As a volunteer and former board member at the Colville Valley Animal Sanctuary, I would like to provide some additional insight to animal control in Stevens County. It’s much easier to see the problem of the starving horses behind their fences for all to see. The unwanted and abandoned dogs and cats are more difficult to see, but much more numerous.
CVAS is the only shelter that accepts cats. In 2012, we took in 150 dogs and 650 cats. The majority of these cats must be transported to partner shelters in the Seattle area. Stevens County can in no way provide enough homes for them all.
Stevens County is one of the poorer counties in Washington. We have many loyal donors, but as our rescue numbers have increased dramatically, so have our expenses. With no county financial support, if not for several modest estate gifts, our doors would be closed.
I know that money is tight in the county budget and the sheriff’s department and county officials are probably just as frustrated as the rescuers. But how long can this problem remain unaddressed? Is Dave Richardson of the Spokane Humane Society correct? Is a public-private partnership the answer?