Canyon County

Group urges Canyon leaders to watch over animal shelter operations

About 30 people who attended the Canyon County budget hearing Wednesday night weren’t there to address the budget.

They were there to urge commissioners to take action against the leadership of the West Valley Humane Society, which leases the county-owned animal shelter for a nominal fee and receives operating funds from the county and local cities. They alleged mismanagement and inhumane treatment of animals.

The protests were organized by the Bunny Project, mobilized by the death of a dog named Bunny who was euthanized at the shelter despite her owner’s efforts to find and recover her. Kyla Westerberg, the daughter of Bunny’s owner, urged commissioners to rethink the county’s contract with West Valley, and Anna DeVore urged them to pay closer attention to shelter operations.

Canyon County Commission Chairman Steve Rule did not address the issue during the hearing but said earlier Wednesday that the shelter has an independent board and that commissioners don’t have the authority “to go in and manage that board.”