By Hilary Hodge

[Note: The following is Ms. Hodge’s response to an April 20tharticle in The Union]

I want to state for the record that I unequivocally support Sammie’s Friends and the renewal of their county contract.

My friends and family and those who have gotten to know me throughout my campaign for District 3 Supervisor, know that I’m an enthusiastic animal lover. As the owner of six pets, three shelter adoptions and three strays, I never thought I’d be entrenched in a controversy over animal welfare.

When The Union wrote on April 20th that “Hodge said the proposal, while unfortunate, is the correct move,” they only reported a portion of my entire statement.

At a debate against my opponent on Thursday April 19th, when I answered the question about our local animal shelter and caring for Nevada County’s animals, I attempted to highlight our crumbling infrastructure. The actual quote was, “”Unfortunately, at this time, this is probably going to have to be the right move because our board of supervisors has a history of dereliction when it comes to many of our county services. And one of those [services] has been, unfortunately, our animal facility. We are now at a crossroads where our animal facility needs updating. It needs upkeep. And it might need to be completely redone. So we have some animals in our community whose care is going to have to be outsourced to Placer County.”

As a long time supporter of Sammie’s Friends, when I listened to my statement, I was also shocked by what I heard and realized how it might have been interpreted. I called reporter Alan Riquelmy and left a message letting him know that I wanted to go on record explicitly stating “I support Sammie’s friends and renewing their contract.” That part of the conversation did not make it to press.

For those who read the report or heard my statement in a different way than what I meant, I apologize. I want the community to know that I stand behind Sammie’s Friends. I want to see our unsheltered animals have access to adequate facilities and services.

As stated on my website, “I support the extension of the Sammie’s Friends contract. Our people and our pets deserve the best. I stand with Sammie’s Friends and their incredible efforts on behalf of our community’s animals. Sammie’s Friends has been doing amazing work with little support, and this public-private partnership shouldn’t be squandered. We need an updated animal shelter in our community and it is clear that the public wants to see this happen. Let’s continue to put pressure on our elected officials to make sure we can care for our community’s animals, and as Supervisor I will work to ensure our animals receive the support they need.”

Our family veterinarian has offered her enthusiastic support. “I’ve had the pleasure of being Hilary’s veterinarian, at Brunswick Veterinary Clinic, for the past 7 years,” said Dr. Michelle Meyer. “I have always found her to go above and beyond in the care and comfort of her pets. I know she is a huge supporter of Sammie’s Friends and has adopted a cat from our local non-profit organization, Sammie’s Friends. I know Hilary has a huge heart for both the people and animals of our community.”

I am a concerned community member running for office. I am not a career politician and I have no practice in trying to distill important issues into one minute soundbites. My heart is in this campaign and I will always work for this community. I will continue to admit when I’ve made a mistake and as Supervisor, I will reach out with transparency.

I support our animal rights community and I support Sammie’s Friends.

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