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Animal control doors open Friday

Harrison County officials Saturday approved the ordinance for the operation of the new animal control facility. The ordinance, which includes fines and fees to be levied for violations or services, will be advertised for two weeks before officially taking effect. The office will open to the public Friday.
Hours for the facility off Quarry Road in north Corydon will be 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays and from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays. At those times, Harrison County residents can bring in unwanted cats or dogs or adopt pets. Residents can also schedule appointments at other times, when necessary. The number to call the animal control officer, Mike Gentry, is 738-8163.
The facility will be closed at other hours during the day to allow time for cleaning and feeding, and so Gentry can handle required business outside the office, such as picking up abandoned or aggressive animals or performing euthanasia. Putting animals that are likely to be adopted to death will be a last alternative, so long as space is available.
Although community services workers and jail trusties have helped with duties at the facility, they require Gentry’s supervision, and he cannot always be in the building, he said. Therefore, volunteers are needed to help run the facility. Duties would include walking the animals, cleaning cages and otherwise caring for animals.
Gentry said he is now drafting a manual for volunteers so they can follow proper procedures. The HEART Humane Society has volunteers to handle office work. HEART has also volunteered help in other ways (see story at left).
The facility could also use donations, such as dry cat food, cat litter, litter pans, bleach and a refrigerator. Gentry said the refrigerator is needed to keep vaccines, and a small one would suffice. O’Bannon Publishing Co. Inc. will donate old newspapers to line cages.
There will be no fee for Harrison County residents to drop off animals. Adopting a pet will cost $25. Spaying or neutering will be covered under Harrison County’s tax-funded spay/neuter program, so that service will be free to Harrison County residents. Proof of residency (with a photo identification) such as a driver’s license will be required.
Adoptive owners will receive a five-pound bag of Science Diet food and an adoption package from Science Diet, which will include coupons. Gentry said Science Diet, a nutritious dog food, will provide dog food at 25 cents per pound, including shipping and handling. In return, a Science Diet display will be in the lobby, with shelves provided by Science Diet.
Gentry said the savings will amount to $3,500 a year based on Harrison County’s anticipated dog population.
New owners will be instructed to have their adopted pets spayed or neutered about a week after the animal has left the facility; owners will be responsible for bringing the pets to a specified veterinarian for the surgery. If they fail to do so, the animal control officer will pick up and return the dog or cat to the facility.
The adoption fee will cover boarding the animal, vaccinations and insertion of a computerized chip for identification purposes.
People whose pets are impounded without identification (such as a dog tag) may redeem their animal within five days; an animal with identification may be picked up within seven days, after which the animal could be destroyed.
Animals suspected of rabies will be quarantined for 10 days, as required by state law.
A processing or impound fee of $20 will be charged plus $10 per day for boarding. Vaccinations, if necessary, will cost $20 each.
The ordinance allows penalties for several violations, including allowing an animal to roam, $50 for a second violation within a year, $100 for a third. (For other details, the complete ordinance is advertised in this section of the newspaper, page A15.)
Other violations which can be fined include failing to confine a dog or cat in heat; failing to confine a vicious dog or cat; allowing a dog or cat to roam and thus be struck by a vehicle (driver must report incident to animal control officer, but pet owner pays fine liable for damage to vehicle); failing to provide food, water and shelter; treating an animal with cruelty; allowing an animal to become a public nuisance (loud, persistent barking, chasing passersby, etc.), or abandoning an animal.
HEART shelter no longer taking dogs, puppies
The canine shelter and adoption HEART (Harrison Education Animal Response Team) organization will no longer accept dogs and puppies from individuals due to the Friday opening of the Harrison County Animal Control Facility.
Instead, Gloria Scott, HEART’s president, said she will acquire some canines from the facility, giving preference to ‘hard cases,’ like those that are pregnant or injured, to give them a better opportunity for adoption.
‘The shelter is big enough to
take care of the county. I’m looking forward to not being so heavily involved,’ she said.
At its peak volume, HEART, a non-profit organization, was sheltering more than 100 dogs and puppies awaiting adoption with the assistance of eight part-time volunteers and other occasional volunteer help.
The organization’s last two puppies went to their new homes on Saturday.