Thursday, October 20, 2005

Board talks animal control

By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

The Marshall County Board of Supervisors postponed action on a new set of animal control ordinances Monday pending provisions for a shelter for housing stray dogs.

Supervisors held talks with No Borders Animal Rescue to see if the organization is interested in helping pick up stray or vicious dogs and help kennel them until they are adopted.

Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas said the county wants to contract with an organization like No Borders, work with the Humane Society and use a partnership of three to address animal control problems.

Terry Willis, president of No Borders, and Nell Cassatta spoke for their organization saying they do not have a space to house any more dogs - that they have adopted all they can, themselves.

Willis said it costs him about $150 a month to feed 18 strays he has in a kennel at his house.

They said they don’t have ready figures of what it costs to care for animals including the cost of treating for worms, treating for mange, plus vaccinations.

Supervisor George Zinn III explained that the county is not presently equipped to handle animal control and called on No Borders to see if they would pick up strays.

Willis and Cassatta said they would convey the county’s request for a contract at a meeting with No Borders this week.

“I am willing to try to do it, but we can only do so much,” Willis said.

“We need someone to go pick up strays,” said supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett.

“So, you are equipped to pick up vicious animals?” asked Zinn.

“In any organization you cannot save all pets,” said Willis. “Some have to be euthanized.”

“Somebody has to go get them; then somebody has to keep them,” supervisor Willie Flemon said. “We still have to have some place to put them.”

Willis noted that he has been called to help with only two vicious dogs last year. He said the county has problems with mangy dogs and mixed breed dogs.

Zinn asked if Willis needed to tranquilize an animal and he replied that he uses traps and does not have a tranquilizer gun.

Cassatta reviewed unofficial figures and made some points regarding the local No Borders chapter:

  • All the organization’s animals are in foster care.
  • No Borders cuts costs by giving shots, treating for worms, medicine, dipping and spay/neuter service before putting dogs up for adoption.
  • Adoptions are in the homes of the membership right now.
  • Forty-seven animals are currently in adoptive care which ranges from horses, cats to potbellied pigs.
  • Photos of adoptable animals are available on the web at www.petfinder.org/shelters/MS66.html. Ninety three pets have been adopted off this site.
  • Willow bend Animal Clinic helps with adoptions.
  • About 16 strays are adopted per month.
  • No Borders raises funds through yard sales and bake sales in Marshall County. Other funds are contributed by the membership.
  • It costs about $7 a month just to feed a pet.
  • Willis and Cassatta are willing to pick up strays when called. The other members have jobs.

Cassatta said a building, fenced area and concrete slab are needed to house strays for the required seven day waiting period prior to adoption.

Zinn clarified that the county does not want the responsibility of picking up strays or feeding them and is looking to volunteer organizations to help with it.

“You are asking us to do what we already do,” said Willis. “If you could provide us a facility and food...”

Bennett said the county essentially wants to help pay for costs but not have its hands directly on the daily operations of a facility.

Flemon then suggested the county furnish a building, fund the project and get an organization like No Borders to help operate and pick up strays.

At that juncture, Sheriff Kenny Dickerson suggested the board draw up plans for a kennel to be constructed on the jail property where animals could be kept in clean kennels while awaiting adoption. He said he would look at the feasibility of some of his employees helping out.

The matter was left in the hands of Dickerson and administrator Larry Hall to draw up some plans for a facility.

To contact No Borders Animal Rescue call Willis at 662-252-6407 or Cassatta at 662-252-6492 or e-mail to nobordersanimalrescue@yahoo.com


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