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  • Writer's pictureSusan Houser

Lane County, OR

Lane County is located in western Oregon and has close to 352,000 residents. It contains the cities of Eugene (156,000 residents) and Springfield (60,000 residents). Lane County Animal Services (LCAS) was a municipal shelter that served Lane County, Eugene and Springfield until 2012, when county officials put animal sheltering up for bid. Greenhill Humane Society, the only bidder, was granted the contract and took over the LCAS shelter on July 1, 2012.

Currently, Greenhill runs two shelters — the former LCAS shelter on 1st Avenue in Eugene, which takes in all strays from animal control officers in Lane County, Eugene, and Springfield, and the original Greenhill shelter on Green Hill Road which takes in owner surrenders. Greenhill requires an appointment and a fee ($10 to $100) for owner surrenders, and I confirmed with the shelter that it has a waiting list for cats and generally does not accept aggressive dogs as owner surrenders. Eugene animal control officers do not impound feral cats, and Greenhill has a Trap-Neuter-Return program for feral cats in the county. The shelter states its euthanasia policy for the dual shelters as follows: “Greenhill euthanizes only in situations involving animals that cannot be safely handled – either because of aggression or contagious disease, or where the animal is suffering and a reasonable level of treatment would not be effective at improving quality of life.”

LCAS was doing well before the Greenhill takeover, and reported a 94% live release rate for dogs and 88% for cats in the 2010-2011 fiscal year. When Greenhill took over, the city of Eugene began posting monthly statistics on the city website for the 1st Avenue shelter. Full statistics are posted on the Greenhill website for each fiscal year and are current through June 30, 2014. The live release rate for fiscal year 2013-2014 was 92%, with intake of 2907 animals. The live release rate for fiscal year 2012-2013 was 89% with intake of 3290 dogs and cats.

Lane County is counted in the Running Totals as a 90%+ community.

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