Logan County’s fiscal court is still not convinced they need to purchase property to move the county’s animal shelter.
At Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting, Humane Society director Tracy Moser told magistrates the appraisal was in on the land she wants for a new shelter. The property will cost $125,000 for 12.43 acres and is located off Hwy 68-80 just past Logan County High School.
“Every time I come up here I feel like I need to apologize because I cannot find the right words,” Moser said to the court. “We have a lot of problems at the shelter.”
Moser told the court the current shelter was a health risk to the public and her staff and needed to be moved. She handed out a list of issues the shelter faces including waste run-off, saying it is spreading disease. She claimed her employees were getting sick and had signs posted for those who come to the shelter not to touch the dogs.
“The previous director was complaining about the sewage as well. Why didn’t you all do something then?” asked Moser. “Everyone of us has had some sort of sickness.” Moser claimed the current shelter was a pubic health risk.
Moser said the septic lines were flooding on top of the ground where people walk, and she cannot control the rodents. She also told magistrates she had asked someone at the Logan County Health Department what could be done.
“They told me move the shelter,” said Moser.
According to the new director, who took over the shelter six months ago, there is Giarida at the shelter, which is an intestinal infection spread through animal feces.
“We may lose our rescue up north because some of our animals have tested positive for this disease,” Moser said. “I have a lot of talents and abilities, but I cannot change the Giardia problem.”
According to a letter sent to Judge Executive Logan Chick after Tuesday’s meeting by the Barren River District Health Department, they do not support a statement that the Logan County Animal Shelter is experiencing a high instance of Giardia Enteritis due to poor conditions within the shelter itself.
“This claim is categorically untrue since such a statement would have been supported with clinical evidence obtained from a medical lab and a substantiated investigation from our epidemiological team. To date no such investigation or report has been made. Unless this critical step is taken there is no possible way to ascertain if the claim is accurate,” said Rob Dixon and Roy Litterall of the Logan County Health Department.
The health department further stated if shelter personnel were getting sick, they recommended having them tested at a hospital to confirm whether Giardia is the cause of the sickness.
Magistrate Dickie Carter claims Giardia was everywhere in the soil, and it would be something Moser and her staff would have to deal with at a new location as well.
“This sounds like a threat – you going to the health department” said Carter to Moser. “Do we need to put signs out there saying no trespassing or workers enter at your own risk? This sounds like a liability to me the way you are painting this. I think you are taking this too far. We cannot compete with Warren County. Maybe we need to close the shelter and send our dogs there.”
Moser said the Warren County Humane Society wouldn’t take Logan County’s animals.
Carter mentioned putting up a pole barn at the current shelter site to house the dogs.
“I was raised on a farm and know just enough to make me dangerous, but I would never come on your farm and tell you how to run it,” Moser said to Carter. “As much as I respect you, I cannot respect you on this because you know nothing about running a shelter.”
Carter said the cost of Moser’s plan is going to be tremendous.
“I haven’t run into anyone who wants the county to spend this kind of money on a new shelter,” said Carter. Magistrate Barry Joe Wright agreed.
“You are asking for $375,000 from the county,” Carter said. “I will never vote to buy property for a new shelter when we have senior citizens and youth in our community that need help. The current shelter could be worked on and brought up to state standards.”
Moser mentioned her disappointment at the county spending money on a retaining wall at the historic courthouse when the shelter was in such bad shape and in need. Judge Executive Logan Chick said that project had been discussed for years before being voted on.
Wright wanted Moser to be aware the court was responsible for spending the taxpayer’s money.
“I have saved the county money through my resources. All I want is a safe place for the animals and my staff. You have hurt my feelings because you don’t appreciate us enough to give us a safe place to work,” said Moser to the magistrates.
Crossley told Moser she needed to slow down a bit.
“We don’t have the money budgeted to do what you want,” said Crossley.
Moser said it may take a while to build a new shelter, but she felt buying the land would be a good start and a smart investment for the county.
“My name is going to be all over this and I will make it right,” Moser promised. “Trust me.”
Wright said he is not for moving the current shelter, but fixing it.
“There is not one of us that doesn’t want to make it better,” said Wright. “We can build it up at the current shelter. We can take the house down. We need to meet in the middle. I don’t think it needs to be moved.”
Moser said there was no more room to put in leachate lines at the current shelter, and it sat in a bowl that collected rain.
Wright added he didn’t think the county needed to buy land and then let it sit waiting to have the funds to build a shelter.
Moser assured Wright it would not just sit. She and her staff would work diligently on getting it done.
“Have you not seen the stuff I’ve accomplished?” said Moser.
Carter said he felt the discussion needed to stop. He said Moser had done a great job at the shelter and thanked her.
“I think we need to stop this discussion and take it up at the next meeting,” Carter said, making a motion, which passed unanimously.
Moser asked the court to come up with how much they would contribute to the project and then she would come up with the rest.
According to humane society reports, within the last six months the shelter took in 932 animals (456 dogs and 476 cats). Out of those numbers 225 were adopted, 42 reclaimed, 197 transferred to other shelters and rescues, 3 dead on arrival, 4 died at shelter, 1 escaped, 2 were stolen and 411 have been euthanized.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.