Dog warden, county commissioners are discussing spending as a lot as $750,000 to renovate the pound inside a yr to enhance well being of the animals.
CANTON When the Stark County Dog Pound was constructed round 1985, it was a “state of the art” facility, in accordance to Jon Barber, the county dog warden.
County officers didn’t intend the cages to be lengthy-time period houses for the canine. The dog warden’s workplace stored stray canine for 72 hours. If nobody claimed them, the deputies euthanized them. In the previous decade, nevertheless, residents’ attitudes concerning the canine have modified. A group of dog lovers has emerged to advocate for the humane remedy of the animals, with higher efforts to discover them new houses and to reduce the variety of canine euthanized.
The dog warden’s workplace has responded with the occasions. But with canine staying longer durations on the pound with the hope they are often adopted, the present format of the cages, the presence of extreme moisture within the kennel facility and the antiquated air flow system is making the canine sick with higher respiratory infections, the pound’s veterinarian stated.
Last week, Stark County commissioners and Barber mentioned a big renovation of the dog warden’s workplace, at a attainable value of $664,516 to $750,000. If issues go as deliberate, contractors inside a yr would renovate the kennel space, set up new fiberglass cages with more room, change the air flow system, assemble a brand new space for the veterinarian to deal with canine the place the storage at present is situated, increase the isolation space and construct a safe space to drop off canine.
The objectives are to enhance the well being of the canine, present them a much less nerve-racking surroundings and create more room for the veterinarian and her two techs to deal with the canine.
Quality not capability
Barber emphasised that renovations aren’t about increasing the capability of the pound, which has taken in 1,100 canine this yr. He stated his workplace wants to concentrate on holding stray canine, and he stated house owners who need to give up canine ought to be chargeable for discovering them new houses moderately than dropping them off on the pound.
His workplace presently makes use of about 29 cages for giant canine, at the very least 15 for small canine and no less than six for puppies. Under the renovation proposal, his workplace would add 10 cages for giant canine. All of the chrome steel cages would get replaced by largely fiberglass cages, which Barber stated can be extra snug for the canine and supply more room. They would come with a plastic panel that may forestall the canine from staring on the different canine for 23 1/2 hours a day, a state of affairs that heightens tensions.
“We’re not adding a lot of space,” Barber informed commissioners of their assembly. “My philosophy is we can’t be a warehouse for these dogs. We just can’t. We could build a facility and spend $12 million and put 500 cages in there — and there would be 500 cages full.”
Stark County Administrator Brant Luther referred to as the fee calculations preliminary and topic to change. Commissioners are taking a look at paying for the renovations with $150,000 from the dog and kennel fund, which is funded by dog license charges, at the very least $200,000 from the county’s everlasting enchancment fund, $200,000 in donations particularly to broaden the veterinarian workplace space and a greenback-for-greenback match in contributions up to a further $200,000 from the development fund.
He stated if the renovations are carried out, youngsters visiting the pound on the lookout for a dog to undertake not can be barked at by vicious canine, which might be evaded the adoptable canine. That would permit, he stated, a extra “fuzzy, let’s take a pet home kind of experience.”
Commissioners mentioned a timeline through which an architect could possibly be employed to do last design for the challenge in May, and the challenge might be bid out to contractors by July.
Stark County Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton repeatedly stated the county will renovate the dog warden’s workplace whether or not individuals make tax-deductible donations to assist fund the venture, because the canine are the county’s duty. She stated a number of supporters of the dog pound have expressed curiosity in contributing to the challenge, and she or he needed to supply them a means to do this. But, she stated, “I’m not soliciting donations for this project.”
“Our project should not hinge on whether (donors) come forward or not,” Creighton stated. “It’s our responsibility as the county commissioners to make sure that we have the proper facilities in the proper way, and we will not be cheap.”
Creighton stated she and different officers have mentioned the attainable renovations over the previous two years, however postpone continuing as a result of it wasn’t clear if the pound’s contracted veterinarian was going to keep. Much of the planning assumed the pound would make use of its personal veterinarian. With the veterinarian agreeing to prolong her contract till 2019, the commissioners felt snug shifting ahead.
After contemplating totally different designs, the commissioners and dog warden settled on a plan from the structure agency SoL/Harris Day that would come with:
• Demolishing the present kennel space.
• Creating an consumption space with 10 kennels, the place the veterinarian can consider canine, and an isolation space for extra vicious canine.
• Expand the parking zone and enhance the move of automobiles off Mahoning Road NE.
• Installing bigger, fiberglass kennels which are simpler to clear, simpler to disinfect and extra snug for the canine. “These dogs are laying on cold cement, wet cement, all the time,” Barber stated. “Even though we have these little beds, we can’t convince these dogs for some reason to lay in the bed.”
• Replacing the drainage system. Currently, waste from the kennels drains into a standard trench that passes in entrance of the cages, spreading illness.
• Replacing the air flow system that solely recirculates air. The new system would add recent air and purify it.
• Removing the small cages over the dog cages that apparently have been meant for cats and are troublesome to clear.
• Installing public restrooms required by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Barber dropped plans to renovate workplaces, which lowered the fee estimate by $102,000.
“My staff and I can live with what’s there,” he informed commissioners. “That’s not the concern of what we’re trying to do here. What we’re trying to do here is get better conditions for the dogs for the stay that they’re there.”
The pound’s veterinarian, Stacy Bridges, stated the enhancements would assist “dramatically decrease the spread of disease,” present for a quieter isolation space that calms canine’ tensions and improve the area the place she will carry out surgical procedures.
“The risk of disease spread is very high for the way it’s set up and the way the air is handled right now. … Currently, respiratory disease spreads like wildfire,” Bridges stated. “You have increased risk because you’re putting more people or more animals in a smaller area.”
Barber stated the modifications finally would make the canine more healthy and extra adoptable. An indication at his workplace’s entrance warns individuals in search of to undertake canine of the excessive danger the canine is perhaps sick.
Reach Robert Wang at 330-580-8327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @rwangREP