Last year, the citizens of Douglas county were told by their board of commissioners, that their concerns about our animal shelter were being addressed and progress was being made. Last March, the commission chairman put forth a much lauded effort to represent his state of the county address as a vehicle to raise money toward the building of a new animal shelter.
Subsequently, the money raised from that event wasn't spent on a new shelter, but rather it was spent toward paying for a shelter assessment that had been being pushed by the Douglas County Humane Society. The commission chairman, utilizing the funds donated toward a new shelter, reportedly partnered with the Douglas County Humane Society, to pay the almost $8000 for the LifeLine assessment that was completed last April.
This assessment was to be the roadmap for the commissioners to begin addressing the needs of our shelter and our animal control department and it was to be a roadmap for hiring progressive leadership to manage our shelter. The assessment was to be the guiding influence in moving Douglas county into the twenty first century of progressive animal welfare and shelter management.
The Lifeline assessment was submitted to the board of commissioners and the people of Douglas county April of last year. The assessment consists of a 130 page document that systematically reviewed all aspects of animal control and shelter operations in Douglas county, the needs of that department, the needs of the people and the needs of the animals. The assessment was compiled utilizing an experienced and systematic means by which to address and evaluate each level of need and the existing deficiencies that were revealed by the LifeLine assessment.
The assessment laid out four basic approaches to remedy the needs of our shelter and our animal control department. Immediate (within two weeks). Short term, (within three months). Medium term (within nine months) Long term (within a year). At each stage of the assessment, specific recommendations were made to the board of commissioners as to how to accomplish these goals in the immediate and the long term. There was also weighted emphasis in the assessent placed on the need to work with the community to establish partnerships toward the common goals of a progressive and properly managed facility.
A year later and the LifeLine assessment that was once sought after by the Douglas County Humane Society is no longer mentioned by the Humane Society. The LifeLine assessment that was once represented by our board of commissioners as a demonstration of their commitment to establishing a progressively managed animal shelter, now languishes in oblivion and obscurity. The assessment that was to be our roadmap to success, is now forgotten by a board of commissioners who's newly stated goal is their desire "to move in a new direction with animal control."
The people of Douglas county deserve answers from their board of commissioners and they deserve to be heard and responded to by their elected officials. The people of Douglas county deserve to know why money was spent and great effort was expended by many volunteers in this community, only to see their efforts abandoned so that "the county could move in a new direction."
The people of Douglas county should be told of the direction they are being carried toward by this board of commissioners. The people of Douglas county should be told why there was a need to abandon all progress made and move in a new direction. And most importantly, the people of Douglas county deserve to know who is behind these moves away from demonstrated success and a desire to turn back the clock on animal welfare in Douglas county.