11/16/06 — Shelter is priority: Conditions should keep new shelter project on front burner

View Archive

Shelter is priority: Conditions should keep new shelter project on front burner

When talk begins about putting a new animal shelter in Wayne County, inevitably some of the first words spoken are about how much it will cost.

And there is no question that paying for the construction will not be done with some extra money that the commissioners have lying around. This is a significant expense that requires careful planning.

But just as there always is, there might be a tendency for some to want to scrimp, to say that this is not a project that should be a priority now.

They are wrong — and the taxpayers should not be asked to dig around for spare change to pay for a new animal shelter, either.

The county’s current animal shelter is a disgrace. Conditions are horrible and allow for employees to do little more than to create a holding cell for animals taken there.

It is hard enough to get officials to visit the facilities, let alone to get a family to come there looking for a pet.

Providing a place for stray animals is the responsibility of this county, period. If the facilities in question are subpar, the county needs to get the job done. And that is what county officials have promised to do — to their credit.

Once the shelter is built, it will be up to the community to create programs that encourage adoption and promote spaying and neutering — and there are groups already in place who have promised to do just that.

For now, progress seems to be being made in the shelter construction. It is important as budgets tighten to make sure that this project stays a priority.

Once it is finished, it will be something the county and its citizens can point to with pride, rather than shame.

And that is worth a few extra tax dollars — or some cuts somewhere else.

Published in Editorials on November 16, 2006 11:06 AM