On June 9, 2023, the Multnomah County Auditor’s Office released a Good Government Hotline Investigation into county-managed donation accounts for Multnomah County Animal Services. The investigation revealed that Animal Services didn’t adequately manage or oversee the restricted-use accounts, resulting in the inefficient use of county resources. Donations along with board allocations have outpaced spending in most years for each of the restricted-use accounts, leaving each restricted-use account with growing unspent balances over the last nearly five years.
Donations from community members should be spent on ensuring the animals in our custody receive the care they need. This report comes at an opportune time, when we are already in the middle of a significant overhaul of Animal Services. Deliberate attention to the accounts can help with efficient and effective spending.
In response to this investigation and review of donation funds, MCAS is in the process of revising our donation policies to specify how we’ll utilize these donations in more detailed ways for the benefit of animals and their people in our community, and will develop a spending plan for these funds in fiscal year 2024, which will be updated with each subsequent budget process.
The investments county leadership are making in this year’s budget will stabilize Animal Services Division by prioritizing the addition of 10 full-time staff, including seven animal care staff needed to ensure adequate levels of care for the animals in our custody and bring needed support to MCAS staff as we work to adopt recommendations from previous audits and expert evaluations.
Multnomah County Animal Services thanks donors and concerned stakeholders for supporting animals in MCAS care and in the community, and expresses its commitment to spend donation funds efficiently, prudently, and meaningfully to improve their welfare.