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Help the animals, residents plead

Published May 27. 2011 05:01PM

Carbon County residents want something done to help the dogs and cats in the county.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, members of Carbon County Friends of Animals approached the board, asking them to do something to help the animals, such as creating an ordinance addressing issues of overpopulation; and abandoning animals. They also offered to help reduce the burden on the county K-9 shelter by offering volunteer services.

Donna Crum, a member of Carbon County Friends of Animals and the County Animal Response Team, said that the county needs animal control and animal cruelty officers to enforce animal-related situations.

She pointed out that there is legislation in New York and California that could help alleviate some of the problems Carbon County is experiencing.

"We want to protect the animals from harmful situations," Crum said. "What we would like done in this county is to set an example by making changes."

Susan Yaich, a member of CCFOA, also spoke about the feral cat problem in the county.

She said that CCFOA receives numerous calls a day about feral cats on a person's property. CCFOA does not accept feral cats due to risk of rabies or other diseases.

Currently, they ask if the person would be willing to spay or neuter all of the animals and provide food and shelter for them.

But something needs to be done, Yaich said, because the problem with feral animals continues to get worse.

Yaich added that there is a need to make these people who are dumping their animals and causing the problems accountable for their actions.

Crum then suggested partnering with other agencies to help alleviate some of the problems these shelters are experiencing.

Crum also brought up the situation at the K-9 shelter, which only operates from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. currently.

She noted that the dogs at the shelter are there for 19 hours without supervision.

Commissioner Charles Getz asked if the county ever received word that the shelter hours had been changed.

Randall Smith, county administrator, said not until after it had occurred.

Allison Dunstan, who was in attendance at the meeting, then spoke up telling her experiences at the K-9 shelter.

She explained that she has saved a few dogs from being euthanized at the shelter because it was decided they weren't adoptable.

She also talked about volunteering at the shelter.

Getz asked if they knew of volunteers at the shelter.

Again, Smith said they had not received word of that.

Getz said that he was tired of the things going on at the shelter and said that something needs to be done and changes need to be made.

"It's getting worse and it's time we as a board do something," he said.

He then asked the members of CCFOA to contact him to set up a meeting because he would like to further discussion the situation.

The commissioners said that they will discuss the matter with the county solicitor, who was not present at the meeting, and see what can be done about the issues with the animals.

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