Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mason County politicos, take heart! Upscale Californy burb has problems with its puppy prisons

County's inaction keeps pets in antiquated shelter

by Teri Sforza, Orange County Register

Anaheim, Calif. - For at least a quarter century, Orange County has meant to build a new shelter for thousands of lost and abandoned animals that every year end up in its care.

It has been unable to do so.

"One of the most frustrating problems which has avoided solution during my years as supervisor, has been locating an acceptable site for the South County animal shelter," wrote Supervisor Thomas F. Riley in a letter dated Jan. 18, 1983.

Riley died in 1998, with the issue still unresolved. And despite decades of plans and promises, Orange County still has essentially the same shelter, in the same spot, as it has since World War II.

"I honestly don't know what's taken so long," said Supervisor Bill Campbell, who this week asked county staffers to move forward on this in earnest.

"I've been to the shelter. I see the need."

Others have seen the need as well. The shelter has been the subject of two grand jury investigations over the last decade, finding, among other things, mismanagement, conflicts of interest, deficiencies in animal care and a disregard for public safety. Crowding was so bad that animals were euthanized ahead of schedule to gain space for new animals.

For more on this article, go the Orange County Register. Also, check out the March 7 entry OC columnist Steve Greenhut made to his Orange Punch blog calling for the privatization of this "Animal Auschwitz."

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