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County seeking input on animal shelter construction

As National Spay/Neuter Week was noted by representatives of two local animal rescue groups, plans for a public meeting hosted by the county animal shelter committee was announced. ’We’ve been doing a lot behind the scenes. I’ve learned a lot I didn’t know,’ said commissioner Van Baker, who said the meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday, March 10 at the courthouse. Baker is spearheading the committee with commissioner Nancy Thrash, who said a shelter would be good for the county. ’The purpose is to give the community and county an opportunity to speak as to how they feel about a county animal shelter,’ Baker said. ‘It simply won’t work without a lot of volunteers and a lot of people supporting it.’ After the meeting, which is aimed at gauging public support ‘“ or the lack thereof ‘“ a smaller group will sit down and try to come up with a plan that meets what is wanted and needed. ’Many counties don’t participate in this at all,’ Baker said. ‘It’s like we do now, with volunteers and privately funded humane societies. We don’t want to change that but we do want to add extra help for animals. A lot of mean things go on in this world.’ Barnesville, which runs a small shelter, will be invited to take part in the planning. Beverly Eskridge of the Humane Society and Pat Peurifoy of the Dolly Goodpuppy Society both spoke about the need for a shelter. They are two of the private rescue organizations in Lamar. ’The Barnesville animal shelter only has 14 dog runs,’ said Eskridge. ‘Once it’s full they need to euthanize them to make room for others. It’s a sad situation we’re facing and we’re not the only community facing it. We really have a long way to go.’ Both noted the main problem is that people are not spaying and neutering their pets, even though help is offered through spay-neuter programs and with local vets. ’It’s epidemic throughout the Southeast,’ said Peurifoy. ‘The supply of pets must be decreased to match the demand so rescue groups can be better able to help. It’s an ongoing thing.’

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