2017 PASH Shelter and Animal Needs Survey

Paradise Animal Shelter Helpers (PASH) conducted a survey of Paradise residents in September and October of 2017. The purpose of the survey was to find out what the residents of Paradise knew about the animal shelter and about PASH, how they wanted their donations spent, whether or not they supported specific recommendations for improvements at the shelter, and how they wanted those improvements to be funded.

The survey was conducted online with the help of Cedar Creek Communications. The link to the online survey was sent out through a variety of channels which included the Paradise Chamber of Commerce, the Paradise Business and Community Facebook page, and the PASH Facebook page. In addition, paper surveys were collected at Johnny Appleseed Days and in front of a local store. A total of 241 surveys were collected during the 5-week period. (According to Mark Dale at Cedar Creek Communications, 200 surveys would be enough to be statistically representative of the Town as a whole.)

Of the 241 completed surveys, 88% were Paradise residents, and 11% lived in Magalia. The majority of respondents were female (86%) and the majority were aged 51 and older (65%).

The great majority of respondents (95%) were aware that the Town of Paradise had an animal shelter, and 75% of them had been to the shelter. Ninety-eight percent (98%) of respondents were current pet owners. When asked where or how they obtained their pets, a variety of responses were given, but shelter and friends were mentioned most frequently. Over half said they were considering a pet in the future, and 70% said they would consider adopting from the shelter.

When asked how aware they were of PASH, 35% of respondents said they were “very aware” and 41% said they were “somewhat aware”. Less than a quarter said they were “not aware at all”. When asked if PASH should continue using donations to assist the animals at the shelter, help people who cannot afford it with veterinary care, spay/neuter assistance, and help older people adopt older animals from the shelter, 93% of respondents said yes. Of the 4% who disagreed, there were a couple of comments about using the money at the shelter only, and not letting people adopt pets if they can’t afford to take care of them.

The survey gave a one-sentence description of the stressful effect that being housed next to the dogs has on the cats at the shelter. Respondents were then asked if they supported housing the cats in an area separate from the dogs. A large majority (84%) said they supported housing the cats in a separate area. The same majority (84%) said they supported using a portion of Measure C funds (a temporary sales tax increase of one-half percent, passed in 2014 for the purpose of funding police, fire, roads and animal control) along with funds from other sources (such as PASH or community donations) to build a separate structure to house the cats.

Respondents were also asked if they would support another Measure N-type tax (a $1 per month tax to be used for the sole purpose of funding the operation and maintenance of the Town’s animal control services and shelter) where the funds collected could only be used to sustain/improve the care of homeless animals at the Paradise Animal Shelter. Three-quarters (75%) of respondents said they would support another Measure N tax.