09/30/07 — At last a shelter: County's efforts to house animals has been achieved

View Archive

At last a shelter: County's efforts to house animals has been achieved

If you asked most people what is at the top of their “to-do” list for the county, the construction of a new shelter for abused, abandoned and neglected animals might not be at the top.

And it is true that Wayne County has more than a few issues to tackle regarding infrastructure, schools and the future of families in this area, so a shelter might have been one of those projects that moved down the priority list.

But that doesn’t mean that Tuesday’s planned ground-breaking for what has been a labor of love for so many residents and officials for years, should be anything but a chance for a real celebration.

It is yet more proof of what can be done when people of like mind decide to put their foot down, to fight for what’s right — and to become active parts of the solution.

So, when the dogs dig for the ceremony this week, the first step of the next part of the journey will officially begin — the actual construction of a new place to house, save and adopt the county’s unwanted pet population.

Officials and volunteers alike have supported this effort — even though there were other priorities in the county. They knew that and respected that. But they also knew that the situation at the county’s antiquated shelter with rather draconian euthanasia methods could not be tolerated any longer.

So, they decided to lead the charge to make a change.

They did so, in part, because it is true that how a community treats the most vulnerable of its members is a reflection on its own health and moral compass.

Hundreds of thousands of volunteer dollars later, donations from all over the county were combined with county funds to create a plan — for a new shelter, as well as a new program that addressed not only the euthanasia issues, but set in motion a move to create a spot for adoptions, spaying and neutering and other humane education efforts.

And that was the goal all along — to help as many animals as possible to find new and loving homes and to protect others from lives of abuse and neglect.

There have been some who have said that the shelter project was a waste — too much money being spent on a problem that is not the most critical this county faces.

The truth is that this is an effort led by more than a few community members who decided that addressing the issue could no longer wait. So, they got the job done.

And they deserve to be proud of their efforts and what they have accomplished.

There is still more work to be done once the shelter is built, and those same volunteers are already getting back to work planning and fundraising, determined to stay true to their mission.

But this week, it is time to mark the accomplishment and to prove again that there is no issue that cannot be tackled if someone takes the time to care.

Published in Editorials on September 30, 2007 12:00 AM