By the time this letter is in print, the investigation of the Quincy Animal Shelter should be complete, and decisions about its future made.
I spoke with several people either involved or directly concerned with the happenings at the shelter. As with most situations there were two sides, and maybe even three or four. But what occurred to me throughout was why and how could these issues have happened?
Was the employee who left the only person who saw the many problems there? Where was the board, The Friends of the Shelter, or the police officer who was tasked with inspecting the shelter on a weekly basis? Or the chief of police who supervises this duty? Or the Mayor who is in the ultimate office of responsibility?
I hope that going forward all these involved people take responsibility for their part in this shelter. If employees are ill long term with any illness, in this case Covid, did someone step forward to help, either cleaning the kennels, walking the dogs, or even just feeding and caring for the animals? Someone must have known they were short handed and needed help.
If animals were being euthanized because of aggression or an illness that would have prevented them ever being adopted, maybe more than one person should be involved in these decisions, preferably a vet. But veterinarians often are not available on weekends, so these decisions do need to be made to reduce the suffering of an animal without their input. Someone should be available to consult.
If there are serious shortcomings in managerial expertise or knowledge of animal behavior and care, classes should be found and required of the staff. Even the groomers at PetSmart are required to have many hours of training before they can actually groom animals. This is a small town, and hours of experience can’t be expected of new hires. But a qualification for the job should be taking classes once hired.
This has been an exemplary shelter in the past. The Wenatchee shelter even consulted with the Quincy shelter for ideas for their new shelter. I’ve been there when out-of-town future ‘guardians’ have come to Quincy for pets because of previous experiences here. I myself have helped with pet parades in the past to earn money for the shelter’s needs. Let’s all do what we can to make this the best shelter in the area!
Susan Lacy, also a concerned citizen