Friday, August 17, 2012
Citing space and budget concerns, the animal shelter committee decided not to pursue the suggested plan to lease space in the new shelter to other cities and organizations as a place to bring stray animals.
The decision came in response to a Thursday, Aug. 16 story in the Fulton Sun, where it was reported that in a recent Auxvasse City Council meeting, Auxvasse alderperson Stephanie Leverett said Fulton councilman Steve Moore independently such an arrangement might possible once Fulton’s new shelter was funded and built.
Fulton mayor LeRoy Benton said that the idea of Fulton’s animal shelter servicing the entire county was something the city had considered in years past, but they could not rally fiscal support from the county government, so the city designed and budgeted for a shelter that could service only Fulton’s need.
“Moore wasn’t trying to establish city policy, and was evidently brainstorming with Leverett,” said Benton. “It’s not city policy. Our facility is designed at this point to take care of Fulton’s problems. Without expansions to that and the budget, we (couldn’t) handle more.”
The committee did agree that problems with stray and abandoned animals were on the rise, and that it was already affecting Fulton. Animal Control Supervisor Tina Barnes said that dogs from the county were starting to be dumped within city limits, simply because people knew that Garrett was the only shelter in the county. Also, Barnes reported that the animal shelter in Columbia has now refused to take animals from Callaway, further limiting the options for county animals.