Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kent County Levy Court Vote on Dog Control

All I have to say good about tonight's Kent County Levy Court meeting is thank god for the video streams.  What a long meeting it was. The animal portion of the meeting isn't until 3:30:30 into the streamed meeting.

So it appears the the county wants to negotiate with Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary in Georgetown, DE.  There was discussion about still looking into finding kennels in Kent County that could be leased, but to date they haven't been able to find any, so Kent County residents may have to make a 35-40 mile haul to Georgetown to pick up their animal if it's lost. I'm sure that will have an impact on pet retention.

One has to wonder why commissioners would want to turn over dog control to a director that doesn't know dog laws after being here in that position for several years, particularly dangerous dog laws which are the most important. And they will be expecting her to train new officers in the several weeks what she hasn't learned in several years.  Okay, that should certainly be interesting.  More concerning were her comments about dangerous dogs being "very rare" and "a lot of fear mongering".  I think Safe Haven's view on handling dangerous dogs can be shown most clearly in the Cape Gazette Letter to the Editor of 2/10/12 below.  Keep in mind that dogs aren't just dangerous to people, but also when they are attacking our pets as we walk down the street with our dogs properly restrained.  So while the more horrific cases may be rare, does the Kent County Levy Court really want to subject residents to situations like the one listed in the screenshot below, that place dogs, residents, and most of all children in danger?

Safe Haven hasn't even been fully up and running yet, even though there were statements last year that they would be up and running a year ago.  So does Levy Court really think they'll be ready to take over in 3 weeks?  Maybe I should try and sell them a bridge across the bay to New Jersey.  

The organization has historically only taken in a couple hundred thousand dollars in non-earmarked donations.  On the meeting stream, the director mentioned all kinds of services that the shelter would pay for that wouldn't be a burden to the taxpayer, even though their debt service will probably take 3/4 of that non-earmarked donation base, and the little left will only pay for a couple workers for the shelter.  Seriously, do any of our commissioners have a business bone in their body to believe this is realistic from a financial perspective?   

And have any of the commissioners or County Administrator Michael Petit de Mange even taken the time to get a referral from the Kentucky Animal Care & Control Board, or from the officials from KY listed in the newspaper article on the Citizens to Save Safe Haven website, to ensure the safety of our animals?  For that matter, I'll be curious to see if our newspapers have the courage to look into this.

I know my commissioner has 2 less votes from my household this fall with how poorly this has been handled. And if it all falls apart during the transition, which could cost us even more, then that may be true for all of the commissioners up for re-election.  When we hit July 1, I'll definitely need to change the countdown clock to one that shows the days elapsed to when we have dog control again.  And I certainly can't wait until the next incident involving an alligator or loose steer has to be handled in our county, because the commission has yet to address who they will have handle that.  I can already see the animal activist firestorm when a local police officer has to put one down with their guns