Multnomah County Animal Services, the County’s publicly funded animal control facility for lost, homeless, neglected and injured animals, is almost invisible to all the but the hearty few who are willing to venture down that lonely Troutdale road almost 20 miles east of Portland.

For the animals who end up there, that ride is even longer and lonelier – only half will get out alive.

The story of MCAS is one institutionalized failure and defeat.  Its inability or unwillingness to move from the traditional “animal control” model to the modern, sustainably funded, life-saving “animal services” model has resulted in widespread public dissatisfaction and mistrust.

The latest attempt to address MCAS’ chronic problems was the 2008 Joint City/County Taskforce which proposed partial, short-term, unfunded solutions.  Even these were not implemented. In the three years since the Task Force completed its work, 12,000 more animals have died.

Yet, working models for a high-performance agency exist throughout this country and beyond. These are the 21st century animal shelters and they provide us with a working blue-print for comprehensive change.

Gimme Shelter Portland has traveled to, observed, studied and documented the formulas of these successful, publicly funded animal services agencies. With bold vision and dedicated leadership, their success can be replicated in our community.

For three years, GSP has been working to realize this goal. We have e-mailed, called and written our appeals for change directly to elected City and County officials. We have attended meetings and testified at public hearings. We have presented our well-documented findings and formulas in person to the Multnomah County Chair, Commissioners, the MCAS Director and Development Coordinator.

Still, nothing changes.

Please contact the following officials.  Tell then that Multnomah County Animal Services CAN and MUST be replaced today:

JEFF COGEN,  Multnomah County Chair
call: 503-988-3308   e-mail:

DEBORAH KAFOURY,  Commissioner District 1
call: 503-988-5220    e-mail:

LORETTA SMITH , Commissioner District 2
call: 503-988-5219    email:

JUDY SHIPRACK, Commissioner District 3
call: 503-988-5217    email:

DIANE McKEEL, Commissioner District 4
call:  503-988-5213  email:


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