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Commissioners get down to nitty-gritty of animal control

As construction of Harrison County’s long-awaited animal control facility gets underway on Hope Drive off Quarry Road in north Corydon, the county commissioners began considering ordinances Monday that will set the tone and part of the price for animal control once the building is complete.
Construction is expected to take about four months, said Commissioner James Goldman, who is overseeing the project. ‘It should be ready in January, if the weather holds out,’ Goldman said Monday night.
The commissioners are also reviewing resum’s for the position of animal control officer, said commission chair J.R. Eckart.
‘We probably are not as close to hiring as I had hoped,’ Eckart said yesterday.
That’s because no one with experience in animal control and certified to administer euthanasia has applied for the job, Eckart said. ‘We are still going to consider the applicants we have and see if we have a winner, but I feel we may be headed for professional help in finding a candidate,’ he said.
Monday night, the three commissioners reviewed samples of animal control ordinances from other counties, including Floyd, Scott, Clark, Spencer and Adams counties.
Commissioner Jim Heitkemper and the others brought copies of ordinances they had been studying and suggested acceptable parts from each.
Ordinances are expected to deal with all aspects of animal control, including fees for services, penalties, licenses, length of stays, and adoptions of domestic animals.
‘We have to recognize not every animal will be kept seven to 10 days or two weeks,’ Eckart said. ‘We’re anticipating 1,400 animals a year.’
The facility will handle domesticated animals only ‘ no snakes or other wildlife.
The commissioners also briefly discussed establishing an advisory commission and, if so, what its make up and role would be. No decisions were made.
The commissioners stressed that the facility is in no way a ‘no-kill’ adoptive agency.
Discussion included efforts that should be made to notify the owners of pets with identification. They will be kept longer than animals without a tag or ones that are diseased or injured. The animal control officer will have the authority to decide how long an adoptable animal will be kept before it is euthanized.
Questions and comments were allowed from the audience, even though it was a work session.
County attorney Christopher Byrd was asked to compile an ordinance governing animal control from the suggested samples and to submit it at the commissioners’ next meeting, Sept. 7, at 8:30 a.m.