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Concern expressed about more dog euthanizations
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Growing public concern for the welfare of dogs at Warren County Animal Control has been expressed during a county Health and Welfare Committee meeting.
Sally Brock, a former commissioner, expressed a fear the facility would return to a time when euthanizing animals was common.
“We don’t want to see Animal Control slip back to the way it was, and we know you all don’t either,” said Brock.
Creating concern were statements made by Commissioner Tommy Savage to Animal Control director Kim Pettrey during December’s meeting regarding the high number of pitbulls and pit mixes at the facility and the need to euthanize those which have shown aggression toward people or other animals.
Brock served as chair of the Health and Welfare Committee for four years during a turbulent time when the focus shifted from euthanization to adoptions.
“Nobody knows, probably, any better than I do what a difficult job this committee is to serve on,” said Brock. “I must commend Kim and her staff because of the way things have been going at Animal Control and the lives she saves. Those of us who are really pet lovers appreciate that very much. With that being said, if there is anything any of us could do, I’m sure Kim would love to have some volunteers. We are here to do that. As for what you go through to serve on this committee, we appreciate that.”
Jan Saylor would like to establish a nonprofit organization that would offer support for the facility and educate the public.
“In order to support the shelter and get the message out in the community about the need to spay and neuter, we should try and come up with ideas. Maybe we could create a 501(c)3, like Friends of the Shelter,” she said. “I have been looking into it. There are a ton of grants that are available, but you have to be a 501(c)3 to be able to get those grants.”
Along with grants, having 501(c)3 status would allow people to make donations and include it on their taxes as a charitable gift, an incentive to some individuals and businesses. Animal Control currently receives donations from the public. However, they are not tax-deductible donations.
Savage asked Pettrey about placing microchips in the animals before they are adopted.
“There is a program, and I have the information, where we could do it,” said Pettrey. “We could microchip the animals. It costs $6 a dog or cat.”
Microchips are a good idea, says Savage.
“I recommend spay, neuter and microchips,” said Savage. “If someone picks your dog up and they don’t like it, they take the collar off and take it to Animal Control or wherever, it’s going to show up. The last time I checked, getting a microchip cost $35. It’s the best money you can spend. There is no question whose dog it is.”
Savage said after the meeting he feels he has been unfairly characterized as an animal hater who wants to euthanize every animal that comes into Animal Control.
“I am all for taking take of the animals and we have to have Animal Control,” said Savage. “Every dog that comes in, I’m not for putting it down. Dangerous dogs that have hurt humans or domestic animals or livestock, I would. If it wasn’t for people, we wouldn’t have animal problems. If people would take care of their dogs and be responsible, but they won’t. I didn’t want it to sound like I am flip-flopping on the issue of euthanizing dogs because I am not. Those that have proven they are harmful or dangerous, I would euthanized.”
On the committee and in attendance with Savage were Commissioners Michael Martin, Teddy Boyd and Blaine Wilcher. Absent was Billy Earl Jones.