The current Logan County Animal Shelter may have some problems, but it is not a public health risk according to Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick.
Tracy Moser, who has been working for the shelter for the past six months, told members of the fiscal court Tuesday, Nov. 24th, that the shelter was a health risk to the public and her staff and needed to be moved. Moser claimed that she and her employees were getting sick and had signs posted for those who come to the shelter not to touch the dogs.
“This is just not true,” said Judge Executive Logan Chick. “According to the Logan County Health Department, the shelter is not a public health risk.”
The health department visited the shelter Wednesday after Moser made statements at the court meeting about Giardia- an intestinal infection spread through feces. Moser said it was everywhere and she could not control it. She claimed the septic system was leaking all over the ground when it rained, and got on the feet of those who walked on the grounds, as well as the dogs themselves.
“The health department went out there Wednesday and walked around and looked at sewage system and building and gave it a clean bill of health,” said Chick. “They are going back out there today (Monday) and will be looking at the property while it is saturated by the rain. I am supposed to get a report from them afterwards.”
Chick said he was told by the health department if there were an epidemic of disease at the shelter, there would have to be several people who had gotten sick, and within a certain amount of hours a medical professional would have to report the issue and that was never done.
After Moser reported the shelter being a pubic health hazard, Logan County Jailer Phil Gregory pulled the inmates that are sent to help clean every day.
“There really wasn’t anything I could do. If there were a health risk for the inmates like Ms. Moser stated, I could not send them in good conscience,” said Gregory. The inmates are now back at the shelter after the health department visit.
Chick said according to the health department Giardia is in every soil. This was echoed by magistrate Dickie Carter at the Tuesday, Nov. 24th meeting when he told Moser there would be Giardia at a new facility as well.
Moser had come to the court Nov. 24th asking the county to purchase property to move the shelter. The property she wanted is 12.43 acres for $125,000. The court did not approve her request, with some magistrates saying they thought the old shelter could be fixed.
“I don’t think at this time we need to move the shelter,” said Chick. “We need to take what we have and work with it, and then maybe later in the future look at what direction the county needs to go in.”
Moser questioned magistrates Nov. 24th for spending $115,000 on a “decorative” fence around the historic courthouse. The project called for a retaining wall to be taken down and built back up.
“That wall has been a six or seven year project,” said Chick. “We looked into grants to get it done, but they were matching and would have been a lot higher. I think we are going to have a good finished product when it is done.”
The wall has been in place since 1904 and began crumbling recently causing a safety issue.
“Everybody I talked to were agreeable it helped the appearance of the courthouse and alleviated the safety hazard,” Chick said. “Just because we proceeded with this project and others that are good for the county doesn’t mean we don’t care about the animals.”
According to a letter sent to 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.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] o9r call 270-726-8394.