2013-06-12 / Letters

Diligence brought change

Dear Editor:

A number of people in this county made generous pledges towards the proposed construction of a new Animal Control facility. A total of $20,000 was pledged toward the goal of privately raising $200,000 to pay for the project with no expense to the taxpayers of Morgan County.

Our proposal was not accepted by the commissioners. The main reason given was that the West Virginia state code does not require local government to provide any type of adoption program or care beyond five days of captivity, and our commissioners have no interest in providing for any care other than the minimum required by state code.

The commissioners were asked if private citizens could build a new state-of-the-art kennel and turn it over to the county with the provision that the current kennel be sold with the funds going towards the new facility. The answer was still no.

While changes are being made at the current facility, the fact still remains that it is in an inappropriate location operating under inhumane conditions. Based on statements made by Commissioner Ford, ventilation duct work will be changed to make the current kennel more sound-proof.

This just clarifies that the intention is to keep dogs inside small, cramped areas with no access to daylight, fresh air, or room to move around and relieve themselves other than in their small cell. The new outdoor kennels are to be used primarily to quarantine the newly-accepted dogs.

After more than a year of the commissioners stating that no more money will be allotted to Animal Control, they have suddenly doubled the annual budget, purchased a new truck with a special cab, hired a second full-time officer, began vaccinating dogs, are replacing the fencing, doing landscaping, are adding on to the current kennel and will be gutting the old kennel.

Our supporters continue the quest to improve the conditions for helpless dogs in this county. If it wasn’t for their diligence in bringing the deficiencies of our local government to light, these changes would not be taking place.

Amy Lane

Berkeley Springs

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