Tri-Cities Animal Shelter cameras up and running

Tri-Cities Animal Shelter cameras up and running »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. - We started our 'Cash for Cameras' campaign back in the middle of April. After an animal was dumped at the shelter in the last stages of cancer. Together we raised thousands of dollars.

It was Haley's story that inspired our 'Cash for Cameras' campaign back in April. The dying dog was tied to the fence outside the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter in below freezing weather. She couldn't be saved. It wasn't the dumping that did her in. Her final hours were spent in agony, alone.

Sadly, Haley's wasn't the first case of her kind. Despite this sign warning people it's illegal to dump an animal, many still did it anyway.

Holding the guilty accountable was next to impossible. The shelter's surveillance cameras had long since stopped working.

Director Angela Zilar said, "We always had cameras but they haven't been what we needed."

So we put out the call and you delivered, donating more than $7000 for the new system. Many asked, why so much?

The difference is these are professional grade cameras. They should last for years. They work in connection with a sophisticated recording system.

Local security company, Techlinks LLC donated the labor and even kicked in extra cash to get all eleven cameras up and running. There are even cameras inside to record people who may try to steal or harm an animal from a cage.

The system comes complete with a simple touch screen. Staff can navigate from camera to camera and zoom in and zoom out of each shot.

One of the outside cameras, the large one that looks like an eyeball is just that, an eyeball. It can move in any direction. It even latches onto something it sees moving around, locking down on the image and following it.

The shelter director is humbled by your willingness to give.

"Oh my gosh we are so thankful to the community for their generosity," she said.

Zilar says these cameras aren't meant to crucify people. They're hoping these will allow people to work with shelter staff to find a solution to an animal in need.

She said, "It's amazing that the public is so willing to help make this more than just an enforcement agency. We're a community shelter that we're here for the community, that's huge."

The community can be proud that this system was bought by you.

Throughout this entire effort we've had dozens of comments and questions.
One being why are the cameras so expensive? We just answered that in our story.

The other, well, if these cameras are up won't people be dump the animals somewhere else? While that may be possible you do have options.

There is no charge to bring stray animals into the shelter.

If you must surrender your pet, it's a case by case basis. If you come clean with your situation, the shelter director will work with you.

You may have to pay little to next to nothing to put your pet in the best possible situation to find a new home.