Community rallies around local animal rescue after closed by neighbor’s complaint
“We want all the input we can get from the people who have been up here, whether it is good or bad.”
Carol Richards, Owner/Operator
N.O. Paws Left Behind Animal Rescue
OROVILLE – N.O. Paws Left Behind animal rescue, shut down by the county for not having a permit last week when a neighbor complained, was open to place dogs after getting a temporary permit Friday.
“We can home, care for and place dogs, we just can’t take any new ones in at this time,” said Carol Richards, who operates the animal rescue a few miles south of Oroville.
Richards said there are about 60 dogs that need homes, adding that a more permanent Conditional Use Permit will receive a hearing in 15 days. The shelter had been shut down for a week prior to receiving the temporary permit.
“The hearing will be posted in the newspaper and on our Facebook page… we want all the input we can get from people who have been up here, whether it is good or bad.
Richards said the response since the county shut the rescue down has been significant. She was able to raise more than the $950 for the permit through the shelter’s Gofundme.com page. Any amount the call for help raises over the permit amount will go toward care of the dogs and to meet any conditions, if any, required by the permit after the hearing, according to Richards.
“They haven’t said there will be conditions, but they said they would listen to input from the public, that’s why it is important that people come to the hearing and tell what their experience has been. It may be possible they put conditions on, we just don’t know,” said Richards.
She said the original complaint that led to the county shut down the operation from taking in new animals or adopting out ones already at the rescue was from a disgruntled neighbor who found the shelter didn’t have a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Among the complaints she said were concerns about traffic, dust and barking. Most of the complaints, she adds are civil matters and not necessarily going to be requirements of a CUP.
“If they require us to pave there is no way we could afford to do that,” said Richards, adding that she is considering asking for a different easement from another neighbor and/or using oil to keep the dust down.
“Reman and Reload has a lot of oiled property, we are asking who does that for them,” said Richards, whose current easement to the property, which has been in her family for 80 years, contains no restrictions on running a business.
About the barking she says the dogs are all put inside by 8 p.m. and not brought out again until 6 a.m.
“They are all housed and never running loose,” she said. “Yes they do bark, especially when being exercised or fed.”
Richards said her business is actually four times further from her nearest neighbor than required by kennel regulations.
Ironically, NO PAWS is used by the county for dogs they have picked up, as well as by the cities for strays. When a dog is found by an agency the rescue puts it online in an effort to find its owner. If that doesn’t work within 15 days the rescue adopts them out. All the dogs that the shelter adopts out are spayed and neutered, dewormed and have their first shots, she said. There is an $85 fee to adopt a dog.
“In addition we get dogs when people pass away or when older people move into a nursing home or an apartment where they can’t take pets. so we can take the pets and find a new home, or when the pet owner can no longer take care of them,” she said.
N.O. Paws has seven volunteers on a regular basis, she said and since the county shut down there has not only been an outpouring of donations, but others have stepped forward to offer their professional services.
“We had a contractor that stepped up and did a plan required by the county for free. We have had a plan drawn up for ecology and a lawyer has agreed to help us for no cost,” she said.
The North Okanogan, N.O. Paws Left Behind Gofundme pages is located at www.gofundme.com/srzu8g4. The rescue hopes to raise $15,000 to assist in future costs.