Man Seeks A Dog Gone Solution

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A local effort has been organized seeking to petition the Cannon County Commission to build and operate an animal shelter.

Unwanted, abandoned animals are already a big problem for some people in Cannon County.

So much of one that they are joining forces to try to find a meaningful, long-term solution.

One person who has felt the effects of animals being abandoned is Mark VanZant, who lives near the bridge over Auburntown Road, which has become a popular place for people to dump their pets.

"I've had 60 dogs and 47 cats left on or near my property during the last eight years," VanZant said. "It's a real shame that people do that, but it's a real problem for me too."

VanZant said he has spoken with several people who live in different areas of the county who report the same situation. "It's a big problem all over," he said.

According to VanZant, the solution to the problem is for the county to have an animal shelter and an animal control officer. He has organized a petition drive to encourage the county commission to take action.

And, according to County Executive Mike Gannon, that's a key first step.

"They need to come and present their ideas to the county commission and ask them to consider funding one (a shelter)," Gannon said.

Gannon said he agrees that abandoned animals are and have been a problem in some of the more remote areas of the county, but finding the funding to provide a shelter and people to work it has been difficult.

"We need a place where people can take unwanted animals. We've had people wanting to do something before, but nothing ever came of it," Gannon said. "I would support an effort for a shelter, but it would be up to the county commission to fund one."

VanZant has also approached the Town of Woodbury about making an animal shelter a joint venture between the town and the county.

Woodbury Mayor Harold Patrick said it might be possible to obtain a 30-year federal loan to build a facility.

People interested in supporting the effort for a local animal shelter can sign petitions at various locations around the community, including the Old Feed Store and Antique Mall and the Cannon County Senior Center.

The petition reads:

"We the citizens of Cannon County, recognize the dire need for an animal shelter in this county, due to the excessive amount of dogs and cats that are dropped and or abandoned. We request that an animal shelter be built by the Cannon County Commission. This shelter is necessary for the citizens of Woodbury and Cannon County."

A Continuing Problem

Dogs roaming around at will are a common occurrence in the county. Hardly a week goes by in which the Cannon County Sheriff's Department does not receive at least one report from someone experiencing a problem caused by their presence.

For instance, on Aug. 15 CCSD Deputy Randy Neal was dispatched to 769 Jimtown Road for a report of dogs at large. He spoke with Janet Marren, who said that about 10:30 a.m. about five dogs came to her residence and killed her cat.

Marren said that people drop off dogs on Jimtown Road all the time. She said she did not know who or if the dogs belong to anyone, and that she was afraid the dogs would hurt her or her kids.

Deputy Neal advised Marren that she has the right to protect herself, her kids and her property from the dogs.

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Members Opinions:
August 23, 2010 at 9:55am
No money for football! NO WAY any money for stray animals!
August 23, 2010 at 10:26am
Better yet!! No money for employees, but lets throw it to the dogs!!
August 23, 2010 at 11:40am
I recognize that stray animals are a problem, but I think we need to concentrate on HUMAN needs first. Before we even consider a shelter for dogs and cats, let's use our tax money to support a shelter for abused and abandoned HUMANS. SAVE has repeatedly ask for money to fund a shelter. If the commission has money to spend on a shelter, I say give it to SAVE!
August 23, 2010 at 12:18pm
Did you ever see the MASH episode where Hawkeye wanted an autoclave, but was denied it because there was no money for medical machinery, but they could get a pizza oven because they had money in that entertainment account? This works the same way. There are grants available for such things like animal shelters. Sometimes anyway.
August 23, 2010 at 5:04pm
buy a gun and take the animals out of there can save a lot of tax dollars and not have your cat die......
August 23, 2010 at 9:24pm
Lets work on catching some of these people who are dropping dogs and cats on peoples property and slapping big fines on them or better than that these humans are a nussiance put a slug in there head I would, that dog and cat didn't ask to be dropped.
August 24, 2010 at 12:37pm
Why not contract with other localities to take strays to their facilities even if we have to pay for each visit? Our local government officials seem reluctant to address the problem. Strays dropped at our property is a major problem.
August 24, 2010 at 12:52pm
I agree with trailrider612. Setting up heavy fines for those caught dropping off could create and improve much needed programs. Maybe a small portion could go to the CCPD Officers, like a special unit bonus. Cannon County residents are "dogged out" and these poor animals do not deserve this mistreatment. They are often hit by cars, starving and desperate from lack of food and water, ripping up property(ie screen doors),and placing children in danger. It's out of control and need a deterrent or solution quickly!
August 24, 2010 at 1:53pm
Its sad to see that some think football is more important then animals that are suffering. We need help in this county. Our road is a popular dumping site and its awful to see all these animals suffering.
August 26, 2010 at 10:32am
Several years ago money was raised all over the county for a humane society to the point even the land next to the dump had a sign for future hame of... What ever happened with that endeavor and money?
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