Frequently Asked Questions about the Multnomah County Animal Shelter

November 7, 2018

Are fewer animals coming into the shelter?

Animal Services Dog
Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) is the only open door shelter in Portland. MCAS is the primary agency responsible for lost pet care, animal abuse investigations and animal rescue in Multnomah County.

Yes. Multnomah County Animal Services, along with our Animal Shelter Partner Alliance of Portland (ASAP) partner agencies, have experienced a significant decrease in the number of animals (dogs and cats) admitted to our shelters from the public. This decrease is the result of strategic long-term planning and implementation to improve the lives of the animals in this region; increase the number of adoptable animals placed in the community; and provide subsidized spay & neuter surgeries for companion pets to decrease the number of unwanted animals.

How have the numbers changed?

As of December 2017, there has been a

o   94.7% Live Release Rate increase from 61.5% in 2006

o   50.4% decrease in public animal intake to shelters since 2006 (2006 = 37,283 v 2017 = 18,489)

o   46.8% decrease in public cat intake since 2010 when Spay and Save program began (2010 = 19,615 v 2017 =10,424)

As fewer animals have needed shelter, the length of stay and comprehensive quality of care they receive has increased. This correlates with the county's live-release rate and the care required to achieve it.

Is Multnomah County investing more in Animal Services than ever?

Yes. Since 2008, Multnomah County has increased its budget 70% to improve operations, health care and foster care. The increase also aligns with the Multnomah County Auditor’s 2016 recommendation to invest more and includes critical organizational changes — including expanded hospital staff and the creation of foster care. The increase also includes normal inflationary impacts associated with labor, material and supplies and County internal service support costs.