Question: What is your position on the proposed animal facility in Montreal?
Dwight Franklin's response:
Camden County is in need of an animal control facility. Prior to purchasing the MoDOT building, Animal Control had no facility to house animals that were abandoned or needed to be quarantined after a dog or cat had bitten a human. Area animal shelters are, more often than not, filled to capacity and refuse to take additional animals.
Officers assigned to Animal Control are currently checking each morning with area shelters inside and outside of Camden County for available space. When that space is not available officers have to tell citizens we cannot assist in removing the animal, as we have nowhere to go with them. The animal then becomes a burden on the caller. When shelters will accept animals, the Sheriff’s Office must pay a fee. Often, Animal Control must transport animals to the Lebanon Humane Society shelter and pay $35 per animal, plus travel expenses and employee wages.
When the original ½ cent sales tax was passed by the voters in 2007, citizens were told the Sheriff’s Office would hire animal control officers. In early 2008, animal control officers and a shelter manager were hired and the old Dogwood Animal Shelter was purchased. I took office in 2009 and, upon review; the purchased building was found to be substandard, had many structural and environmental issues and did not meet MO Dept. of Agriculture guidelines to hold animals. The building and property were eventually sold to the City of Camdenton as an addition to their airport’s flight path protection zone. The monies from that sale were ear-marked and have been used to purchase the facility in Montreal.
Animals currently are being dumped throughout the county now. The Camden County Sheriff’s Office will work to minimize and discourage the dumping of animals at the facility by informing citizens to call Animal Control for the pickup of stray or unwanted animals. Rather than drive out to the facility to dump an animal, simply call Animal Control to come by and pick it up.
John Page's response:
The need for a facility is great, and will continue to grow. It was a part of the sales tax of 2007, two animal control deputies and the handling of the animal picked up. There has been two attempts to establish a facility, the first was stopped when neighbors complaints started (at the present Road and Bridge). The second was when the county bought the old Dogwood Shelter. After it was announced, the City contacted the Commission and said they needed to buy it back, it set in the Airport flight path. The issue needs to be addressed; it must fit the community where it is. It must take the following into consideration Noise, Waste disposal, and Dumping of Animals. Not sure this has been addressed at this location , or that the buildings can be adapted to fit the regulations (state and federal) with out major cost.
Page 2 of 2 - *Editors’ Note: In an effort to maintain fairness in our election coverage, we contacted all candidates running for the Camden County Sheriff's Department asking them to participate in a series of question and answer articles prior to the November General Election. The Lake Sun did not set a word limit or edit the responses in any way.
The Lake Sun received no response from Constance Lowtharp, Democrat.