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TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2007
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More animals may be spared
Fewer pets expected to be euthanized at new Morgan shelter

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com · 340-2437

A new animal shelter with more kennels would keep hundreds of dogs and cats alive in Morgan County.

The County Commission plans to hire an architect to design a shelter. Chairman John Glasscock said he would like to put the facility and a new environmental services building on 13 acres at the Hartselle-Morgan County Industrial Park on Thompson Road.

Animal Control Director Claudia Ray said the county needs a new shelter.

“We are so happy about this new shelter and we are hoping to have at least 50 kennels,” said Ray. “It would lower the number of animals euthanized by 85 percent.”

The current shelter has 17 kennels and the daily intake of cats and dogs overruns that space.

Last year the shelter took in 5,353 dogs and cats, and animal control officers euthanized 4,443 of the animals, according to Ray.

Pet owners also request euthanasia for their animals, and of those that officers put to sleep only 220 requests came from owners.

The shelter adopted out 432 animals and returned 479 pets to owners.

Ray said a new shelter would provide space needed for housing healthy animals.

“Our goal is to drastically lower the number of euthanized animals, and with the new shelter we should be able to do that,” said Ray. “We want to keep as many animals alive as we can.”

Officers will continue to put dogs to sleep on request of owners.

They answered a call Wednesday of a pet owner whose dog had become vicious.

“It was an elderly lady who had raised a German shepherd from a puppy,” Ray said. “She said the dog had become so vicious that he was too mean for her to feed, so she asked us to come get him and euthanize him.”

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