Commonwealth Journal

Local News

October 16, 2010

Animal shelter still looking to improve

Somerset — The Pulaski County Animal Shelter has seemingly progressed in leaps and bounds, but there are still a few things lacking.Like enough dog kennels to accommodate those canines awaiting transportation to other areas via rescue groups.

Ellie Grant, a volunteer with the Pulaski County Animal Shelter, appeared before Pulaski County Fiscal Court on Tuesday and asked that the county fund additional kennels at the shelter to help with the population of dogs moving in and out of the shelter.The kennels, Grant said, would give those dogs “pulled” by rescue groups — many of which are from out of state — a place to stay during the three to four days before the groups can arrange to transport them to their adopted homes.

“It would be a great opportunity for the shelter to shine,” Grant said.

Grant said as many as 600 dogs have been transported to other regions by rescue groups, but those transports can usually only take place on the weekends because rescue volunteers often have jobs as well.

So if one group decides to take 11 dogs from the shelter on a Tuesday, that leaves four nights in which the animals must be sheltered until transportation arrives.

Grant said the overpopulation problem makes it difficult for the shelter to provide kennel room to those dogs awaiting transportation — forcing some volunteers to take the dogs into their homes temporarily.

Some rescue groups must resort to having the dogs boarded at a local veterinarian’s office at the cost of the volunteers.

The court raised questions about the cost of the possible kennels. Grant said she didn’t have any specific numbers, but she did say the county could feasibly charge up to $6 per night for each dog to help cover the cost of the kennels.

“Can these rescue groups afford to pay?” asked Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock.

Grant emphasized that the $6 fee would be doable for volunteers, but she said any more than that may be difficult to cover on the part of the rescue groups, which often operate out of the pockets of the volunteers.

Mark Bastin, with the Somerset-Pulaski County Development Foundation, volunteered to sit down with Grant and other volunteers to help draw up a design, an estimate on how many kennels may be needed, and the associated cost.

“I’m a dog lover myself,” Bastin told the court on Tuesday.

The court decided to revisit the issue at a later court meeting.

In other news from the Tuesday, Oct. 12 fiscal court meeting:

• Bastin told the court that the lowest bid — put in by McGowan Excavating — for the Safe Auto sewer expansion, which were opened in the last meeting, was accepted.

• First District Magistrate Kenny Isaacs voiced a concern over the county’s policy with bidding out tire supply services. Bullock said the county will accept the two lowest bidders because a back-up supplier is available should the lowest bidder be unable to provide a specific type of tire.

Isaacs said he’d been approached by a tire vendor who inquired about the arrangement. He stated that it appeared certain types of tires would actually be more expensive at one location as compared to the next, and vice versa.

• The court awarded the janitorial bid for the Pulaski Court of Justice, slated to begin operations on Oct. 25 after a week-long move from several offices at the courthouse into the new building.

The bid by Barnes Cleaning, LLC. for $73,642.14 was accepted. That includes cleaning supplies.

• The county approved road requests, and the road department did not request any rock from the county during the meeting.

• The bill list and a nunc pro tunc bill list were approved.

• The court approved an agreement and resolution that will allow Bullock to sign off on repairs to secondary roads in the county, funded by $376,202 in state funds.

• Pulaski County Clerk Ralph Troxtell requested that the Board of Elections be able to use boundary line drawings released by the state’s Legislative Research Commission.

“We would like to follow those boundary lines ... to identify voters that’s on boundary lines joining each county,” Troxtell said.

Troxtell said those boundaries appear to be much more accurate than highway measurements, which may help officials determine whether certain voters who straddle the county line are actually voting in the right precincts.

Citizen Dan Gibson asked whether any changes made to a person’s voting location would have an affect on how that person would pay taxes. Troxtell emphasized that the boundaries would only affect where the person votes and nothing else.  

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