Fine to be levied for failure to spay/neuter shelter-adopted pets
by Special to the Banner
Jun 04, 2010 | 1276 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Measures initiated some five months ago to ensure that owners of pets adopted from the Cleveland Animal Shelter are spayed and neutered as mandated, were outlined by City Manager Janice Casteel and Assistant Police Chief Gary Hicks at the bi-monthly Shelter Advisory Board meeting held this week.

A temporary position was created to assist shelter secretary Jennifer Rogers to permit her time to make follow-up telephone calls to owners of shelter-adopted pets who had failed to spay/neuter pets, remind them of this requirement and inform them that a $150 fine would be levied on them for failure to spay/neuter the pet, according to Casteel. Lavinia Johnson was hired to this temporary office position, she stated. The shelter adoption fee of $50 includes a veterinary exam, spay/neuter and first vaccinations.

Chief Hicks noted a grant issued one year ago via proceeds from the state’s animal friendly license plates aimed at assisting adopters of municipal shelter pets who are disabled to over 65 years old had been used “by only a few adopters even though two signs are posted at the shelter informing potential adopters of this assistance. This grant expires June 30, he said. He pointed out it may be “more difficult” to get another annual grant since this one was rarely used. He added that the unused portion of the funding provided in the grant — about 80 percent — will have to be returned to the state.

Discussion ensued about the possibility of applying for spay/neuter grants for community residents unable to afford spay/neutering pets resulting in countless new litters of puppies and kittens being surrendered at the shelter with scant hope of adoption. Chief Hicks said he will research this possibility.

Further discussion centered on the possibility of transporting pets adopted at the shelter directly to a veterinary hospital for spay/neuter to ensure this was achieved before the pets went to their adoptive homes.

Casteel said she would check into the possibility of obtaining a used vehicle and hiring a part-time driver to do the transporting. She said she will put this issue on the June 28 City Council agenda.

In other business Shelter Director Gene Smith announced temporary kennel attendant Zack Fletcher had completed his training.

Smith said donations of newspapers are “greatly needed at the shelter right now” to line kennels on a daily basis and “all donations will be appreciated.”

He also stated that former board member Larry Burns had submitted his resignation from the board.

The monthly shelter report distributed by Smith indicated: 571 animals were handled in May; 57 were adopted; 27 were claimed; 444 unwanted pets were euthanized. Pets surrendered by their owners totaled 413 while 158 stray pets were picked up by officers. Adult dogs handled totaled 177; adult cats, 105; puppies, 84; and kittens, l99. Call received from the city totaled 319; from the county, 369.

Shelter board members present were Kathy Kinder, Gigi Hibbard, Sue Little and Beth Foster. Members absent were: Dr. Robert Taylor and board chairman Dr. John Owens.

Board meetings, held at the Cleveland Municipal Building, are open to the public. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 4 at 1 p.m.