Humane treatment of stray animals gets board focus

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 10/5/17

The Cleveland Animal Control Board discussed the humane treatment of stray animals, touched on suggestions from rescue advocates, and welcomed a new member on board during Wednesday's October meeting …

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Humane treatment of stray animals gets board focus

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The Cleveland Animal Control Board discussed the humane treatment of stray animals, touched on suggestions from rescue advocates, and welcomed a new member on board during Wednesday's October meeting at the municipal building.

Pat Ownby attended her first board meeting, which was briefly interrupted by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland as he administered Ownby's oath of office.

Other board members attending Wednesday included Board Chair Dr. Sally Poston, Dr. Jim Lane, Cleveland Councilman Tom Cassada, and Rachel Veazey

Much of the meeting was taken up by an ongoing concern for the board, the city's policy in administering treatment and care for strays that have been severely injured or are sick.

It was pointed out there are insufficient funds for extreme steps for severely injured animals.

Dr. Lane, a local veterinarian, addressed the concern.

"Everyone on the board has a love of animals, but we don't have a bone surgeon or veterinarian at the shelter," he said of the topic of extreme measures.

He said the best they can do is to make the ill or injured animals comfortable. "It's a matter of money," he said.

At a previous meeting the board discussed the issue with Animal Control Director Gene and what action shelter personnel should take.

The board also discussed the depletion of $39,057 in funds provided by the estate of the late Hugh Golden. These funds were used strictly for spaying and neutering assistance, 

The city has $17,000 in this year's budget for the shelter, but that is also to assist with spaying and neutering, and is insufficient to provide additional treatment for animals.

The city's has been striving to be a "no-kill" or limited kill facility, and the board is considering options for across-the-board improvements. Proposed improvements would require funding.

A meeting was held recently to determine what level of care is to be provided to ill/injured animals, short of extreme measures. The priority seems to be to provide minimal care (for strays), but to keep the animal comfortable.

No action was taken at that meeting.

City Manager Joe  Fivas attended Wednesday's meeting and was asked if he and his staff could check on the policy of shelters in other communities of similar size. He is to bring the information back to the board.

In other board business:

• The rescue group at Wednesday's meeting had some suggestions for improvements at the shelter, and with adoptions.

They are proposing all new adoptions include a microchip, so the animal could be easily identified if it went missing or turned up as a stray. This could be a benefit for owners in locating their missing pets.

This possibility was discussed, which resulted in much the same determination as the treatment issue — money.

Doctors Lane and Poston said the fee for implanting a chip is around $50, although some organizations are able to do it for less.

It was eventually decided that the shelter should provide potential adoptees with the option of getting a chip implanted, if they are willing to pay for it.

• Smith, the shelter's director, had some welcomed news for board members.

The remains of deceased animals are no longer being taken to the landfill. They are now being cremated.

•  The board was provided reports on Animal Control pickups for the past two years, adoption fees, boarding, donations, and rabies shots provided at the shelter.

There was also a driver's report, which pinpoints miles traveled by Animal Control personnel.  In August, the officers traveled more than 3,500 miles.

• The next board meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.


Inset Text:

The city's has been striving to be a no kill, or limited kill facility, and the board is considering options for across-the-board improvements. Proposed improvements would require funding.


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