Animal Protection Group Seeks Funding

By Simone Ripke

The Shelter Animal Resource Alliance is looking for donations to help the new organization find homes for stray animals and save them from being euthanized.

SARA has been working with two local shelters - the Lane County Animal Regulation Authority and The Ninth Life-and plans to expand its program to additional shelters in the future.

The new nonprofit organization's five members hope to find homes for adoptable pets and save others from being euthanized for lack of space, program coordinator Diana Robertson said.

Robertson said too many healthy animals are euthanized at the Lane County Animal Regulation Authority every year just because the shelter runs out of room. Last year, the county shelter euthanized an estimated 800 adoptable pets, Robertson said.

"We're talking about the ones that would make a good addition to people's family," she said. "It just breaks your heart."

To save unclaimed stray pets from euthanasia, SARA operates a Second Chance Shuttle. The shuttle takes adoptable pets from the county shelter to the Oregon Humane Society in Portland, which accepts pets from other areas on a space-available basis.

"We have to euthanize less, and these animals get a second chance," said Mike Wellington, program manager of the Lane County Animal Regulation Authority. "It has been a real great thing."

To continue and expand services, SARA is seeking help. It is looking for a travel trailer or motor to serve as the alliance's office and mini-adoption center, a van for the shuttle program, donations of new and used clothing and household goods to be sold at fund-raising events, a 5-by-6 truck canopy to fit a Ford Ranger or Mazda pickup, and volunteers to help run SARA's programs.

Wellington said he could see SARA expand its services and help other shelters-as much as it has already helped the Lane County Animal Regulation Authority-if it can recruit some dedicated volunteers.

"If they can get the same caliber of people, I believe they could do real good," Wellington said.

Communities Notebook by The Register-Guard Eugene, Oregon, February 2, 2001

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