The idea of an animal facility in Camden County has stirred up some controversy in the last few months, but according to Camden County officials, the Sheriff's Department is moving forward as planned. Camden County purchased the old MoDOT building in Montreal this fall with the purpose to turn it into an animal facility.
In a public meeting, officials told residents that the facility will house a maximum of 32 dogs and 18 cats. The animals will be kept inside except for the time that they need to be outside in a contained area for exercise according to Department of Agriculture requirements. According to Sheriff Dwight Franklin, animal control calls are one of most called cases into the sheriff's office. Domestic violence tops the list with assaults trailing behind. Animal calls come in as number three and is why he feels buying the building was an easy choice for the county. Currently, officers do not have a facility to house the animals that they pick up. They must drive them to shelters in Osage Beach, Sunrise Beach or Lebanon and pay a fee to house them there.
The funds used to transport and house those animals in other shelters will be used to fund the day to day operations of the new facility.
Originally the plan was for the shelter not to be an adoptable shelter, but according to the Sheriff's Department, that is still up for conversation. The Lake Sun previously reported that animals will be held for 10 to 14 days before they are euthanized in hopes that owners will claim them. Animals will not be able to be adopted directly from the new facility, but will be moved to a surrounding shelter if they are "adoptable" according to Franken and Franklin. "We don't want to kill people's pets," Franklin said. The exact ways that the county will advertise what animals they have is currently unknown. Putting animals' pictures on the internet is an option.
Kelly Luttrell with the Sheriff's Department is scheduled to meet with Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken on Friday at the new facility to go over plans. After an official plan is in place, the county will put all the work that needs to be done to the building up for bid.
More details should be released after the Friday meeting. A timeline for the end of this project is unknown at this time.