PASCO, Wash. -- You asked us to take the lead on securing new surveillance cameras for the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter, and so we are doing just that! We set up a Gofundme site to raise money. We were all touched by the most recent case where a dog was dumped at the shelter after hours. The dog was dying of cancer, in pain and could not lie down. She was tied to a post outside the shelter, only to be discovered by staff up to a day later.
This is not the first, second or third time this has happened. We have documented this story time and time again over the years. There was this case in 2007 when two puppies that were dying were left on the doorstep. That brought news coverage but wasn't enough to stop someone from dumping an injured dog just a week later. That dog had to be put down. The two stories prompted a West Richland woman to donate a $500 reward as well as $500 for night vision cameras to catch people in the act of dumping an animal.
The cameras worked for a while, and were even able to catch two people on tape who left behind five animals in 2008. Cameras also caught a Chihuahua being dumped in 2010. The problem continued to be documented by KEPR in 2013.
The most recent incident of the dog being dumped last week is spurring a call to action.
The cameras are now outdated and most don't work. KEPR believes that we, as a community, could step up to make sure cameras are in place that might deter people from dumping pets on the doorstep. We met with a security expert who says a good system featuring today's technology would cost $10,000. This is not a firm bid but could likely outfit the shelter with eleven cameras, for the inside and outside. Cameras are needed inside to also help identify those who steal animals right from the shelter. There are so many people coming and going on a daily basis, it can be hard for staff to notice if someone slips a puppy under their jacket.
We hope that's you'll donate here through the Gofundme site. We have the support of the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter to seek these funds as a community and get the shelter properly equipped to stop the problem of dog dumping. Giving $5, $10, $20 or whatever you can afford will make a difference if we all help out.