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Monday, June 27, 2016

Proposal to renew contract presented

Monday, November 3, 2008

A proposal was presented to the Clay County Commissioners during Monday's meeting to renew the county's contract with the Clay County Humane Society.

It was the first time the Commissioners had seen the proposal and wanted a few questions answered.

"I really don't know the specifics as to why there has been such a high turnover," Humane Society Board President Bill Bell responded to a question about the shelter having four managers this year. "I left as board president in late 2007 and was asked to come back in June."

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton informed the commissioners that stray animals in the city and county continue to be a problem and stronger ordinances are needed.

"It is an ongoing concern and if we can pass some county ordinances, we can do a better job of slowing down the problem because all we have is state regulations to go by at this time," he said. "However, it is a never ending cycle because even if you do something to fix the problem, violators will find something else to do."

The Humane Society is seeking a two-year contract with the county, but the Commissioners wanted more time to conduct a line-by-line review of the proposal before making a final decision. Also, Commissioners' Attorney Eric Somheil said he has been waiting for information in order to draw up the contract himself.

"I asked (Humane Society Secretary) Roxanna Tisdale to provide a list of items the shelter would like to have included so I could prepare the contract," Somheil said. "However, I have not received anything to this point."

The Commissioners decided to take the matter under advisement and plan to discuss the issue further during the December meeting.

Other items discussed during Monday's meeting included:

* Approved a postage meter contract, pending review from legal counsel, for the Clay County Justice Center. The contract would have a term of 39 months at a cost of $44 a month,

* Accepted a Deferred Compensation Plan for employees of the Clay County Sheriff's Department. The plan, which is on a voluntary basis, is available to employees of the jail, dispatchers and the Sheriff's Department,

* Approved an amendment to the Clay County Employee Benefit Trust plan. The amendment specifies coverage for foot care in the medical plan, and

* Tentatively set a joint informational meeting with the Clay County Council for Nov. 20, at 10:15 a.m., to discuss maintenance at the Clay County Jail.

The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be Monday, Dec. 1, at 9 a.m., in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.

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Though admittedly I do not know too much about this particular humane society, I have worked in animal care industry for many years and aware of the way many people feel that an animal is a disposable item and do not think about the cost of taking care of one responsibly, both in time and money. Facing the results of this irresponsibility day after day, month after month could very well cause a high burn out rate among employees when they see no improvement in the care of so many animals who have been disposed of.

On the passing of more ordinances...Enforcement of the ordinances in existence would do more than passing of more. Many dogs are still running loose throughout the county to the extent that runners and bikers have to pick their routes carefully so as not to pass certain areas.

We all know that in the past linking dog "tax" to the job of the township supervisor did not work for the salary provided nor the fee imposed, provided no encouragement to go out and make sure the tax was paid. In other locations the license is more substantial [Starting at $8-10 for first neutered dog and increasing with more dogs with much larger fees for intact dogs. I suggest a few calls being made to confirm this]. It is paid at the county treasurer's office and to obtain a license you must have proof of current rabies immunization with you. The increased fees can help to enforce state leash law already in place as well as for the time it takes to impose fines on those who do not keep their dogs confined and immunized. For too long we have ignored these laws already on the books due to lack of enforcement and it has infringed on the rights of true right of way to those not in motorized vehicles. In addition because there are fewer livestock operations affected by loose roaming dogs now compared to years past, those who live in the country also have less of a economic reason for keeping a herding dog for farming purposes. I would wager that most dogs now kept are companion or for the hobby of hunting and not a necessity so truly are kept for personal choice, not as part of their livelihood. Increased rates would reflect a truer cost of the government regulating dog owners, from collecting the fees to enforcing the laws in place, including imposing fines for dogs not vaccinated or licensed. Having raised goats here in Clay County for the past 13 years, it is not the coyote, whose preferred meal is rabbit, but loose dogs who I have had to chase or trap on my property. The coyote is many times blamed for dog attacks, and while they do on occasion take down a farm animal, a group of loose dogs will destroy an entire herd at once as it is more of a game to them, inflicting wounds on hind quarters during the chase while a coyote will make his attack upon the neck and stop at one as it will have obtained its meal. Getting rid of the loose dogs will reduce most the the current livestock losses on those few farms remaining that have livestock.

Again Clay County has not kept pace with other areas on true cost of regulating dog ownership and the cost needs to be put upon the person who chooses to keep the dog so these regulations already in place can be enforced. If we simply create more regulations that without funding, cannot be enforced, we are being unrealistic.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 6:02 AM

I would like to find out about the high staff turn over there. I do not think it has anything to do with burn out.

-- Posted by sassypants on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 6:51 AM

-- Posted by whathappen on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 7:41 PM

There is a high turn over in the humane shelter because of the Board members not the members the board and the dogs will suffer. I believe it is about politics and the money not the dogs. but like everyone i can have my own opinion.

-- Posted by whathappen on Tue, Nov 4, 2008, at 7:47 PM

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