The county, by state law, has to provide an animal control officer to manage the stray dog population; however, members of fiscal court feel the public and the animals would better be served under the direction of the Humane Society who have the "heart" for the cause.
The Logan County Humane Society has handled the day-to-day operations of the county’s shelter for 22 years and also operates a thriving rescue program of their own, which saves the lives of the unwanted animal population in the community.
The county will contract with the Humane Society continuing to supply the necessary funding for the position, equipment and additional money to help off-set the costs of the shelter.
Although the office will now be under the direction of the Humane Society, the organization will continue to rely on local law enforcement for backup as is done now. If there is a situation involving abuse and/or neglect of an animal in the county, the animal control officer will rely on the legal arm of the police to enforce the laws.
All calls for stray dogs will still be filtered through the Emergency Communication Center ECC/726-4911 and then passed onto animal control. This is done to document the incident and to direct calls and complaints to the appropriate location.
Animal control will be on-call 24-7 for emergency situations only. This includes vicious animal attacks and/or animals who are in life threatening situations. Other than emergencies, animal control will be an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. position Monday through Friday available for stray dog pickup according to the county’s ordinances.
The Humane Society will be seeking an individual for the position immediately. Until the position is filled and the change over is complete, the sheriff’s department will continue to provide enforcement as it has done.
The county’s shelter is being moved from its existing location at the city county park within the next few weeks to its new home located on Morgantown Road. The current shelter is very old and very run down and humane society officials say the move is very anticipated and very much appreciated.
“There is only so much we can do at the current shelter for the animals we have,” said Humane Society director Elin Pitts. “Our cages are in disrepair, our air conditioning units are on their last legs and we don't have adequate room for the constant incoming population."
Pitts said when the move to the new shelter occurs, there will be a lot more space for animals to be kept indoors and under roof. “Right now there is not enough room and animals are having to be kept outside in kennels where they are subject to the heat,” said Pitts.
“The new shelter is going to be a place the community can be proud of,” said Humane Society board member Gail Guiling. “There have been a lot of volunteers in the Humane Society’s past and present who have worked hard for this and now will be able to see it become a reality.”