Humane Society to eliminate Monday hours of service

10 positions will also be cut to help deal with shortfall

By Erik Hidle, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: December 20, 2012, 6:15 PM

 

Humane Society

Who: The Humane Society for Southwest Washington.

What’s new: Hours will change beginning Jan. 21.

New hours: Noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

Where: 1100 N.E. 192nd Ave., Vancouver

Information: Humane Society for Southwest Washington or call 360-693-4746.

The Humane Society for Southwest Washington says it won’t be open to the public on Mondays starting in January.

The organization is facing a shortfall of around $300,000 from its $1.4 million budget in 2012. To balance the books, the humane society will shutter its intake and adoption services on Mondays, beginning Jan 21.

“It’s a double-edged sword because if you are closed, the dogs and cats are going to stay in the shelter an extra day,” said Stacey Waddell, interim executive director of the Humane Society. “It’s one more day they are going to spend not being adopted. It’s not what we prefer.”

The shelter is also cutting staff by 10 positions. That brings the shelter’s staffing to around 45. Waddell said those cuts include reductions through attrition, layoffs and reduction in hours.

“We will have to cut surgeries,” Waddell said. “We won’t be able to do nearly as many spay and neuter surgeries for the public.”

The humane society typically charges $10 to the public for spay and neuter services. Between January and November in 2012, the humane society provided around 3,200 surgeries.

Through the same period, the humane society took in around 7,000 animals. Of that number, about 5,000 animals were reclaimed or found a new home.

The shelter is also altering its hours to reflect the staffing changes. Starting Jan. 21, animal intake and adoptions will be available from 12 to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

Waddell said the long-term goal is for the shelter to return to its previous level of service. The root of the problem is a reduction in donations.

“There are many things we plan to do to re-engage with the community,” Waddell said. “We maybe haven’t been clear about the services we provide. We also need to share our successes.”

Erik Hidle: 360-735-4547; http://twitter.com/col_clarkgov ; erik.hidle@columbian.com.