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Mayor, animal supporters seek best site for shelter

Mayor Debbie Sutherland and animal advocates are trying to put some bite into efforts to find the best location for the city animal shelter and kennel.

Sutherland and Nancy Brown, owner of Hot Diggity Dog, a pet care services business, said Friday they and other supporters of the city’s shelter and animal kennel will be meeting in the near future about finding the best site for the facility.

“We want to look at options and find the best way to handle this and get the best solution and location for the facility,” Sutherland said.

Brown, who spoke at the May 16 City Council meeting expressing support for the shelter and maintaining one in the city, said the group will be happy to take part in the discussions.

“Right now, I need to speak to the other people and find the best times for them and the mayor where we can all meet and talk about this,” she said. “Our priority is on the shelter and finding a place for it.”

Brown had expressed concern about the shelter, noting Sutherland said in recent remarks the city was reexamining its current location near the city service department facilities behind the former salt barn location or that the city animal control services might change or be outsourced. After the salt barn building collapsed, city officials became concerned about the shelter’s location behind it. With plans under way to build a new truck washing facility on that site, Sutherland said the shelter remaining in the service area may not be the best location.

“We’re not locked into having it in that area,” she said. “It’s just where it was placed a number of years ago,” she said. “With what happened to the salt barn and a new facility going in, it’s very feasible that there would be better locations in the city. That’s something that we’ll try to address when we meet with these groups.”

Brown noted $8,000 had been raised by the Friends of the Bay Animal Kennel group and others and turned over to the city for use at the shelter.

‘There’s a lot of support for it (the city shelter and kennel area) among people in the city,” she said. “Sometimes people’s pets get away, or there are strays or other animals in the city. We have animals who help us out; we need to have a place available for them in the city.”

Sutherland said those funds likely could be used for something such as engineering and design work for a new, relocated shelter.

“We’re going to look at some different options,” she said.

Tom Kauken, a member of the shelter support group, said its members just want to make sure there are adequate facilities in the city to take care of strays and other animals recovered in the city.

“There’s a definite need to make sure we have a good place for those animals,” he said.

Kauken said animal lovers want a good facility and are willing to help find and provide for it.

“That’s why we and others raised those funds and will help where we can,” he said.

 

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