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OOHS updates provided to county

Oregon Outback Humane Society Dir. Martina Keil updated Lake County’s Board of Commissioners on the organization’s activities and programs during one of their recent meetings.

Commissioner Brad Winters said the only negative feedback he’d received pertained to the organization’s trap, spay/neuter and release program for feral cats.  Some residents, he said, were not happy with this practice.

Commissioner Ken Kestner said that prior to the program there were widespread issues with feral cats’ rapidly-growing populations.

“We’re decreasing the population by a long shot,” Keil said.

Keil said that, prior to the program, issues pervading the community included frequent calls for deputies to respond to dead cats, cats fighting and more.  Spay and neuter practices address the root need of population control, she said.

Keil noted that cats are frequently euthanized in Klamath Falls, and locally fixed cats are frequently left behind by transient owners.

Winters said that the public concern is with a perceived double standard, given the legal repercussions for the general public where animal abandonment is concerned.

Mobile ‘MASH’ spay and neuter clinics have proven to be an effective means of performing the services in terms of cost and volume, Keil said.  Over a three-day clinic, up to 80 animals are spayed and/or neutered.

Keil said that the OOHS is not seeking to be a full service provider, but is practicing a “herd management” philosophy.

Keil also reviewed new state laws pertaining to anti-tethering practices and animal hoarding, among others.

Commissioner Dan Shoun noted he would have appreciated the opportunity to be better prepared with advance notice to appropriate individuals, such as Sheriff Phil McDonald, with regard to discussion of existing animal control laws and policies.

Commissioner Brad Winters said he felt that the county, Town of Lakeview and City of Paisley all need to be at the table for discussions with regard to animal control issues.

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