Etcetera - 04/28/11

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Sara Archer, Blue Mountain Humane Society's executive director, gave a presentation recently to assembled members of Milton-Freewater Rotary Club, according to a report from Rotarian Robby Robbins.

A love of animals and a background in charitable fundraising brought Sara from Clarkston to Walla Walla and the BMHS, she told the group. She joined the society in January 2006.

Concerned citizens founded BMHS in 1967, intent on getting viscious and stray animals off the streets.

Fundraising projects helped the society expand its space to provide proper care for the animals. The mission they follow is to prevent cruelty and promote kindness to companion animals in the community and stop euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets by ceasing overpopulation and homelessness.

By 2010, the euthanasia of cats dropped from 76 percent of incoming to 38 percent as neuter and adoption programs helped reduce the number. Euthanasia of dogs is about 10 percent.

Sara said their adoption program offers animals that have been neutered a tracking chip inserted under the skin and their required vaccinations at a fee of $25. Their new facility has a surgical area where local vets can perform their services on site and prepare the animals for adoption.

More than 1,500 cats have been trapped, altered and returned their natural habitat, most in Walla Walla and College Place since the Cat Management Coalition was formed in November 2008.

They offer a successful 12-week class for dogs program that partners with the Washington State Penitentiary, which helps the animals and the trainers.

A similar program is starting at Jubilee Youth Ranch near Prescott. The second of its 12-week training programs provides well-trained animals for adoption. "It is anticipated that it may provide a turning point for the youth at the facility to give them a better sense of understanding about helping others and looking after the animals," Robby's report said.

Cats and dogs aren't the only critters that have come to BMHS's shelter at 7 E. George St. They have seen several iguanas, a chinchilla and a boa constrictor. Volunteers look after horses and other larger animals on ranches. BMHS is also called on to inspect cases with concerns about neglect and cruelty.

For more details, call the shelter at 509-525-2452 or Sara at 509-529-5188. Strays, dangerous animals, animal cruelty may be reported at Animal Control in Walla Walla, 509-527-1960; Animal Control, Burbank, 509-545-8441 or Animal Control, Milton-Freewater, 541-938-5511.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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