Election season is approaching and I encourage anyone who has never been to or seen the Warren County Animal Adoption and Control Center to drop by and visit before voting. I think we should all be wondering why Animal Control gets the short end of the deal all the time.
Animal Control is in a rather difficult state. Puppies are literally dying because kennels are inadequate and unsanitary, causing disease to spread. A few weeks ago, they had to equip 36 dogs in 15 kennels. None of this is the fault of the employees because they are doing their best, but something has to change.
There have been many grants in the county and few of them have been spent on animal control. Recently, the county decided to spend the rest of the governor’s grant money on random projects they know they can complete before the June 30 deadline. These projects include: paving of the administration building ($132,107), four new awnings for the administration building ($12,000), new carpet in the courthouse ($1,391.55) and new charging systems for EMS ($135,653.91).
I’m not 100% sure of all the stipulations of this particular grant, but I don’t understand why awnings and mats can be purchased and more/better kennels can’t be purchased for animal control. Animals don’t go away because you want them to. There will always be animals in Warren County that need to go to animal control, so why can’t the facility get the upgrades it needs? They finally get to pour concrete to complete a project they’ve been trying to complete for some time, but only after fighting to get their donations out of the county’s general fund. By the way, 10% of these donations always go to the general fund. A non-profit organization, Friends of Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center, has been established and is a good way to donate to the shelter.
The shelter is also out of sight of the public. The refuge would benefit from being seen because people would really know where it is. A new shelter is desperately needed and I hope money can be found to build a new building or buy an existing one. It’s honestly pitiful how little the shelter receives.
I encourage people who care about what happens at the shelter to interview the candidates they will vote for on their projects. County commissioners and executives serve for four years and, to my knowledge, little progress has been made at Animal Control over the past four years. I also encourage every commissioner and candidate for county executive currently in office or in the running to go and spend a shift at Animal Control and see the conditions in which they have to work.
It’s an easy thing to overlook when it’s out of sight and out of mind, but the people who work there and the animals that must be there shouldn’t be forgotten and pushed aside.
Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at 473-2191.