Sharon Harmon’s Facebook account of her purchase of a new German wirehaired pointer, Renn, tells of the frustrations of dealing with shelter websites (“breed ID is a lost art,” she writes) and the annoyance of the paperwork shelters require (“if we approve your eight-page application, we want to meet all family members”).

The tale would be unremarkable except for one big thing—for the past 19 years, Harmon’s been the executive director of the Northwest’s largest pet shelter, the Oregon Humane Society.

This year, OHS is well on its way to finding new homes for 11,000 pets.

Ron Murray, an OHS critic, says it’s “hypocritical” that Harmon purchased her dog.

Harmon disagrees. She says she spent a year unsuccessfully combing shelters. “I don’t see anything wrong with what I did,” Harmon says. “I’m not displacing a shelter dog.”

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