Animal control seeks funds to care for animals removed from Corydon home
By Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]
Harrison County Animal Control was given the OK by the Board of Commissioners on Monday night to approach the county council to request additional funding.
April Breeden told the commissioners the facility needs $30,000 to provide boarding, veterinarian care and food to animals removed from a Corydon home early last month.
“Sixty-nine animals were removed from one residence, mostly livestock,” Breeden said.
Later during the discussion, Breeden noted the animals include a Zebu cow, which might be pregnant, three pigs, seven rabbits, nine goats, three sheep, two equines, two chinchillas, three dogs, 37 birds and an African sulcata tortoise, which had to be housed at a special facility.
“Where does this end?” Commissioner Jim Heitkemper asked.
Breeden said they were “kind of at the mercy of the court” for the time being regarding when the animals will be cleared from the county’s care.
“Our hearing keeps getting moved back,” she said.
Once there is a hearing, the animals’ owners will have 10 days to post bond that would allow them to possibly reclaim the menagerie.
If bond is posted, Breeden said animal control may need to tend to the animals for the duration of any court proceedings. A few of the animals have since died after being removed from the couple’s home, Breeden said.
If the couple fails to post bond, their animals would be released to animal control, which would put them up for adoption, Breeden said.
“Most are probably adoptable,” she said. “They weren’t adoptable in the beginning. They’ve started to gain weight.”
Putting the animals up for adoption is the only way for the county to recoup any of its money, Breeden added.
“This is a rabbit hole,” Heitkemper said.
“We’ve got to feed them,” Commissioner Nelson Stepro replied.
It was noted additional funding may be needed if the county has to house the animals during the court proceedings. Breeden said the $30,000 is what is needed now.
Stepro made the motion to allow Breeden to ask the county council for $30,000. Heitkemper second the motion. Commissioner Charlie Crawford joined them in voting in favor of the motion.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, Alisa Burch, director of the Harrison County Public Library, provided the commissioners with a report of what the library accomplished in 2021.
“We were down a little bit because of the (COVID-19) pandemic,” she said.
However, an additional 8,000 physical items were added last year to the library’s inventory and portable Wi-Fi hot spots were made available to patrons.
Burch said the library has nearly 29,000 cardholders.
A copy of the library’s five-year strategic plan was also in the packet Burch gave the commissioners.
Burch also invited the commissioners to a program scheduled for Thursday, May 19, by Luke Britt, the Indiana Public Access Counselor. There will be two sessions, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Harrison County Community Foundation building in Corydon. Topics to be covered include the Open Door Law, the Access to Public Records Act, correct use of executive sessions and a myriad of other statutory sections that pertain to the public access category.
“Everyone who serves on a public board is invited,” Burch said of the sessions.
The Harrison County Board of Commissioners’ next meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 2, at 8:30 a.m. at the government center in Corydon.