Peggy Burks: Stick with Sammie’s Friends |

Peggy Burks: Stick with Sammie’s Friends

I am a trustee for The Thelma Doelger Trust for Animals, a family foundation whose mission is animal welfare and whose focus is Northern California.

We know our grantees, visit their facilities, meet their volunteers and leadership. We evaluate progress in saving animal lives and eliminating euthanasia; knowledge of standards for animal welfare and shelter medicine; effective use of funds; community partnerships and community support.

We have been helping to fund Sammie’s Friends since 2009.

Nevada County used to kill unwanted dogs and cats by the thousands. Today, thanks to Sammie’s Friends, thousands of animal lives have been saved, and a humane ethic has been instilled into the bedrock of our community’s values. We call out Sammie’s Friends as the go-to example for urban/rural counties of how to operate animal welfare services in partnership with county government, local agencies and virtual army of volunteers. It’s a remarkable story, one Nevada County ought to be proud of and honor.

People love Sammie’s Friends. They open their hearts and take in unwanted animals. They know that fostering ­— not sheltering — is what works best and is the new standard for animal welfare. You can’t put a dollar value on that. Nevada County needs to step up and do its fair share.

Instead, the County has created a huge PR problem and made a serious blunder. This is not just a business deal. You can’t simply contract out this relationship to an out-of-county agency and expect a good outcome.

If you have reservations about Sammie’s Friends, if it’s something other than money, what is it? Who was on the panel and what criteria did they use? I’d be interested in knowing the story behind the story. Otherwise, work it out, negotiate the dollars.

Do the best thing for the animals. I say tell Placer County no; stick with Sammie’s Friends.

Peggy Burks lives in Nevada City.

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