EUGENE, Ore. — It’s official–Greenhill Humane Society is moving in to the Lane County Animal Services shelter.
Staff at LCAS say because they’ve known about the transition for a few months, the sting turned into strength.
Though the transition will be chaotic and emotional, their priority here on out is the animals.
“We’d like to get as many of these animals adopted before we as a program shut down,” said LCAS Program Manager Rick Hammel.
Hammel says the animals at his shelter are still priority number one, but he’s also focused on trying to ease the transition for his staff whose expertise is dealing with neglected and abused animals.
“It’s unique. Nobody else really has that experience,” Hammel said.
Greenhill’s Executive Director Cary Lieberman says he hopes to see most of that experience stay.
“LCAS has a current crew of volunteers and foster parents that we want to continue working with. They’ve been very successful,” Lieberman said.
Who actually gets absorbed is up in the air. As of June 30, a small handful of LCAS staff of mostly managers will be transitioned into other county positions, while the remainder have already been laid off.
“We’ve just talked about it, talked about the history, and I think we’re all getting through it. We’re a strong group,” Hammel said.
Hammel admits it will be hard for everyone to say goodbye to what they’ve built. But he’s not too worried.
“It’ll be a new venture for Greenhill. It will be a steep learning curve, but I know that they can do it,” Hammel said.
Plus he believes the new model’s success hinges on more than just the employees.
“It takes the community to keep this as a success. So I want those who care for these animals to continue to care for them and continue to help out,” Hammel said.
Saturday, June 30 will be LCAS’ last day of business. The next day will be Greenhill’s first. Parties from both groups will begin discussions about the entire transition process Monday, June 11.