cats at MCAS were euthanized.
A cat adoption center in inner Southeast Portland with the goal of finding homes for 311 cats.
The cat adoption center will:
Establish a physical presence in the city MCAS serves.
Gain visibility and good will for MCAS.
Promote shelter adoption as a whole.
Promote license compliance.
Promote spay / neuter.
Generate donations for MCAS.
Attract foster homes.
Attract volunteers to work in a fun, upbeat environment.
Be the first step in the a campaign to build a new shelter.
Become self-sustaining within three years.
To convince County officials to include funding for this much needed project in the MCAS FY2014 Budget. Please contact them at the phone numbers and email addresses listed in the “How You Can Help” section of this website.
Multnomah County Animal Services killed almost one third of the dogs and cats it impounded in 2011. Compare the following 2011 statistics from MCAS, a traditional animal control model with Washoe Regional County Animal Services / Nevada Humane Society, a no kill shelter model.
————————— MCAS ——————- WCRAS/NHS
SAVE RATE 69% 93%
Total Intake 6,767 15,982
Return to Owner 1,474 4,339
Total Adoptions 1,555 8,179
It is time for Multnomah County leadership to transform Multnomah County Animal Services from a traditional animal control agency to a modern animal services agency which reflects the progressive values of our community. Please use the contact list on our “How to Help” page to help us convince our elected officials to make the change!
Gimme Shelter Portland has teamed up with Oregon Dog Pac to endorse candidates who have declared their support for protecting shelter animals.
Oregon Dog Pac was founded by Ron Murray, a retired lobbyist who resides in Portland. Ron has been tireless in his pursuit of candidates willing to champion and advance the shelter animal cause. His compelling case for change has been met with long overdue enthusiasm and support by the candidates below. Gimme Shelter Portland and Oregon Dog Pac wholeheartedly endorse and urge you to support and, if possible, contribute to their campaigns.
Charlie Hales ……………….. Mayor of the City of Portland
Mary Nolan ………………….. City Council
Ellen Rosenblum ……………. Attorney General
Mark Haas …………………… State Senate, District 14
Ginny Burdick ……………….. State Senate, District 18
Laurie Monnes Anderson …. State Senate, District 25
Brad Witt …………………….. State Representative, District 31
NOTE: Rod Monroe, State Senator, District 24, is not running this election cycle, but is a progressive and proactive animal advocate. With his unapologetic and lifetime support of animals, he has earned our respect and gratitude.
The three Multnomah County public budget hearings have concluded with the Multnomah County Animal Services FY 2012 Budget officially adopted. MCAS will receive $5.3 million, an increase of $44,000 over FY 2011 with NO PLANNED REDUCTION IN KILLING.
GSP testified at all three public hearings, along with many other citizens who expressed their serious to extreme dissatisfaction with MCAS. Those testifying represented all ages and backgrounds, addressing the broad range of issues and ideas. The most compelling testimony, came from those who told of their personal experiences with MCAS. So many new faces and with so much to say!
In the four short months since the launch of Gimme Shelter Portland’s campaign, the citizens of Multnomah County have been informed about Multnomah County Animal Services’ failures and motivated to act. Because of incredible citizen response, Gimme Shelter Portland is even more dedicated and committed to the no kill ethic.
GSP is now in the process of formulating the next step of the campaign to replace Multnomah County Animal Services with a modern animal services agency which measures success by how many animals go home alive!
When the citizens of Austin, Texas demanded CHANGE at their public animal services agency, their elected officials listened. Through will and determination, this agency went from killing 50% of Austin’s impounded dogs and cats to saving almost 90%! Read how they did it on The Best Friends Animal Society Blog.
Then contact our elected County officials and demand the same progressive change in Multnomah County!
(Arrive early to sign up. Testimony will be heard on a first-come basis and is limited to 2-3- mnutes depending on turn-out. Written testimony may also be submitted.)
MCAS is requesting $5.3 million, an additional $44,000 over 2011. Incredibly, there will be expanded or enhanced programs and services, no plans or projections for improved performance, NO REDUCTION IN KILLING. In fact, written in the budget is a projection maintaining the same level of killing as the year before!
MULTNOMAH COUNTY ANIMALS SERVICES MUST BE REPLACED WITH A MODERN ANIMAL SERVICES AGENCY WHICH ENDS THE KILLING OF LOST AND HOMELESS DOGS AND CATS!
Multnomah County / Portland has fallen behind the growing number of public animal agencies which have successfully adopted and implemented the no-kill model. These modern shelters kill no healthy, treatable or manageable animals, only those irremediably suffering.
NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE IT HAPPEN IN OUR COMMUNITY!
The second of three hearings concerning the FY2012 budget for Multnomah County Animal Services will be held Wednesday, May 25th from 6 – 8 p.m., East County Building, 800 N.E. 8th, Gresham, OR 97080.
Arrive early and sign up to testify. Citizen testimony with be heard on a first-come basis and is limited to 2-3 minutes depending on turnout. Written testimony may also be submitted.
SOME SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS:
Tell Commissioners a true story of your first-hand experience with MCAS .
Tell them you are in favor of replacing MCAS and why.
Let them know that change is possible by following the lead of no-kill shelters throughout the country. To read about two of those shelters – Washoe County/Nevada Humane Society and Austin, Texas check out the GSP website and blog.
Declare you support for Gimme Shelter Portland’s position!
ASK THE COMMISSION TO TAKE ACTION BY MAKING COMPREHENSIVE CHANGE TODAY!
The turn-out for the first Budget Hearing held May 18th was impressive. Almost half of those testifying were there to express their dissatisfaction with MCAS and demand that County officials make a change.
The most compelling testimony was a story from a local citizen about his beloved cat who fell into the grip of Multnomah County Animal Services only to be killed before the standard waiting period was over. On the document MCAS provided to him upon his request, he alleges that MCAS staff moved the date of death five days forward to hide the agency’s liability.
THIS IS JUST ONE OF MANY STORIES REPORTED TO GSP ABOUT MCAS’ INCOMPETENCE AND COMPLACENCY!
PLEASE HELP INSURE THAT THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN!
If you have not already testified, please show up:
Wednesday, May 25th, 6-8 p.m. at the East County Building, 600 N.E. 8th, Gresham, 97080
Tuesday, May 31st, 6-8 p.m. at IRCO, 10301 N.E Glisan, 97220
Written testimony may also be submitted.
See suggested talking points on our next blog posting.