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Humane Society calls for commissioners to address animal control issues

Dear Editor:

This county is in need of help from our residents! Please, if you believe animal control is in the best interest of the county, your active participation is urgently needed.

First, a brief background. The Johnson County Humane Society Inc has had to close our Pet Adoption Center because of a lack in the number of volunteers necessary to keep it open. In May, we participated in talks with the County Commission’s Animal Control Committee, to offer assistance in implementing a county program of animal control. First, we offered our property to the county for lease, or sale, or lease with option to buy at a steeply discounted price; and next, we offered assistance to help the county with adoptions and volunteer manning in the office to do this work.

It became obvious, however, that the Animal Control Committee is not interested in animal control when all but one committee members did not attend a meeting that they themselves called! One member of this committee, Jonathan Pleasant, is the only commissioner who has demonstrated any interest at all, and has done any research on financing and implementation.
It seems that the county residents recognize the need for animal control when the result of the Reader Poll in THE TOMAHAWK is read. (Funding is the issue that separates total agreement.) On November 11th, a whopping 91 percent of the responders say there is a need, but the remaining 9 percent (who must be the commissioners) don’t see any need. This margin of support should tell the
commissioners something, but evidently, they need a little more persuasion.
We voters need to convince the commissioners that it is a county need that they must consider—just like roads, education, and law enforcement. It appears that the only recourse available to resolve this question is to remind the commissioners that their terms are up next year, and that alternative candidates will be seriously considered for our votes.

In support of what I’ve said above, let me tell you of a recent phone call that I received. I’ll be specific but the gist is repeated over and over again: A county resident who lives in the south side of the county has had another dog abandoned on their country road—the third one this year. They attempted to find a home for him but to no avail, and they cannot keep the dog. They called the Sheriff’s office who would not respond unless the dog is a threat to life or property. They called the County Mayor who said that the county has a problem, but there’s nothing he can do. They called
their county commissioner who said there’s nothing he can do.
If our county government is not interested in solving this problem, then it is up to us voters to solve the problem by electing new commissioners. Until there is resolution, we residents have absolutely no legal recourse. So, I am appealing to all county voters to contact your commissioner to express your dissatisfaction with how this problem is not being addressed by them.

Yours truly.
Nella Dionne, President
Johnson County
Humane Society, Inc.