Commissioners accept money for humane society

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Putnam County Commissioners approved accepting a donation of $30,000 from the Forfeiture Fund administered by Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter to the Humane Society.

"I don't know that we can do this every year, but this year we want to offer the funds to help with spaying and neutering animals," Bookwalter told commissioners Kristina Warren, Gene Beck and Jim Baird at Monday's meeting.

Due to cuts in funding and needed building repairs, the Humane Shelter announced in June that they would have to close at least temporarily.

Board members are hoping that temporarily closing the shelter will give them enough time to raise the necessary $20,000 in reserve funds they need to supplement the $13,000 monthly costs to operate the facility.

Bookwalter appeared before the board with Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray and board members and staff from the Humane Shelter.

They presented the board with a detailed log of animal complaints from all agencies in the county. Last year 341 basic animal complaints (nuisance, excessive barking, running at large) were received. So far in 2008, 304 of those complaints have been filed.

There were 64 animal bites and complaints in 2007 and there have been 38 complaints so far this year.

The group also provided some background on the number of animals surrendered. In 2002, 512 dogs and 280 cats were given to the shelter. In 2004 those numbers increased to 852 dogs and 678 cats.

A portion of the $30,000 will be used for a spay and neuter program. The group pointed out that the states who do not have an over abundance of shelter animals are those who enact and enforce strict spay and neuter ordinances.

Mayor Murray pointed out the Hendricks County Animal Control program that is a county funded program with 18 staff members, as being very effective in controlling animals.

Animals are destroyed at the Hendricks County facility after three days.

Commissioner Gene Beck commented that he thought that was too soon to get rid of animals and that pet owners sometimes need more time to find their pets.

"That's awful quick," he said.

Board member Jane Burk also pointed out that animals are still being dumped at the facility despite it not accepting new animals.

"I have found an animal everyday dumped over the fence," said Burk. "And, none of them have been spayed or neutered. If you start adding up the number of puppies from those five being left every week, you end up with hundreds of dogs," she said.

Burk also told the board that they still have animals that need adoption.

All three commissioners agreed that animal control is an issue throughout the county and none want to see the Humane Shelter stop operations.

Commissioners, the City of Greencastle and several of the surrounding communities are all working together to find a solution and a way to pay for the Humane Shelter to re-open.

The Board accepted the Prosecutor's donation with the condition that the Humane Shelter Board agree to stop charging police and other law officials a $15 per animal fee for each animal taken to the shelter.

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  • I'm amazed that people are so hard to except that this is a much needed place in Putnam county! I know that the staff that work this type of job has my respect To be in not only a hard and nerve shattering job. But to do that and not know when the end is in site,to the never ending cycle of reproduction of animals that are strays,or just not wanted any more!! To some it is a needed place to make someone else the bad person, so I can go home filling better about ME!!!knowing that I place them in the hand of caring and some times the bad guy's hand's they had to make that choice live or die !!! to some I may not know what I'm trying to write about but I do. I DO I was that bad guy!! I was amazed at the people thinking of this place as business. Set down and take a look at how much the daily operation and divide that number and tell some towns and law enforcement this is know in your budget to help maintain this Shelter.Or go away !! nothing in life is free but choice and to remember your elections!!!

    -- Posted by OLD SCHOOL on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 12:03 AM
  • Why is it that only law enforcement get a break. It costs too much to take an animal there. Everyone should get a break then. Now you know why so many people dump their animals. So people, if you have a friend on the police or sheriff's dept, have them take animals in for you if you have one that's been dumped on you.

    -- Posted by whodouthinkur on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 7:12 AM
  • Ahh, but it did not cost to surrender your animal at the shelter. It was a "suggested donation" of $20 to cover basic cost. If you could not afford it food, toys, liter, change from the floor of your car, or even a hand "shake saying thank you for the job you do" would cover your animal being brought in. The shelter could not make you pay because it is a not for profit organization.

    It wasn't until the realization of closing was going to happen that the $20 dollars was pushed.

    As far as staff. Minimum wage only gets you what you pay for. Get you butt out there and help.

    If the shelter got lucky if found good hearted people wanting a job to feel good about themselves at the end of the day.

    -- Posted by mad-mom on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 8:48 AM
  • *

    "I have found an animal everyday dumped over the fence," said Burk. "And, none of them have been spayed or neutered. If you start adding up the number of puppies from those five being left every week, you end up with hundreds of dogs," she said.

    Burk also told the board that they still have animals that need adoption.




    If you are constantly getting more animals than you adopt, at what point do you decide that a no-kill shelter(even though it makes you feel warm and fuzzy) doesn't work and some animals need to die?

    -- Posted by tackleberry65 on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 12:43 PM
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