N.O. Paws animal shelter/rescue is greatly needed

Delilah, turning big sticks into little sticks.

Delilah, turning big sticks into little sticks.

N.O. Paws Left Behind, the animal rescue shelter just outside of Oroville has obtained a temporary permit to continue to house, care and adopt out the dozens of dogs that they have taken in after a disgruntled neighbor’s complaint shut them down recently. They can’t however, take in any more dogs and this is a sad turn of events for the many communities that the shelter serves.

Editorial Gary MugDo we really want to go back to a time when stray or unwanted dogs that are picked up by local and county police end up in a pound somewhere, waiting to be claimed by their owners or euthanized? N.O. Paws offers a much more human option for our canine friends – they take in not only strays, but dogs whose owners can no longer care for them because of a death in the family, illness or having to move somewhere that doesn’t allow pets. They also take in injured animals that have been found and often pay all the veterinarian bills to make the animal well again.

There must be something that can be done to keep the shelter open and address some of the neighbor’s complaints – at least any that are covered by existing zoning and kennel laws within the county. Otherwise our towns and county will have to revert back to the bad old days as the options for caring for unwanted animals are few – few throughout the state.

Our family dog, Delilah, was adopted from N.O. Paws – it took a long time to get another dog after I lost my dog of nearly 14 years. But now, I wouldn’t know what to do without her and I’m sure the rest of the family feels the same. The shelter not takes in dogs to care for them, but they help those who are looking to add to their family. Most everyone knows that pets are great companions and are beneficial for a persons health. Dogs are loyal friends and N.O. Paws, Carol Richards and her group of stalwart volunteers are doing a great service to our community and those in the surrounding area.

Hopefully, when the time comes to have a hearing on her Conditional Use Permit, all those who have benefited from having N.O. Paws Left Behind will be there to support the shelter. And if you can’t make it send a letter of support for the public record.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.