03/30/07 — Shelter priorities: It might not seem like it, but now is the time to build

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Shelter priorities: It might not seem like it, but now is the time to build

There are some people who might wonder why there has been so much fuss about building a new animal shelter in Wayne County.

And, in the wake of some of the recent concerns about the budget in this county and the future needs of this community, they would not be out of bounds to question why so much attention is being paid to stray animals.

So this might be a good time to remind everyone why moving forward on the animal shelter is still important — even though there are other jobs left to be accomplished.

The current shelter is a disgrace. It is too small, too unkempt and too draconian for a county that is considered to be progressive and moving forward.

Wayne County desperately needs a place to humanely control its animal population — and to give some of those animals that have been surrendered the chance to find new homes.

A new building by itself will not cut back on the number of animals euthanized in this county, but a more aesthetically pleasing place for families to go to look for a pet will help reduce the number that have to be put down.

A better place, as well as more attention to spaying and neutering programs, could mean fewer animals that are abandoned or mistreated, too. And having fewer animals that need help is a positive for this community.

But all that said, “why now?” you might ask.

There are several reasons — not the least of which is that the situation at the shelter has truly become unbearable and a disgrace.

But the reality is that there is never a good time to spend money. There are always other priorities that seem more important and other projects to divert attention away from one need to another.

The animal control problem is one that sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and accomplish. It is not one you want to wait to solve until it gets out of hand.

And this county has been lucky enough to get a $200,000 anonymous donation from a couple of benefactors who want to see something done quickly about the shelter problem. That extra funding will allow Wayne County to create a shelter that not only serves the needs of the animal control officers, but offers volunteer humane organizations the chance to boost spaying and neutering and adoptions.

That is too nice a gift to ignore.

So, with all those factors, Wayne County has picked exactly the right time to take this step forward — and to do the right thing when it comes to stray animals.

Now, all we have to do is break ground — soon.

Published in Editorials on March 30, 2007 11:12 AM