In 2008, the City of Portland and Multnomah County teamed up in an attempt to solve the chronic performance and funding problems plaguing Multnomah County Animal Services. Nothing changed.

Gimme Shelter Portland exists to address this failure.

After spending three years observing, researching, studying and documenting successful, high-performance publicly funded animal services agencies located throughout North America, we have found this to be true: those agencies which vigorously implement the full range of programs and services proven to reduce the killing of animals, earn the respect, participation and unanimous support of their communities.

The momentum of the no kill ethic is unstoppable – it is the future of public animal sheltering. By denying this fact, Multnomah County and The City of Portland delay the inevitable, costing even more lives and money.

It is time to replace Multnomah County Animal Services with a modern, vibrant animal services agency which ends the killing of lost and homeless dogs and cats thereby earning the respect, confidence and support of the community it serves.

Gimme Shelter Portland is committed to making it happen.


  1. I am excited at the possibilities presented by what I am reading on this website. For many years I have been troubled by what happens at the Troutdale Multnomah County Animal Shelter. From time to time I see a newspaper article or a publication from the County, painting a much brighter picture of MCAS than is actually the truth. People in our region love animals but they don’t know how many animals are killed at the shelter. Yes, I understand that some animals that cannot or will not be taken by anyone else end up at MCAS. That reality does not change the fact that far too many animals are killed that do not need to be. The system in place needs to be dramatically changed . Thank you for taking action to get the truth out to the citizens in our region, the great majority of whom are compassionate and caring people who want to do what is right for the animal population. They just don’t know the history and the facts that they need to know, and those who do don’t have a way to bring about true and lasting change. Thank you providing structure to bring sorely needed systemic change. My family wants to help you.

    Comment by Janet Amundson-Splidsboel on February 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm

  2. I’m the Co Founder of Happy Tails Rescue, a Rescue and Sanctuary dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals, Rescue, Rehabilitaion and Rehoming of Rottweilers. Everything else is secondary to that mission.

    It’s said that we’re the largest Rottweiler Rescue and only true Sanctuary in the west. We’ve been around since 2000 and have helped save the lives of hundreds of Rottweilers and various other breeds & farm animals.

    Individuals, shelters and other organizations contact us from all over the US. We’ve had as many as 63 Rottweilers in our care, at one time, along with other farm animals.

    The many professional hats that I’ve worn include being an Instructor for a major Airline, Import/Export business, Log Home Builder, Real Estate Broker, Naturopath. There is absolutely nothing proving that I’m an “expert” in anything related to dogs or their behavior, and I’ve never had any training as an “authority” on animals. My experience is school of hard knocks and is results based.

    “You can’t create experience, you undergo it.” ~ Albert Camus

    In dealing with dozens of dogs throughout my life and several hundred Rottweilers since 1987 I have never been bitten and have handled severely traumatized and highly stressed, physically abused, neglected & starved animals considered by shelters to be “dangerous” in their current condition. Some were even known “bite dogs” with a sentence of death hanging over their heads.

    Shelters don’t consider this type of dog eligible for adoption. Often merely because of their breed, ie Pit Bull or Rottweilers in particular, are they unadoptable, others are “unadoptable” because they are too fat, too thin, may require medical attention or have behaved like, well they have behaved like dogs!

    So MCAS, as well as many other shelters contact us to take these types of dogs. We are always given the “problem children” from shelters, thus relieving them of the unconscionable act of killing them and hopefully helping to ease the financial burden of rehabilitating them.

    In every instance, the unadoptable dog experiences a transformation under a different envrionment and treatment. We have never had a single dog misbehave with us or in their subsequent homes.

    Being Bite Free is something that pleases me. This excellent record is enjoyed not because of any genetic brilliance but due to common sense, observation and self education related to Bite Prevention And being sensitive and aware of the ample warnings ALL dog gives prior to biting.

    Dogs have ancestors with sharp teeth and don’t call their lawyer when they’re upset. First they display annoyance, then they growl, and if the person is particularly dense, the dog will bite. Any dog and every dog will clearly communicate his intentions prior to biting. Humans, unfortunately, have become increasingly oblivious regarding animal behavior and body language at the same time that they demand unrealistic perfection from their animals.

    The American Veterinary Medical Association Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human Canine Interactions stated, “Dog bite statistics are not statistics, and do not give an accurate representation of dogs that bite. Breed-specific approaches to dog bite prevention were found to be problematic in concept as well as in implementation, while many practical alternatives exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites.”

    Gimme Shelter offers a life saving approach that is long overdue. No kill is not only possible, isn;t it the only ethical option? It’s impossible to imagine that the public wouldn’t be sickened and outraged at the senseless slaughter at shelters. Here are some of the criteria for which shelters will kill animals:

    Nips from playful puppies
    Scratches from a dog’s nail
    unrequested barking
    excessive shyness or lack of eye contact
    Scrapes from a dog’s tooth
    Accidental bites by dogs
    Good Samaritans bitten trying to assist injured dogs

    What do we have to lose by trying a truly human approach?

    Comment by Toni Reita on March 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm

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