Board OKs shelter fundingSuperior will get some help with its new animal shelter if it builds one large enough to accommodate animals from throughout the county.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Superior will get some help with its new animal shelter if it builds one large enough to accommodate animals from throughout the county.
The Douglas County Board on Thursday night approved $410,000 in funding over the next 10 years
Supervisor Keith Allen amended the resolution establishing the commitment to ensure no county tax levy will be used to fund the city-owned animal shelter and the towns wouldn’t be subject to an assessment for use of the shelter.
The board approved the amendment.
“We never intended to put this on the property tax levy,” said Supervisor Dan Corbin.
“I really don’t want to see this fail,” said Supervisor Dan Conley. “The need for the animal shelter is there. I know that we’re not going to the full extent that the city would like us to partner up on this, and we can’t — and I don’t think we should — meet their expectations, but we should still be a partner on this. I think it’s important.”
He said it only makes sense to have a regional facility.
The proposed shelter would be constructed near Bear Creek Park and Moccasin Mike Road at the edge of the city, within a few miles of the Humane Society of Douglas County.
If constructed large enough to accommodate animals from rural communities, the rural humane society plans to merge with Animal Allies and close the shelter off County Highway Z.
“Recently, there was a dog that attacked a young child — really severe injuries to the child,” said Dr. Bob McClellan, a veterinarian with the Superior Animal Hospital. “The dog wasn’t rabies vaccinated. The owner was just going to dispose of the animal. Fortunately, the dog was brought to the humane society. ... It needed to be rabies tested. The owner had no money and couldn’t bring it to the veterinarian. The humane society was able to pay for this to have the dog euthanized, tested for rabies, and protect county public health.”
McClellan said it funding the shelter does come down to protecting the public health. He said there is more than taking in a stray and finding loving homes for animals to a shelter’s operation.
Mick MacKenzie, a city councilor who has worked toward construction for a new shelter since taking office, said the city has a wonderful plan for the new shelter, which would be about 8,500 square feet.
“This has been well thought out and we’re finally getting close now,” MacKenzie said.
“One of the reasons I would like to see this passed is the city … has asked for a considerable amount more money,” Corbin said. He said there is no way the county could make that large of a commitment, but the county can keep to the commitment that it is offering.
The board voted 17-3 in favor of funding the shelter. Rural supervisors Kay Johnson, Mary Lou Bergman and Pat Ryan opposed the funding.