This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Washington County SPCA (WCSPCA) animal shelter. Unfortunately this milestone will not be commemorated by happy celebrations, as the shelter struggles to recover from July’s devastating flood.
The catastrophic deluge surged toward the low-lying shelter and inundated the structures with four to five feet of river water. The buildings remained under water for days and the damage was severe and extensive. Fortunately, all of the approximately 250 animals were evacuated to safety and returned to the shelter after it was cleaned up enough.
Situated in a floodplain, the WCSPCA shelter has been flooded several times over the years. Following the July 2007 flood, the shelter’s limited funds have allowed only minimal restoration of the buildings so that the animals can be safely housed and cared for as daily operations resume amidst the ruins. Currently the shelter has no gas or hot water, but they persist in caring for the animals the best they can -- given the limitations imposed by such dire circumstances. In the meantime, the search is on for land at a higher elevation where a new shelter can be built – safe from future flooding.
WCSPCA is what’s known as an open admission shelter. This means no animals are turned away. Historically, these types of shelters find it difficult to achieve high adoption rates. The good news is that WCSPCA has made much progress over the years, increasing the percent of animals adopted from 16% in 1997 to 72% so far in 2007. The WCSPCA’s aggressive spay/neuter program has been instrumental in this phenomenal success in adoption rates. By providing discount coupons to lower income area residents who can’t afford to spay or neuter their pets, the number of unwanted companion animals has decreased significantly.
Your donations will help replace necessary supplies lost in the flood so that the WCSPCA can continue its excellent work in sheltering and caring for these wonderful companion pets until they are adopted into a permanent happy home.