Westwood activist wants no-kill animal shelter
State law says no shelter may kill adoptable animals, Spencer said during the public comment session of the board’s Tuesday, Nov. 21 meeting.
The shelter staff “will work with me before euthanasia,” Spencer told the board. “I will go and pick those dogs up. I will place them either in homes or foster homes.”
Spencer said she has been transferring what she could to other animal rescue groups because the group she started, Lassen Animal Rescue, is not yet certified, so the shelter can’t give animals directly to Spencer. The county has a contract with Dr. J.D. Hemphill to euthanize animals at the shelter.
“My goal is a no-kill shelter and we can do that by taking the animals that are adoptable out of the shelter,” Spencer said. “If they’re not there, there’s no reason to kill them.”
Spencer apologized again to the board for getting upset at the Nov. 14 meeting. She objected to the board considering a draft volunteer liability release form and not adopting it. After a year of work, Spencer said the board should have a form in use. Board Chairman and District 1 Supervisor Bob Pyle told Spencer everything is a draft until the board approves it.
Counsel Traci Witry said the form is still in process and county staff members are working with the Lassen Humane Society, which is considering taking over the volunteer program. If the humane society steps in, she said the form will have to be modified again. The society is working on a program to have inmates at Susanville’s two prisons socialize animals from the shelter.
Spencer objected to the form Witry is working on, saying its question about prior felony convictions is “insulting and it’s very inappropriate” for the high school and junior high students who want to volunteer.
Witry insisted the county must run a background check on anyone who volunteers at the shelter. She said volunteers “cannot have prior felony convictions of animal abuse or assault working with animals that are not able to defend themselves.”
District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman said it’s going to be very difficult for a prison inmate to volunteer “because every one of them that’s in there has been arrested.”
Chapman said the county should work with “any and all comers” who want to volunteer. District 4 Supervisor Brian Dahle agreed saying, “The more the merrier.”
Spencer told the board she plans to come back to every meeting until she gets a volunteer form approved.
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