Humane Society gets approval for new shelter

Humane Society gets approval for new shelter

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:12 pm
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

By DONNA RYDER Messenger Associate Editor The Ken-Tenn Humane Society will soon be building in Union City. The Union City Council Tuesday evening agreed to allow city manager Don Thornton and city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr. to negotiate with the organization for the lease of a piece of city-owned property. The shelter will be located between the Central fire station and the public works building on Fifth Street. Humane society president Lois Birk told the council the organization would like to temporarily place a single-wide mobile home, possibly as soon as next week, to use as the office and intake center. This would be where cats would be housed, too, until a permanent building could be built. First, however, she said the humane society wants to be able to relocate the dogs it has in its possession to the property. They are currently going to foster properties and need to be centralized. She added they are running out of room at those homes. Mrs. Birk said the society would place temporary kennels on the property and they would be covered to shade the animals from the sun. The dogs, once centralized, will be able to have all their shots, treated for worms and be either spayed or neutered. Then, they can be adopted. As soon as the legalities on the property are worked out, the humane society would begin building the shelter, which will include two buildings. The first portion of the building would house the dogs. “The dog portion would be first because we need it first,” she said. Later, the front building would be built. Mrs. Birk said the organization has some money to begin the building process. It came from a woman in South Fulton who left the organization money, jewelry and two homes. She added the hope is that local residents would also make donations or volunteer in the building process and that the organization would be able to get grants. Grants are available to improve animal shelters, but not to build one, she said. Mayor Terry Hailey asked Mrs. Birk if she understood that if the society built a building and it doesn’t work out that “the city has a building.” She said she understood. “If we thought this would fail, we would not do this,” she said. He continued by saying he thought the organization should get the money first to have the building properly built by professionals, instead of spending money on a temporary measure. Councilman Bill “Rat” Harrison said it is a heavily traveled roadway and he thinks the building ought to be something that looks good. The two then added that the society will need to have a paid staff because volunteers “will not work.” Mrs. Birk said the society would not have even considered the temporary measure had it not been for the “emergency” in Union City. “Previously we would have just asked for the property, but we may not have started (building) right away.” Union City recently terminated its animal control officer after he picked up two dogs outside the city limits and they were euthanized the following day under the direction of Tim Doyle, who held a contract with the city to house animals picked up by the city’s officer. The city’s contract calls for the animals to be housed no less than four days. The Ken-Tenn Humane Society currently belongs to several adoption programs, with many animals being sent north where strict spay and neuter laws have caused shortages of pets. The organization also takes dogs to PetSmart in Paducah, Ky., twice a month and is looking into adding a weekend in Jackson as well. Although the organization would prefer not to euthanize animals, it is sometimes necessary if the animals are sick, vicious or unadoptable. “No dog or cat should spend their lives in a cage,” she said. Mrs. Birk said the society would only take Union City dogs at this location but could accept animals for a surrender fee from outside of the city limits if a board set up for the purpose of the shelter deems it worthy. She said this would include the Obion County Sheriff’s Department having to pay the fee should a deputy bring an animal to the shelter. At this time, they are not anticipating accepting any from out of state, she said. In related business, the council agreed to terminate the contract with Doyle effective Aug. 31. After the meeting was opened in prayer by Hailey, the council: • Appointed Dorothy McMullen to an at-large seat on City Beautiful Commission. • Agreed to allow Joe Don Ashley to take down the Logan Hill Water Tank. • Voted to allow traffic cameras to be located at certain traffic lights in the city to deter people from running the red light. Hailey voted against the measure. • Decided to take bids to demolish a store building at 1115 East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. • Postponed a decision on allowing the mayor to sign grant paperwork which would have allowed Westover School for the Arts to obtain the $25,000 it has already been awarded. The postponement was at the suggestion of Councilman Billy Jack “B.J.” Cranford, who said he wants the attorney to look at the grant contract first. Hailey said he has always supported the project because of a similar project in Paris which has been very successful. He added the organizers with Westover want to make sure they will not be penalized by the council for not meeting the Aug. 1 deadline. Hailey said it was his fault that they did not have the money yet because he didn’t realize he had to sign the paperwork. Cranford added he’d like to take it up at the next council meeting and that it “will not jeapordize the August deadline.” • Heard a proclamation about the 25th National Night Out 2008. • Named the press box at Thompson Field the Jim Cawley Press Box. • Approved a resolution regarding banking signatures for retainage fees on a project which has gone over $500,000. Acting city manager Kathy Dillion said the retainage fees are required by state law, but the bank would not allow her to open the account without the resolution. • Heard that Doyle has increased his fee to open and close graves by $25. The fees are now $425 without dirt removal and $500 with dirt removal. Hailey said the city has no control over this matter. • Provided to city department heads a list of vacant lots which need to be mowed and vacant homes which need attention. • Was asked by Randy Pigg if the city can do anything about people parking in the roadway at Reelfoot Pond. He said he appreciates the city leasing the property because it is nice to have a place close by to go fish, but he wishes people would read and follow the signs posted there concerning the parking. He also said there is a trash issue, adding he picked up a bag of trash on Friday which weighed probably 60 pounds. Hailey said the parks and recreation department is suppose to be keeping the area clean and he was under the impression that it was being taken care of. “We’ll see what we can do,” the mayor added. • Received thanks from Bill Davis for the council’s support of the Southeast Regional Baseball Tournament, which will begin here on Thursday. He said all the hotels in the city are booked and he had to send some teams to Reelfoot Lake to find rooms. • Was asked by Melba Mackins what the procedure is to have the names of Chester Gray and Frelon Cross, who played in the Negro Baseball League, placed on welcome signs to the city. She was informed she needs to go before the planning commission. Councilman Johnny Bacon was absent. Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 7.16.08

Leave a Comment