Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Minutes from January 2011 Meeting

Caldwell Humane Society, Inc.
Regular Meeting Minutes
January 25, 2011
7:00 pm – Lenoir Public Library

CHS, Inc. President Joy Sharpe opened the meeting and welcomed attendees and guest speakers.

The minutes from the October 26, 2010 meeting had been emailed previously and were unanimously approved after a motion from Phyllis Braswell and a second by Penny Nix.

Presentation of Certificate to Emily Warren
Joy presented a certificate of appreciation to resigning board member Emily Warren who is moving to Raleigh. Emily has made many valuable contributions during the past three years – logo designer, reservation session leader and Bark in the Park Coordinator, to name a few.

Clinic Report
Ruby Boldin presented the clinic report. Since the last meeting in October, 75 surgeries were performed in November and 45 in December; for a total of 776 in 2010, versus 697 in 2009. The January 2011 clinic was cancelled due to snow.

City/County Initiative – Resolution of Support
Ron Stilwell reported on the efforts under way to get municipalities involved with county animal programs. To date, the cities of Lenoir, Hudson, Granite Falls, and Sawmills have adopted resolutions of support for adoption and/or spay/neuter in support of the county program. The cities recognize their responsibility in working together with the counties and all cities have assigned an official to serve on the Caldwell Municipal Advisory Committee. This can lead to more funding, legislation and get people responsible for their animals. All animal groups can work closer together with greater communication toward a common goal.

Guest Speaker – Denise Michaud, Caldwell County Health Department Director
In Caldwell County, Animal Control is under the Health Department. Denise has arranged for Kimberly Alboum, NC president of Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), to hold a grass roots meeting to speak about issues that face animal lovers, such as coyote penning, puppy mills, and what volunteers can do to help the Animal Control Department. The session will be February 10th at Human Services building on the third floor, 6:30 – 8:30pm. Kimberly has good ideas about shelter improvement. Attendees must RSVP on a link that will be forwarded to the CHS email group. The conference room holds 100. It should be interesting and help kick off and reinforce what we are doing together. Commissioners will add to the February 7th agenda to issue a proclamation of spay/neuter month for Caldwell County to help communicate to the public about this important effort. HSUS has been a huge help to the county when Caldwell Animal Control (CAC) was dealing with dog fighting event in 2008 with over 80 pit bulls discovered on a property. They also sent help during a cock fighting investigation. A good turnout will show Kimberly how much Caldwell County cares about its animals and its community by being supportive of one another, and by being there to hear what Kimberly has to say.

Guest Speaker – Greg Greene, Caldwell County Animal Control Director
Euthanasia is the biggest topic in Animal Control. Call volume from January 2010 to January 2011 was 3500. With four (4) officers besides Greg, there is not a lot of time for adoptions. Two ladies work front office. Dispatching protocols take a lot of time. Three officers are licensed to euthanize animals. One to 14 animals per day average have to be euthanized due to limited kennel space. This is per state mandates. Most of the animals are adoptable but due to space have to be euthanized. Pet Partners and Pet Pals have taken some of the animals for adoption. A school program was started in 2010 with CAC and Dr. Beth Jones targeting 6th grade students to promote responsible ownership. Adoptions are not going to solve the problem. No way to find 5,000 people a year to take the animals. Adoptions are declining instead of rising. Education in spay and neutering is where we’re going to see the numbers start changing. Any ideas to help educate, contact Greg at any time. [Denise mentioned the flyer going into the February water bill promoting spay/neuter month.] Greg answered a question concerning policy on releasing adoptable dogs or cats to animal groups. A 501(c) (3) registered rescue group, can come in at any time and if an animal is available for adoption, can take the animal at no charge, but must transfer ownership. It’s difficult to manage legally having animals out of shelter w/o transferring ownership. This makes the animal the property of rescue group, not Caldwell County. Economical, sensible thing to do. These animals are eligible for the $8 rabies as CAC doesn’t want any animal going out over 4 months without a rabies vaccine. Can’t do $65/spay neuter for animals going out to Rescue groups. If animals are not available for adoption yet, because of the period mandated by law for strays, CAC will hold and put name on that and contact at end of hold period. The more space CAC has, the more animals they can hold and not have to euthanize as many. A visitor may see two or three empty kennels and wonder what is going on. Eight kennels are to strays for the 72 hour period. Six to eight more kennels are for quarantines, cruelty, dangerous dogs. CAC has to keep those kennels open in case. It doesn’t mean they’re not full. CAC does contact specific breed rescue groups – lately most have been full, unfortunately. CAC is open the second Saturday of each month from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm for adoptions and rabies vaccines only. CAC charges $2 to replace a lost rabies tag when the rabies was given at Animal Control.

Debra Venti, Pet Pals
Debra moved to Caldwell County nine years ago and was appalled to hear about the local animal problems. She started researching, investigating, helping and came to believe lack of information is the biggest problem in the County. There will be an infomercial beginning in February about spay/neutering and adoption. She spoke about what she would like to do at Animal Control to help with adoptions, i.e. rotating and marketing animals, and help make improvements on site.

Greg said that due to budget constraints no new building is in the foreseeable future. Fencing is needed. Recently two horses were held in the front yard of Animal Control. Denise said CAC is doing the best it can with the available tax money. Some counties don’t have an Animal Control Department. Ron spoke of the possibility of the municipalities having an animal control officer/ representative for feasible cooperation. Police control leash law in the city. If in a city limit, contact local PD. The police department can commission CAC to remove the animal. If a dog is loose in the county, CAC can remove animal from your property or set live traps. CAC cannot go out in the neighborhood and take animals off another person’s property without having a signed release form. CAC has no control over wildlife unless it’s possibly rabid. A wildlife depredation officer must be called in to remove animal if it isn’t sick; just being a nuisance.

Debra continued identifying things that are needed at Animal Control; i.e. cutting trails for walking and socialization. Pet Pals wants to help CAC with adoptions, socialization, and raising money for needed items. Debra showed the Pet Pals t-shirts that are sold for a $15 donation. They are printed with “Rescue Me” Adopt, Adjust, and Adapt. Pet Pals encourages people to adopt, adjust their way of thinking and adapt to a new way of living so Caldwell County can move forward with solutions for the animal problems. CCAC is on the sleeve with a memorial stripe for animals put down in the past. Pet Pals wants to help CHS with spay and neuters, and help Pet Partners promote adoptions at Tractor Supply. They are getting the word out about February being spay/neuter month. Suggestions were made from the floor about asking businesses and municipalities to put up signs promoting spay/neuter month.

Joy said all the animal groups want to reduce the euthanasia rate. She wanted to let Greg and his people know how much we appreciate the job they are doing. Greg said 2,500 surgeries is a tremendous accomplishment for our County and he commended CHS for its role in helping reduce the number of animals CAC has to euthanize.

Ron opened the floor for any concerns or questions about communications or any contact with CAC. We are all here for the same purpose. Greg wants any problems brought to his attention. If he doesn’t know what’s broken, he can’t fix it. Ron just wants to be sure we have open communication. A question was asked about the shelter not being open every Saturday, and more information not being available about the day it is open. There have not been many people coming in for adoption. Banners are put out during the week CAC is open on Saturday. Some months it may be same day as Pet Partners adopt-a-thon. CAC has staffing issues with non-exempt not being able to work more than 40 hours week. If more individuals showed an interest in coming that one Saturday, it would make it easier to justify a recommendation to increase the Saturdays to increase adoptions. People are struggling to pay the $65 adoption fee. So if they can’t afford that, then they can’t afford to feed or provide veterinary care. Then they end up surrendering the animal because they can no longer afford to pay to keep the animal. There is a rise in owner animals being turned in. It’s bad enough for CAC to deal with strays, but owner-surrendered animals are making CAC go over the top. Owner animals may be the best animals to put up for adoption as they are already socialized, but strays have to be held for 72 hours mandated by law. Unfortunately the most adoptable animals get euthanized due to the space constraints. [Animals turned in by their owners may be euthanized immediately.] Just the facts of the way things go. CAC does use microchip scanners.

Denise said if anyone has any concerns or misunderstandings or needs further explanation about shelter policies or procedures, please feel free to call. Being familiar with what Animal Control has to do, rather than what people think they can do, will eliminate a lot of misunderstanding and negativity. Greg said anyone should feel free to call him with any questions or concerns; or for a tour of the facility.

Joy thanked the speakers and adjourned the meeting at 8:13 pm.

Important Dates:
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 7:00 pm (annual meeting)
Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm (Bark in the Park volunteer meeting)
Saturday, May 14, 2011 at noon (Bark in the Park)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 (regular meeting)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 (regular meeting)
Tuesday, October 25, 100 (regular meeting)

CHS Contact Information:
Email address:
Phone number: (828) 499-0289 (leave a message and a volunteer will return your call)

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