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By following its mission statement,CHS support still deserved

Since the Columbia Humane Society’s board of directors removed Dean Cox from his position as the nonprofit’s director two weeks ago, we have been concerned fracturing among the very human relationships needed to make CHS work would ultimately do the most damage to the animals served by the agency.

Now, it seems, some of those concerns have come to pass. At least a handful of people who claim to be donors, and some for significant amounts, have indicated through various web and social media posts they are calling a halt to their commitment and contribution to CHS. Their reason? They are sticking with Cox and believe the new CHS board acted irrationally when it fired him, reduced collaboration with out-of-state shelters, and reduced operating hours.

At this point, it’s difficult to know whether we have the full story about why CHS opted to restructure its operations. There have been numerous issues raised, ranging from financial concerns — which have been debated — to issues associated with CHS’ adoption network, which includes collaborations with shelters in Southern California and Hawaii to being the sole shelter in northwest Oregon that supplies animals to Hannah the Pet Society for that company’s for-profit pet leasing services.

When it comes to support for CHS, however, none of that matters. The CHS mission is, “To assist the community in the successful re-homing (and training) of adoptable animals.” As long as the existing staff and board members remain committed to that mission, and take the necessary actions

to demonstrate that commitment, donors and contributors who historically have supported CHS should continue to do so.

As we move forward as a semi-frequent media partner with the humane society, including our weekly “Pet of the Week” showcase ads for adoptable animals and our popular “Be a Hero ... Adopt a Pet!” sponsored pet adoption pages, we would urge the current CHS board to initiate a communications campaign that explains in what ways CHS is expected to change due to its “restructure.” Through clear and proactive communication, the CHS board could restore confidence in the shelter’s operations and waylay any fears it is headed for a downturn.

Now, as we’re aware, there are already questions from CHS partners who are unsure what the removal of Cox, who did indeed see CHS through a period of increased revenue generation and expanded the CHS network in ways many people perceived as positive, means for the no-kill shelter’s operations.

To that end, however, the services offered at CHS, including spay and neuter clinics, vaccine clinics, and being a resource for displaced or neglected animals to find a new home in Columbia County, warrant the continued support of the community unless otherwise found to be ineffectual. We look forward to our continued support of CHS and its mission for many years to come.