Humane Shelter concerns expressed at public hearing

At a public hearing held Tuesday, citizens got to express their concerns about Winslow’s Humane Society’s shelter.

Winslow Police Chief Stephen Garnett began the public hearing by relaying a list of concerns expressed by neighboring humane officers when they toured the Winslow facility.

The shelter currently runs on a budget of $50,000 from the city and donations from the community. Garnett said all of the visiting human officers had said the shelter was very good for that low of a budget.

Their concerns included training for shelter workers, removing all wood materials from the facility, isolating animals and vaccinations.

He pointed out that Maricopa County’s humane shelter had offered training session to the Winslow officers.

Wood is used throughout the shelter’s outside pins to separate runs and as walls. The problem with wood is it cannot be sanitized. This poses a health problem.

The two major issues discussed at the forum were isolating animals, especially puppies, coming into the shelter for a period of time to ensure they are healthy and vaccinating each animal that enters the shelter. The vaccination most talked about would be to stop the animal disease Parvo from spreading to other animals in the shelter.

Parvo is most common in puppies and can have an incubation period from three to 14 days. It was explained a puppy could come into the shelter with the disease and seem perfectly healthy.

That dog could then transport the disease via flies on dung to other dogs. If all of the dogs coming into the shelter had previously been vaccinated, the disease would not be as prevalent as it is now.

Winslow Veterinarian Scott Peters explained that Parvo is not a disease affecting only Winslow, but is in high occurrence throughout this state this year.

Ellie Merrit, the shelter’s manager, said it had been estimated a cost of $11,000 would be incurred in order to vaccinate the 1300 dogs and 640 cats that come into the shelter. Dr. Peters said he would give the shelter the necessary vaccinations at cost, which is $2 per shot. This would lower the cost of vaccinations dramatically.

Beulah McAdams, Winslow Humane Society President, said the group has funds in savings and would dip into those savings to pay for the shots.

Merrit expressed concerns about people adopting animals, receiving the voucher for a free spay or neuter and then not taking their animal in to the vet for the surgery. Several options to ensuring people take their animals in for spay or neutering were discussed.

It was also suggested by Garnett that the Humane Shelter re-examine their contract with Navajo County for picking up dogs in the un-incorporated parts of Winslow.

Currently they receive $5 per day per animal for up to three days. If the animal has to be disposed of, the county then pays the shelter another $15.

Another concern was the exposure the outside dogs receive during the winter. Garnett added it was also suggested by visiting officers that the facility expand or possibly even demolish and rebuild.

McAdams said the Humane Society would love to have a new facility, but the large amount of funding needed to do this is not available.

The topic of applying for grants was brought up. She said Winslow Humane Society had never applied for a grant, but that was currently being looked at.

It was suggested by a citizen that a day could possibly be set aside for volunteers to go out and do some work on the shelter. They could possibly even donate the materials needed.

“We need to go to the public with this,” McAdams said. “We need a humane shelter, we don’t want to go back to being a dog pound. But, if we want to keep this open it is going to take money.”

It was pointed out that all donations made to the society are tax deductible. The Human Society added anyone who wanted to make a donation could also bring a “dog-loo” dog house to the shelter. They are currently in need of 23 “dog-loos” and they can be purchased at Wal-Mart. People can also donate sheet metal to be used to replace the wood currently being used in the shelter.

The Humane Society has regular meetings the third Thursday of each month and people can become members for only $10.

McAdams invited those unable to attend the pubic forum to send their concerns to Winslow Humane Society, Attn: Beulah McAdams, P.O. Box 119, Winslow, AZ 86047.

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