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Animal Shelter Fate Tied to Tax Levy

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. – This Tuesday, Josephine County voters will take their stance on the proposed public safety tax levy. Among the more unlikely services in that levy is animal control.

Now the Josephine County Animal Shelter is making their case for funding, and turning to donors to help them stay on their feet.

Officials with the animal shelter say there’s quite a bit of hand-wringing over the upcoming levy vote.

“It’s, you know, quite a bit of a concern because we’re already stressed and stretching our resources to the limit with what we do have,” said shelter manager Brad Booker.

Volunteers perform most shelter’s services, like pet adoption and licensing. But animal control is an exception. Depending on how voters lean, county funds could dry up for things like taking in abandoned pets, or handling nuisance or aggressive animals.

“The more funding that we have, the more likelihood that we’re able to control those situations and respond to all the calls in a timely manner,” said Booker.

Events like the Grants Pass Saturday pet fair give the shelter the chance to make up some of the difference by getting in front of potential donors and volunteers.

“Just general public support is really needed,” said volunteer coordinator Lynn Meagher. “Hands-on volunteers are desperately needed.”

They say those volunteers can’t help with animal control, but if funding dries up they’ll need help wherever they can get it.

“If we lose funding, we lose funding for things like vet bills… basic toys!” said Meagher.

Their message to volunteers: spend time socializing with an animal. The more social it is, the more likely it will be adopted, and as more pets find families, more money gets saved.

“The less dogs and cats we have out there, the less care that’s needed, the less money that’s needed to provide that care,” said Booker.

Josephine County voters cast their ballots on the public safety levy this Tuesday. That levy would amount to a $1.48 per thousand dollars of assessed property value for the next three years.