Published: Mar 02, 2008 10:23 AM
Modified: Mar 02, 2008 10:23 AM
Don't abandon APS during crisis
Since we began domesticating animals for the purpose of sustaining our food supply, advancing medical science and providing companionship, we have been responsible for their humane and ethical treatment.
The abundance of homeless, neglected and abused dogs and cats is clear evidence for our failure to adequately meet these responsibilities. Organizations like the Animal Protection Society of Orange County are invaluable to bettering the lives of animals in need and to promoting a more compassionate human race.
It is not surprising to discover that the APS is having financial difficulties. However, its current situation is not a failure of the mission. It only reveals that the organization needs our continued help and support. Turning our backs on the APS does nothing to help the animals under its care. For me, the solution is to be involved, to help rehabilitate dogs and educate owners on building relationships with their pets.
I hope Sunday's article leads to the constructive criticism and insight that will improve the APS's financial practices. But I urge you, before the criticism becomes destructive, go for a walk and play fetch with a shelter dog. The look in her eyes may change your perspective and priorities. -- Eric W. Fish, Chapel Hill
Let's not forget APS's good works
The APS of Orange County is proud of its achievements since moving its operations to the Felicite Latane sanctuary site in western Orange County in 2004. While we appreciate media coverage, the article in the Feb. 24 edition ("APS on a tight leash") did nothing to highlight the good work we do for animals in the community and did not make our financial situation clear to the public.
Since we moved operations in 2004, we have seen more than 1,500 animals adopted into lifetime homes, provided spay-neuter services for more than 7,000 animals, provided dog training for literally hundreds of people in our community and offered countless educational opportunities to our area students.
Yes, we are a struggling nonprofit organization. We operate on a limited budget with mostly part-time staff, a bevy of wonderful volunteers and a dedicated board of directors who all serve in a volunteer capacity.
Yes, we've been spending our reserves to build a fantastic new adoption center, hire staff and further our programs. This was always the plan. Our ability to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to build our new adoption center was a tribute to the community, which believes in our mission to enhance the human-animal bond.
Our decrease in assets over the years indicates the loss of funding from our county government contract along with our expenditures on our facilities, staff and programs.
Our 990 tax form for 2006-07 (our fiscal year ends June 30) will be prepared soon and has a legal extension granted from the IRS. This will show the public we have nothing to hide. Our charitable solicitation license was temporarily suspended until the finalization of the 990, which should be within two weeks. This is not uncommon for nonprofits, according to the secretary of state, and our only mistake was not knowing that this license could not be extended, along with the 990, which was our understanding. -- Susan Armstrong, President, APS
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