March 6, 2019 — The Oregon Coast Humane Society (OCHS) held its annual membership meeting Feb. 27 at the Bromley Room in the Siuslaw Public Library. This year’s membership meeting was the second since the Oregon Department of Justice became involved in the inner workings of the previously embattled animal rescue organization.
The first item on the agenda was the introduction by OCHS Board President Shauna Robbers of new Executive Director Mark Curran.
Robbers was enthusiastic about the hiring and the future of OCHS during her introduction of Curran, saying the board “found the right person for the organization at the right time.”
The 50 or so OCHS members in attendance all seemed to be receptive to the idea of moving forward in a positive manner, and away from the controversy that pestered the organization for much of the past two years.
Unlike contentious past meetings, which required a police presence, this meeting was decidedly different in tone, as those in attendance seemed to be more in line with the current board and focused on the new director’s plans for the future than the past.
This willingness was amplified by Curran’s brief recap of the past year and a clear focus on his plans for the organization’s future. His presentation went over OCHS’s current financial information and updated members on the projects he feels need immediate attention, and those that may require budgeting and more involved planning to accomplish.
The physical layout of the shelter and the appropriate use of the areas that currently house cats and kittens, was the primary focus of Curran’s concern and the lack of a proper isolation area to accept and process stray and injured animals seemed to be a close second.
However, Curran has a plan to not only improve the physical layout of the Cat Adoption Rooms but to increase the overall rate of adoption by making it easier to identify a particular cat available for adoption upon entering the facility.
“We want to expand our current intake room in the lobby area and install a large picture window. This will then become the kitten adoptions room,” he said. “The benefits of this change are that all adoptable animals will be on the ground floor, which means potential adopters will not need to tackle our stairs and the very first animals’ people will see when they enter the shelter will be adoptable kittens. And people waiting in the lobby will be able to watch kittens playing.”
The need for a separate intake area to limit contamination is also high on the organization’s to-do list. Curran said OCHS needs to create a separate intake and isolation area, possibly upstairs at the shelter facility.
“The benefits of that change will be all new cats will be isolated from our shelter cats while they receive their intake tests and vaccinations,” Curran said. “This will also improve our ability to control any diseases or infections that new animals may bring in with them. It will also allow for new cats to enter the shelter through a dedicated entrance, rather than through the lobby, again improving our disease control protocols.”
Curran is enthusiastic about the changes he is planning on implementing and he encourages anyone that likes animals to consider volunteering at OCHS.
“I’m very excited to get going on these projects so we can make the shelter a wonderful place for our animals, our volunteers and our adopters to come and visit,” he said. “The goals of all of the above is to improve the lives of our shelter cats while they are with us to increase the number of volunteers spending time with the cats and of course, to find more great homes for our kittens and cats.”
OCHS also has dogs available for adoption.
To view adoptable cats, kittens and dogs, or to find out how to donate or volunteer, visit www.oregoncoasthumanesociety.org or go to the Oregon Coast Humane Society Facebook page.