From its inception, the Panhandle Animal Shelter has been helping dogs and cats in Bonner County. Over time, the shelter has expanded its humane efforts to Boundary and Kootenai counties as well.
In 2014 and 2015, we started bringing in small numbers of dogs from outside our area, primarily from kill shelters in California. We did this because we believed that if we had excess kennel space, we should open our shelter to dogs in need outside our area. While our hearts were in the right place, our understanding of this effort was a bit na´ve.
In 2015, distemper was brought into our shelter and our community by an infected dog and her puppies that were in a transport from California. We learned a very hard and expensive lesson about the dangers of accepting transports from outside our area.
During the outbreak we were counseled by more than one leading shelter veterinarian in the country. We now follow their strict medical regulations regarding transported animals. On occasion we do accept small groups of dogs from outside our area, but we regularly bring in dogs from Post Falls, Kootenai County, and various other local shelters and rescue groups.
At times, our shelter population will look low. Please keep in mind the low daily census does not mean we are helping fewer animals. We have assisted more animals in 2016 than previous years while maintaining a low count at the shelter. While it is impossible to predict the exact number of dogs that will enter the shelter at any one time, we know for a fact that we can have excess capacity one day and the next day we will have a significant increase in our population.
It is important for us, as an organization with the primary mission of serving our community, to focus our efforts and limited financial resources on this area. While we truly understand the heartbreaking consequences, we must be steadfast in our efforts to make our shelter the foremost participant in saving the lives of dogs and cats in our community.
Any questions or concerns pertaining to our procedure can be directed to email@example.com.
Panhandle Animal Shelter