As I mentioned in my last entry, I will be attending Oregon State University this Fall, majoring in Nutrition. While I was filling out my school application, I realized I haven’t done much charitable giving other than dropping off items here and there to Goodwill and The Salvation Army. I decided to make more of an effort to help others in my own way.
I remembered reading last year about the Oregon Ferret Shelter having some zoning issues with Clackamas County. Apparently they got the issue somewhat resolved, but Clackamas County decided to be dicks again and is going after them for other reasons.
The ferret shelter is located in Oregon City, Oregon and is in a district zoned for general farm use.
Here are a couple snippets from an article about the ferret shelter’s citation last year:
The county’s definition of ‘general farm use’ in property zoned as a Rural Residential Farm Forest 5-Acre District includes: “Feeding, breeding, selling, and management of livestock, poultry, fur-bearing animals, or honeybees.”
According to the county, a shelter that adopts and cares for domestic ferrets does not meet all those stipulations.
“They aren’t breeding them; they aren’t producing new animals,” McCallister says [the county planning director].
The fact that the shelter cares for and adopts ferrets for use as domestic pets – rather than breed them – is not a “normal and customary farm practice,” according to the county.
Clackamas County maintains that since the animals are not being managed or sold for the purpose of producing fur, the shelter is in violation of the ordinance.
It’s unlikely she [Chris Mathis] will apply for a home business permit. The application fee alone is $520, and she says the process would require thousands of dollars in fees for surveys, necessary renovations and other costs.
“We just don’t have the money. We’re hand to mouth here,” Mathis says. “Every dime is going to the ferrets.”
The full article can be read here on Oregon Live: http://www.oregonlive.com/pets/index.ssf/2013/04/pet_talk_oregon_ferret_shelter.html
This is a note from the ferret shelter’s website from Chris Mathis, owner of the shelter, updating the public on the shelter’s current situation:
Clackamas County first tried to shut us down by saying we could not have a shelter on farm land and wanted us to get a home business license. We hired a lawyer for $4,000 plus CC fees and got their decision reveresed to our benefit. Now they are trying another technique called “change of use” for our garage! With my husband retiring this month and finances and his recent stroke and pancreatic episode, they have our back against the wall financially. If we do not meet their demands, the shelter will close. That will leave approximately 350 ferrets per year with no place to go! You see, the Oregon Humane Society shut the door on ferrets years ago. Animal Control will pick them up but doesn’t keep them. Please help our cause for the sake of the ferrets. We will need to purchase an air scrubber, new lighting, exit signs, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, submit drawings for approval and other structural changes to satisfy them.
I didn’t have any previous contact with the shelter, I just knew they take in, care for, and find homes for ferrets; and Ryan used to own a ferret that had been adopted from that shelter several years ago, before he enlisted. I’d love to own a ferret some day (can’t swing it financially right now). I couldn’t get over how cute they are the first time I saw one run! Their backs arch up and they’re like floppy, furry little tubes. So cute! Anyway. . .
Earlier this year I spent some time on the shelter’s website to learn more about what they do. I came across their Weasels Dancing in the Park event page and saw that they have auctioned off artwork in the past during this event to raise money for the shelter.
I reached out to Chris and Dave and asked if I could help by donating my time to design t-shirts for their event this year, as well as create a piece of artwork for them to auction off. I chatted back and forth with their Volunteer Coordinator, Melissa, and we worked out the designs shown here. I dropped off the painting this past weekend at the shelter and hope they receive a nice chunk for it at the auction this coming weekend. Any little bit helps! I’m even selling prints of the painting on Etsy and for each print I sell, I will donate $10 to the shelter.
If you’re in the West Linn area this weekend, you should stop by the event.
In addition, the ferret shelter has been running a FundMe campaign for the past month to raise their goal of $7,000 to be able to pay for all the changes the county is forcing them to make. The campaign ends in less than 5 days and they only have 10% of their goal. To help them reach that goal, I’m holding a donation-based raffle for a custom pet portrait. The main goal is to raise money for the shelter so for every dollar you donate on their FundMe campaign, you will get one entry into my raffle. Donate $1, get one entry, donate $20, get 20 entries – you get the idea. I need to see your name on the donation page so add your name to your donation and comment below when you have donated so I can make sure to get all your entries noted!
One winner will be chosen randomly using rafflecopter and they will receive:
- One 5″x7″ colored pencil illustration of one of their pets (winner must provide a high-resolution photo of the pet – doesn’t have to be a ferret!)
- Custom matting for the illustration
This raffle item is valued at $119 including shipping.
I’m trying to raise awareness of the shelter’s plight and hopefully get them some more support, whether it’s financially or finding more people who’d like to adopt a ferret. Once you make your donation, make a comment below so I can check your name and donation amount and I will confirm your entries. There are a couple other entry methods as well, so even if you can’t donate, you can still show your support by following the shelter and myself on facebook and twitter.
Please keep in mind that the FundMe campaign will end on August 04, 2014 at 08:50 and the Oregon Ferret Shelter will receive all the funds pledged even if the target is not reached. My raffle ends on August 3rd at midnight!
**Disclaimer** I am not affiliated with the Oregon Ferret Shelter and the shelter is not associated with or responsible for this raffle in any way. I am not being compensated for my time or services related to this raffle.
Raffle Terms and Conditions:
-Winner must reside in one of the 48 contiguous states
-Winner must be 18 years or older to enter
-No PO Boxes for Shipping. If address is undeliverable or prize is unclaimed and sent back, winner is responsible for re-shipping charges.
-Prize will be shipped within 90 days of raffle end
-All entries will be verified
-Winner has 48 hours to reply to email notification or another winner will be selected