Local People Behave as Well as Cats and

11-05-2009

There is a perception that local animal groups fight like, well, cats and dogs.

Here's the great news: cats and dogs generally are good friends. And the animal groups in our community are great friends and allies to each other.

Once a month, a coalition comes together to work at the most important goal of all: to end the need for euthanasia of healthy or treatable animals in shelters in the Portland metropolitan area. Today, the coalition met at our shelter.  (The photo below shows the group smiling for my camera during our meeting.)

 ASAP Photo (Small)

The group has the catchy acronym of ASAP (Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland). You can see the group's web site at http://www.asapmetro.org/. We're made up of an important compilation of talent: Washington County Animal Services, Multnomah County Animal Services, Clackamas County Dog Services, the Oregon Humane Society, the Cat Adoption Team, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, and the Portland Veterinary Medical Association. Our top priority is to find funding to spay or neuter 10,000 additional cats in the Portland metro area each year for the next 5 years. Those cats will belong to low-income people or be feral cats. Our statistics tell us that if we do this, we will reduce the number of unwanted cats coming into our shelters enough to be able to meet our goal of being able to find a home for every adoptable cat in the community.

I honest-to-goodness get shivers when I think about the extraordinary potential of this project. Imagine a community where every pet can find a home, and a county shelter is the center of all that joy. That future is very near. It is attainable. It will happen in this place and this time. What could be better?