Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kennel Enrichment: Greenhill's Violation of State Statute/County Contract/Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters

ORS 167.310. Definitions  (7) “Minimum care” means care sufficient to preserve the health and well-being of an animal and, except for emergencies or circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the owner, includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements:
(e) For a domestic animal, continuous access to an area:
(a) With adequate space for exercise necessary for the health of the animal;

Since at a shelter this isn't possible, other steps are taken to ensure that dogs have proper kennel enrichment to minimize stress and acting out behaviors such as mouthing, etc.  Greenhill stated in the RFP that they would provide "daily staffing and volunteer levels will ensure a minimum of 40 minutes of contact time per animal per day." 
The Contract stipulates:
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From the minutes of the January 14, 2013 Advisory Committee Meeting:
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In the RFP, which is part of the contract, Greenhill states as a proposal to meet state statute minimum care standards for exercise:
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The contract includeds SAATA recommendations 1-8 & 10:
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The Save Adoptable & Treatable Animals Mandate Recommendation #10 states:
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Greenhill also states in the RFP:
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The Association of Shelter Veterinarians Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters Five Freedoms and Companion Animals.  Please note items 4 & 5 that Greenhill states in the RFP they follow:
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Over the past few months there have been many dogs that have had severe kennel stress issues brought on by not receiving enough kennel enrichment/socialization time.  Gunner was put to death because he was kennel stressed and acting out.  Gunner came in highly adoptable.  Barton nearly lost his life, had it not been for the actions of the rescue community in networking.  He was kennel stressed, and acting out.  Kelsey, Nemo, Pepper, Jake and others who were special needs, did not receive the "significant amount of daily human interaction" Greenhill promised to provide.  The four dogs previously mentioned were put to death by Greenhill.  Graham was isolated substantially adding to his kennel stress.  He did not receive his enrichment/socialization time.  Graham was put to death on April 24, 2013, along with Pepper and Jake.
The thing about kennel stress, based on pulling numerous dogs, is that most of this acting out disappears once a dog feels safe.  Even when dogs went to John Archer's boarding kennel, the acting out evaporated.  Dogs can be just fine in a kennel environment, as long as there is enough enrichment and attention, and they feel safe.  Obviously this is not the case at First Avenue.
Since July 1, 2012, Greenhill has failed to provide "sufficient personnel to perform the services required in the contract".  Greenhill states they are "hoping" more volunteers show up, but in the mean time, animals are not receiving the socialization time that Greenhill stated they would provide in the RFP.  This has caused the animals to suffer, and for some to be put to death.  This is a clear violation of the County Contract, with devastating results.  I see no contract section that gives Greenhill a pass if they don't get the volunteers they "hoped" for.