Concerns Mount Over Canyon County Animal Shelter


  • Canyon County Animal Shelter

Last week, the Canyon County Animal Shelter Allies listed concerns surrounding the Canyon County Animal Shelter in a letter sent to Canyon County commissioners, and the Nampa and Caldwell city councils, as well as to the director of the Humane Society of the United States. It included accusations of mishandled euthanasia of animals, concerns over animal welfare and attitudes toward volunteers, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune.

The IPT reported this morning that the shelter has not yet come up with a time, place or date to host a town-hall meeting to address these concerns. The board president of the shelter, Brenda Cameron, told the IPT the shelter doesn't have a room big enough to hold such a meeting, but the board members will meet on Wednesday to iron out details.

Cameron said the claims in the letter are unsubstantiated, though.

"We're running a top-notch shelter and are proud of the accomplishments we have done," Cameron told the IPT. She added that she looks forward to hearing from the group.

The Canyon County Animal Shelter Allies are comprised of 31 members, made up of current and past volunteers, former employees and patrons. They requested a private meeting with the shelter's board—an idea Cameron said she's entertaining, but a decision won't be made until Aug. 13.

The letter, sent on July 29, stated that "over the past several months, we have seen this shelter become more and more unwelcoming, secretive, inaccessible and unresponsive. Volunteers and patrons have left feeling uncomfortable and shut out."

The letter says some animals are being euthanized with little or no assessment, or over treatable medical conditions. It claims animals are "disappearing," or not showing up on intake records.

The shelter calls itself a "no-kill" facility, and says on its website that it keeps the euthanasia rate under 5 percent—reserved only for severe medical illness or injury, aggression toward people, or "when the animal's quality of life is rated as very poor."

The facility has around 35 dogs and 40 cats listed on the website for adoption. It's been around since 2002, and used to be run by the Canyon County Sheriff's Office, but in 2011, it became a private nonprofit.