Animal Shelter Faces Closure

Reported by Emma Lindberg

Photographed by Satoshi Seth

In order to finance a $3.1 million upgrade in the public safety communications system, the Newberg city council is considering selling the Newberg Animal Shelter (NAS). 

The Newberg Animal Shelter moved to a new location in 2013. The new building was funded by the community: The Newberg Animal Shelter Friends (NASF), a nonprofit organization, spent 17 years raising over $600,000 in order to build a new facility for the shelter. When the Newberg-Dundee Police Department ended their Animal Control services, the NASF was given the opportunity to run the shelter.

Since this, the NASF has invested time and money into this building, making it a place where animals are comfortable and happy while waiting to find their home. Under the management of the NASF, the shelter has been functioning extremely well. In 2017, the shelter facilitated the adoption of 571 animals into happy homes.

“In the original lease negotiations, the city agreed to a $1 per year lease and offered to pay the building utilities in exchange for NASF operating the shelter at no charge to the city. The lease was approved unanimously by City Council,” according to the NAS website. 

With the sale, the shelter would still operate, but new ownership would mean uncertainties and a disruption in the smooth and effective routines of the shelter staff and volunteers. The NASF has put in a lot of work to make the shelter thrive and has operated in a good faith relationship with the city. The upgrade in the public safety communications system would include a new antenna and improvements to the dispatch center and to the radios, according to the minutes from the city council meeting on Dec. 4. 

“We were surprised the city approached other organizations before consulting with their current tenant who wants to continue their successful business,” said Janet Floren, vice president of the NASF.  

The NASF has established relationships with many other organizations in the area, including Homeward Bound, Newberg Veterinary Hospital, Family Pet Hospital as well as other humane societies in the area. 

“We cannot forget the 17-year partnership between NASF and the city. We cannot forget about our donors that have given thousands to our local animal cause. Our successes prove the shelter is needed,” said Floren. 

The NASF encourages citizens of Newberg to advocate for their ownership of the shelter, and to contact city council members, in order to ensure the continued success of the NAS.

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