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County seeks new method for disposal of animals
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Warren County government will be looking into an alternative for disposing of deceased animals.

“I think we as a committee need to consider a furnace,” said Commissioner Blaine Wilcher, during a Health and Welfare Committee meeting to discuss Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center. “What they have is a pit. It’s not really the best situation to take care of the animals.”

Burying is the department’s only option for disposal. 

“When we had distemper and we had animals that we had to euthanize, they went to the pit,” said Kim Pettrey, Animal Control director. “All the birds, coyotes and wild animals are all coming down there to feed. That’s not healthy whatsoever. It just spreads it. The pit needs to go. One of these days, the EPA is going to come out against it.”

According to the Animal Control monthly report for December, the department took in 83 dogs and 34 cats. Seven dogs and two cats were euthanized by a veterinarian, and five dogs and eight cats died from natural causes. The facility sent 45 dogs and 20 cats to rescue groups and adopted out 20 dogs and 13 cats. 

The facility is currently under quarantine due to canine parvovirus infection, commonly known as parvo. It has resulted in the natural death of several puppies.

Several years ago the center’s focus wasn’t rescue and it was embroiled in controversy over the large number of animals euthanized. Wilcher said individuals actually climbed into the burial hole in an attempt to retrieve “evidence” of wrongdoing by the county.

“We have had people go down there and actually get into the pit and try to obtain something for evidence,” said Wilcher. 

Pettrey added, “That was horrible.”

“We need to look into how much a furnace costs, just look at it for the future,” said Wilcher.

An estimate on cost will be obtained and presented to committee.