A plea for shelter dogs in Oregon

Recognize Rescued Shelter Dogs as Oregon’s State Dog

A couple of hours ago I received an email from Scott Beckstead. Scott is the Senior Oregon Director and the Rural Outreach Director for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Scott and his wife are two people that Jeannie and I have met and they know that we are committed to supporting the HSUS. Scott was asking in his email that we promote his plea, on behalf of HSUS’s great work in Oregon, for all Oregon residents to support a proposal that comes with the catchy title of Proposal H.C.R. 16.

Because of the immediacy of this campaign, tomorrow is the deadline, I was pleased to publish what Scott sent me without delay.

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In Support of H.C.R. 16

Recognize Rescued Shelter Dogs as Oregon’s State Dog

Dogs are man’s best friend, providing many benefits to their families such as love, loyalty and an improved sense of well-being.  Yet many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, millions of healthy, adoptable dogs are euthanized in shelters annually due to a lack of critical resources and public awareness.

The number of euthanized dogs could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When families choose to adopt, they save a loving animal by making them part of their family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it. If more families looking for a pet dog this year would adopt their new furry friend from a shelter, we could put an end to this tragedy.

Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy dogs of every breed, shape, size, age, and color, just waiting for someone to take them home. With the help of legislation like H.C.R. 16, we can spread the word about the benefits of adoption and work to end the senseless euthanasia of homeless dogs nationwide.

Shelter dogs make great pets. Please pass this legislation to emphasize the importance of animal adoption with the support of state and national animal sheltering leaders.

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MY TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF H.C.R. 16

From: SCOTT BECKSTEAD, SENIOR OREGON DIRECTOR, RURAL OUTREACH DIRECTOR

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES

This Testimony presented to the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON RULES, APRIL 27, 2017

 Chair Williamson, Co-Chairs Rayfield and McLane, and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on H.C.R. 16, the bill to designate the rescued shelter dog as the official state dog of Oregon. The Humane Society of the United States strongly supports this legislation and urges you to vote YES.

First it is important to recognize this bill is not intended to denigrate reputable breeders of purebred dogs. Rather, it celebrates dogs of all stripes, be they purebred or mutt- and encourages Oregon citizens to consider adopting a dog in need of a home.

With regard to the claim that many Oregon shelter dogs originated in other parts of the country, transporting dogs from areas of over-population into areas where the population of adoptable dogs does not meet the demand is an activity that has been taking place for many years, and has saved countless lives, and created many happy families across the state.   The Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) has produced best practice guidelines for transport programs to ensure that both sending and receiving shelters are adhering to the highest standards of animal welfare and health considerations, including but not limited appropriate health certificates and veterinary inspection.

Shelters across Oregon adhere to industry best practices and appropriate oversight.  Contrary to scare-mongering from the National Animal Interest Alliance, there is no data to show that dogs within the Oregon shelter system have higher incidences of temperament issues, health concerns, or that dogs from out of state are displacing Oregon dogs in need.

When a prospective owner buys a dog from a pet store, online seller or flea market, they’re almost certainly getting a dog from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result. The mothers of these puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. And after they’re no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.

These puppy mills continue to stay in business through deceptive tactics — their customers are unsuspecting consumers who shop in pet stores, over the Internet or through classified ads. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop supporting them. But by visiting your local shelter or rescue and adopting a homeless pet, you can be certain you aren’t giving them a dime.

Dogs and cats share the homes of 65% of U.S. households, providing many benefits to their families such as love, loyalty and an improved sense of well-being.  Yet many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, millions of healthy, adoptable dogs are euthanized in shelters annually due to a lack of critical resources and public awareness.

The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When families choose to adopt, they save a loving animal by making them part of their family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.

Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. With the help of legislation like HCR 16, we can spread the word about the benefits of adoption and work to end the senseless euthanasia of homeless pets nationwide.

Usually when you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations (and sometimes even microchipping!) is included in the adoption price, which can save you some of the up-front costs of adding a new member to your family. Furthermore, pets are screened for good health and behavior.

Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial to their companions. Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness. And when you adopt instead of buying a pet, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need!

Thank you for considering our position, and for your service to the people and animals of Oregon.

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Let me close with this graphic that Scott also sent me.

Please, please, if you wish to support this proposed measure then, without delay, send an email now to hrules.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov asking for a YES vote on H.C.R. 16

Jean and I have just done so.

Chair Williamson, Co-Chairs Rayfield and McLane, and Members of the Committee,

I write to you all on behalf of myself and my wife.

When we moved to Oregon in 2012 we came with 12 dogs many of which were rescue dogs and from animal shelters. We still have 7 dogs.
Shelter dogs make wonderful pets and they always know when they have been rescued from a shelter. They offer such love and gratitude to their loving owners.
Please, Jean and I ask for this measure, Measure H.C.R. 16, to be supported.

Thank you.

Paul & Jean Handover
4000 Hugo Road, Merlin, OR 97532

13 thoughts on “A plea for shelter dogs in Oregon

      1. Well I sincerely hope we are still in contact via this place when that time comes.

        Do you think your family would support this measure? Any chance, if so, of emails stating such support going out today?

  1. Sent this to my politically active daughter who lives in Eugene. I’m sure she knows about it and I suspect she’d be a huge supporter as well. Being the huMom for a puppy mill survivor, I know first hand all the challenges with these poor creatures. Elsa is learning how to be a dog a little more with each day and we’re working hard to keep the seizure monster at bay. At least she’s spayed now and won’t pass along those genetics to future generations. 😇

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